Category: Life Tips

How to Harness Power Like a Celebrity.

Three strategies of the stars that business professionals can use to make a difference in the world and do things that truly matter to them.

In the mid-1990s, Apple ran a series of insightful ads entitled “Power Is,” featuring several celebrities describing what power meant to them.

Spike Lee said power is succeeding when the odds are against you and you have a constant desire to learn. George Clinton, on the other hand, shared that power is the ability to motivate, communicate, and reinvent you. Marlee Matlin described power as having confidence, no limits, and the freedom of expression.

Simply by their celebrity status, all these people have a certain amount of power–a power to live how they want, influence others’ perspectives, and motivate people to take action. Of course, this power has its downside. How would you like your every move publicly dissected? But if celebrities treat that reality with respect and use it to uplift, inspire, and encourage others, then they can make a real difference–as well as a profit from their brand and their reach.

The question is: How do everyday people–specifically entrepreneurs–obtain this power?

While there is such a thing as “overnight success,” most celebrities work hard over a long period of time to reach their powerful status. Here are three strategies of the stars that business professionals can use to make a difference in the world and do things that truly matter to them:

1. Build Your Tribe

Who you align yourself with affects your values, reputation, success, and often your financial well-being. Most success stories involve individuals surrounded by people they trust who share their values and genuinely have their best interests at heart.

Take Oprah Winfrey, for example. She has had consistent support from incredibly loyal staff, close friends, and colleagues who have stood by her for decades. Personally, she’s benefitted tremendously from the mentor relationship she enjoyed with the late Dr. Maya Angelou, as well as from her long-time partner, Stedman Graham, and her best friend, Gayle King.

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s business partnership with Beats is another great example of a professional relationship that was mutually beneficial. Beats proved to be highly profitable for both of them in its recent sale to Apple–something that may have been more challenging to do if not for the power of their partnership.

2. Pursue New Ventures 

If you’ve had success as an entrepreneur once, you already know how to make something from nothing. Now, you have the ability to take your experience, resources, and prominence to create new businesses that fulfill a lifelong dream or generate revenue streams for a cause–or both.

Actor Paul Newman founded Newman’s Own in 1982 with pal A.E. Hotchner after his homemade salad dressing became a hit with friends. The company’s offerings have expanded, but always with the purpose of donating all proceeds to charities. To date, the amount contributed has surpassed $300 million.

Among other entrepreneurial endeavors, Sandra Bullock opened the eco-friendly Austin, Tex.-based Bess Bistro. She must love this pursuit because she was involved in every detail of making it come together. 

3. Explore Other Interests

If you look at most celebrities’ resumes, you’ll notice a large number of multihyphenates–people with multiple job titles. It’s rare to truly excel in a number of areas, but many talented people who work hard can do it. Don’t feel like you have to stay in one industry or skill set. Branching out can often create multiple sources of income and fulfillment.

Take Beyoncé Knowles, for example. She doesn’t stop with music–she’s built a business empire endorsing companies like H&M, creating a line of fragrances, and heading up a successful clothing company. It’s no wonder she topped the Forbes Celebrity 100 list.

You should also use a variety of tactics to engage with your audience via social networking. It’s what Hillary Clinton calls “smart power” (i.e., finding ways to connect with people so they can then influence their governments). While Clinton’s celebrity status often distracts from her work, she’s excellent at using her power to engage and empower youth, women, and entrepreneurs as she works toward change.

You may not be a “celebrity” to the general public, but if you’re successful in your field, there are likely a number of people who know who you are. As your recognition grows, the number of people you influence will increase. In all of these cases, the celebs referenced have used their power and influence to make a difference in a way that allows them to invest their heart, soul, energy, passion, time, and even money into something they love. That’s real power.

What will you do with your power?

Until next time,

Kelli Richards, CEO of The All Access Group.

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The right mentor will also have the right CONNECTIONS to move any effort forward.  Be sure to ask who they think they can bring to the table around advisorship, possible collaboration and even funding.



