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How To Meet Famous People




In this post, I’m sharing an advice on how to meet famous people. The goal, by the way, is to actually have some meaningful relationship with the person you want to meet. It’s not to stand next to them long enough to have your picture taken. A benchmark might be whether or not that person has something meaningful to say about you a month after you last saw them. The guy in the picture has been long forgotten by then. The logistics for meeting famous people have never been better.

Rule #1: Don’t Ask for Anything

I put this rule first to emphasize how important it is. Understand that the benefit of forming a relationship with a famous person is NOT that they’re going to be your big break, or that they’re going to use their influence to help you.

Hoping for this is both extremely rude and totally ineffective. Think about it: this person barely has time to read your email, and you’re going to use that small sliver of time to try to get something from them?

A better reason to get to know famous people is that they tend to be interesting people. Accomplishment isn’t the only road to fame, but it’s definitely a well traveled one. Your reward for making friends with a famous person isn’t that you get to piggyback off their accomplishment, but rather that you benefit from interactions with the person behind the accomplishment.


The famous people I know are all smart people who I can count on to serve as the other side of a worthwhile conversation. These interactions enrich you and inspire you to accomplish things independently.

Rule #2: Give Something

In a world where everyone is trying to take from others, the best way to stand out is to be a giver. It shows a sensitivity to the receiver’s situation, and allows them to drop their guard. This dropping of the guard must be recognized and appreciated, though: you can’t just give something and then ask for something in return. That’s scammy. A good rule of thumb is that if you have an idea of what you want from someone in your head when you meet them, you’re doing things wrong. Be looking for things you can do for others.

Rule #3: Hold Your Own

I’m sure you must have met a lot of people through various avenues: talks, introductions, random run-ins, etc. The attitudes which people take could be roughly divided into three categories: seventy percent convey almost no value at all, twenty percent try to act way cooler than they are, and ten percent are respectful yet aware of their own value.


People in the first category act as if being less famous makes them entirely worthless. They tend to say nothing about themselves and ask the same questions everyone else asks. It’s flattering to meet people like this, because anyone who puts their work out publicly is happy to see concrete evidence that it’s appreciated by others, but these people tend to blend together. That’s probably not what they’re ACTUALLY like, it’s just how they present themselves.

The people who act cooler than they are, unfortunately, tend to be from the pickup scene. They brag a lot, mostly talking about their conquests, and never ask any questions. They act as if they’ve never read your work. The dissonance comes from the fact that they’ve just waited twenty minutes after a speech to come talk with you.

The last category are the people who you actually become friends with. They show respect for your work by mentioning specific ways it’s influenced them, but they don’t dwell on it. They offer suggestions. They share their own stories and work that are related to the conversation, whereas people from the first group would avoid it altogether, and the people from the second group steamroll through stories that only serve to glorify them. People from this third group acknowledge the value you have, but also recognize that they have value, too.

Remember that the goal of meeting someone famous is to have a meaningful relationship of some sort with them. You can only do that if there’s a foundation of mutual respect.

Rule #4: Have Visible Work


The first thing I do when someone emails me is to check for a link to their web page in their email signature. Having a visible body of work is a good way to allow people to find out what you’re about at their own pace. Instead of writing an email with everything I think the recipient might be interested in, he can just click the link in my email, skim for a title of a post that interests him, and read it on his own time. This also makes introductions a lot easier.

Rule #5: Introductions are Gold

When you have a lot of people contacting you, you need to have filters. These filters are never perfect, but they’re necessary, because if you met with everyone who wanted to, you would run out of time. One powerful filter, as internet companies like Facebook have discovered, is our social network. If a friend suggests that you meet someone, you’re much more likely to do it than if you were just contacted out of the blue.

Besides looking for opportunities to receive introductions, you should also try to give them when it’s appropriate. If you know two famous people who don’t know each other, it’s a great idea to introduce them if you think they’ll have common interests. What’s a better way to give something to both of them?

Rule #6: Don’t Let Lack of Introductions Stop You


Don’t be paralyzed if you can’t get an introduction to someone. There’s no harm in sending them an email, because if you don’t get a response and are later able to meet up with them, they probably won’t even remember your email. The key in emailing is to keep it short, make it obvious why this person should respond, and distinguish yourself from every other person who emails.

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