Become a Rock Star: Step Zero

Of course step zero is the first step since most of us are geeks, post geeks, or sometimes neo geeks. Whatever this may mean, many of us like to start counting at “zero.”

  • Decide

You rarely become a Rock Star by accident.

You love this stuff. You are here for the long haul. You want to make a difference, and you are going to.

Notice I said “long term.” Most overnight sensations take years. And many Rock Stars level contributions are never fully recognized until after death. Sorry but it is true!

The killer “Trololo Dude didn’t become a sensation until after his death – bummer Mister Trololo!

  • Be more specific on your Goals

What exactly does “Rock Star” mean to you?

Do you want to be a public figure? Or would you rather be in the sidelines or perhaps even anonymous yet have significant positive impact, like the anonymous founder of Bitcoin?

OK, not everyone has to think you have significant or positive impact (and Bitcoin is certainly arguable), but many need to. Remember, Rock Stars are often controversial.

Ice Hockey GoalThere are some absolute Rock Star musicians who are session musicians. You rarely if ever hear their names, and they are often totally cool with that.

Me, I want my name on the big sign in front of Caesars Palace.

I asked them the last time I was speaking there, since they sadly informed me they had to move my talk. Apparently Elton John already had that spot.

I expressed extreme surprise and indicated that it was OK as long as my “people” were not inconvenienced. I don’t exactly have “people,” but they did put up signs every 20 feet or so in a seemingly endless hall with my name and an arrow. Maybe 100-200 signs.

People at the conference were both walking around saying, “Who is this Ted Demopoulos guy?” and “What did you Ted?”

I was happy! And Elton John’s name didn’t need to be removed either.

  • Plan at least the first few steps to that goal

And if things do not go exactly as planned it’s OK. No plan survives contact with reality. I’m not a big planner myself, but the first few steps are important.

My short term plan is to finish this post and my Jamesons Manhattan (it is currently Saint Patricks Day).

Yes, there are longer term plans as well!

  • Specialize!

A musician cannot play everything beautifully: the drums, sitar, guitar, ukulele, piano, flute, violin, rock, blues, jazz, classical, flamenco, disco, etc. Similarly, you need to specialize. You probably can’t be a great IDS analyst, mobile forensics guru, brilliant pen tester, and router security person.

Specializing does not necessary limit you. Hey, Jerry Garcia once played bass on April fools. And a Fortune 500 company once asked me for corporate restructuring advice when I had been hired as a relatively lowly infosec guy.

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