Step Away from the Smartphone

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 10.57.12 AMOf the 93% of Americans that use cell phones or wireless devices, one-third of them are using “smartphones,” with which you can browse the Web and check e-mail. In other words, most of us are spending our days walking around with our eyes glued to our phone screens, as chillingly demonstrated in this telling YouTube short.

Some experts say it’s time to take a step back and reassess. They worry that kids won’t know what it’s like to have a conversation or actually look someone in the eyes when they tell a story.

In her powerful TED talk, Sherry Turkle claims that the little devices in our pockets are so psychologically powerful that they not only change what we do – they’re also changing who we are in our minds and our hearts, by allowing us three gratifying fantasies: that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be; that we will always be heard; and that we will never have to be alone.

But that’s just what they are – fantasies. And while we’re indulging in them, we’re tuning out the people who are physically present in the room with us. Some of the familiar things we now do with our devices – taking calls while out to dinner, checking Facebook during board meetings, texting while on a date – are things that only a few years ago we would have found odd or disturbing. Now it’s simply how we do things. Instead of never being alone, it seems we are getting accustomed to “a new way of being alone, together.”

“Parents text and do email at breakfast and at dinner. Their children complain about not having their parents’ full attention, but then these same children deny each other their full attention. We even text at funerals. I study this. We remove ourselves from our grief, or from our reverie, and we go into our smartphones.” If it’s true that attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity, then one could argue that smartphones are making us less generous human beings, unable to give each other the attention we crave.

Real conversations are unpredictable – and un-erase-able – and real relationships are engrossing and messy, but technology renders both neat and clean – keeping others at just the right distance: not too close to see the real you, and not too far that they can’t “hear” what you’re saying.

But having real conversations with each other is how we learn to have conversations with ourselves. Hiding from real, unscripted, unpredictable conversations with each other can compromise our capacity for self-reflection. And as smartphones burrow ever deeper into our lives, and Google Glass threatens to erode our personal space even further, finding ways to unplug is becoming more appealing – perhaps even more vital – than ever.

If you or someone you love is struggling with smart phone addiction, download Fast Company’s printable guide to unplugging and check out their collection of thought-provoking articles on the subject here.

Until next time,

Kelli Richards, President, CEO of the All Access Group, LLC

PS: Subscribe to my FREE All Access Group Newsletter

PSS: Listen to an entire library of intimate discussions with industry visionaries (Priceless)

Stop Wishing Your Life Away- THRIVE

Fearless people not only live amazing lives and achieve great heights — fearless people take on projects from which the rest of us would run. Thrive! Stop Wishing Your Life Away…

Until next time,

Kelli Richards, CEO of The All Access Group, LLC

A Message of Thanks and Giving

Greetings everyone, With Thanksgiving almost here, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday, abundant with loved ones. One of the many things I’m grateful for is your definitely your friendship this past year. 2012 has been amazing and successful for me, and that definitely doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I continue to work on new and exciting things to foster that same success and abundance in your own companies and projects.

  • I am launching a new coaching program to help companies and brands adopt best practices and implement them into their goals and initiatives. If you’ve read my latest book, “The Magic and Moxie of Apple: An Insider’s View” then you’ll be familiar with some of these best practices (but not all of them). If you have struggled to hit your goals, successfully launch your projects, or create the relationships you need to truly move forward, this is the program for you.   
  • A new, updated edition of my bestselling book “Taking the Crowd to the Cloud,” comes out on 12/12/12.  This eBook will feature new chapters on Pinterest, the new Myspace, and on funding sources for musicians (and any of us with a great project that the “crowd” could get behind. In addition to the new chapters, I will be updating all of the book’s topics to account for updates and renovations on the various social networks, such as promoted posts on Facebook – and the ability to share video on Linkedin.  While this book does cover some very advanced capabilities, I always endeavor to approach each space with a beginners eye, for those of us who need that point of view as well.

Best wishes, Kelli Richards
CEO of the All Access Group.

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