It seems we’ve found the ideal role model for getting started next year: Mike Tyson.
What’s not to find role-model like about him? He’s a badass (and thus gets shit done), he has tattoos on his face, and he’s a sensitive guy.
Really sensitive, it turns out. He loves pigeons. He loves them so much that he’s planning on demonstrating his pigeon racing skills which will be featured in a show on Animal Planet.
Tyson says: “The first thing I ever loved in my life was a pigeon,” he said.” I don’t know why…I feel ridiculous trying to explain it. “Pigeons are a part of my life. It’s a constant with my sanity in a weird way; this is just what I do. If I’m lucky enough to die an old man, I’m going to have birds.” (ABC)
He’s probably trying to reclaim his long lost glory from boxing, and become the king of pigeon racing.
Nonetheless, my big question question here is what is it about Mike Tyson that constantly makes him show up in the news?
Mike Tyson (seriously) should be your role model
In my last post, I talked a little bit about how the only guarantee in our lifetime is that it will be infinitely harder to stand out and seem unique to anyone else.
So what makes Mike Tyson unique, or famous, or even show up in the news every now and then?
1. His former fame
Tyson was an undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, and was the youngest boxer to ever win a couple of titles. He was probably one of the most dangerous guys to ever get into a fight with (period) in his prime.
2. He’s a total nutjob
Forget for a moment that he bit a guy’s ear in half. Let’s forgive him of that sin.
Need a reminder that he’s a fucking nut job?
- “[He] called me a ‘rapist’ and a ‘recluse.’ I’m not a recluse.”
- “Lennox Lewis, I’m coming for you man. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I’m just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah!”
- “I want to rip out his heart and feed it to him [Lennox Lewis]. I want to kill people. I want to rip their stomachs out and eat their children.”
- “He was screaming like my wife.”
- “I want to throw down your kid and stomp on his testicles, and then you will know what it is like to experience waking up everyday as me. And only then will you feel my pain.”
This guy, despite being one of the best boxers ever, is totally fucking insane.
He says (see above) and does (see #1) memorable things
So what does all this stuff about Tyson mean to you?
Tyson is an expert at standing out. Maybe in his case he doesn’t do it on purpose, it’s just the madness to his method, but many others selectively cultivate this.
You know you’re doing a good job of standing out when you piss off a lot of people.
When the song Judas came out, tons of people around me were freaking out and saying “what an outrage!”
They totally fell prey to Lady Gaga’s marketing scheme!
If only you could have a great product, or great voice, or great content on your blog, and that alone would make you famous, wealthy, or successful.
But they don’t. Without exposure it’s extremely difficult to rise above the noise. And that’s what you want to inherit from Gaga and Tyson.
There are probably thousands of other Justin Biebers that have good voices and look presentable enough to be famous. But he has a billion youtube channel views. A billion youtube views.
Lady Gaga went from zero to celebrity by having a good voice and by wearing the most ridiculous outfits you’ve ever seen.
Check out the following:
Lady Gaga Meat Dress
Lady Gaga 2010 Grammy Awards
Lady Gaga Kermit the Frog
You would think she’s nuttier than even tyson!
Truth is, people like Gaga are very smart, very savvy , and very very successful.
Having a great voice doesn’t mean squat anymore. There are so many people on earth that 500,000 others probably have a great voice “just like you” or a great idea “just like you” or are good at guitar “just like you.”
In fact, the skill is the bare minimum now, and your time needs to go into differentiation and smart positioning of yourself rather than investing more time into yourself ( your product ).
In our new world, here are the takeaway points for anyone young trying to be successful at any degree:
- Talent is the bare minimum
- There are 1,000,000 other people just like you regarding talent, skill, or achievements, so what differentiates you?
- Quit investing so much time into your product (yourself or skill), and spend more time on exposure. If you’re already “good” at something, that’s enough. You don’t need world class skill to be world class
- Exposure is more important than your product (this can go either way actually)
Make Tyson or Gaga your role model. Really, honestly study what makes people stand out, and you’ll see that there is sometimes a method to madness – but there is always exposure with madness.
And exposure, not talent, is what’s gonna help you make it big.