There’s something really sexy about a secret and it seems like famous people have more secrets than anybody. Why is that? Are these people doing something different than you or me? My mom always told me, “everyone puts their shoes on the same way”…however, not everyone makes millions of dollars working half days and partying with beautiful people in southern California. There is a difference and I’m here to tell you what you can do to gain fame without walking the red carpet.

Be the Absolute Best at Something

You don’t have to be the smartest person in every conversation. Actually, most people hate talking to people like that. You do, however, need to develop some respect for yourself and in my life that’s always stemmed from knowing more about one thing than everyone else in the room. I started demo trading currencies and commodities while I was a freshman in college. I made more fake money in an hour than most friends would make in a year at that age so when I spoke about the topic, I made sure the sexy dream of trading was something everyone could achieve. That confidence inspired an ex girlfriend to put $5,000 of real money into an E-Trade account for me to trade one summer before I’d ever traded a single real dollar before in my life. More on that later but the point is if people believe you’re the best at one thing, you’ll be the person they think about every time that topic comes back up.

Don’t be afraid to have an opinion

Even while you’re looking for a way to speak up, having an opinion doesn’t necessarily mean you’re constantly throwing people under the bus for attention. It can be just as powerful to speak out in support of someone else’s ideas as fighting for your own. When the DNC (Democratic National Convention) came to Charlotte during the last presidential campaign most of the homeless in Charlotte were displaced. They weren’t allowed to congregate downtown. The DNC was literally making hundreds of people with temporary homes find new places to live. I’ve been organizing a volunteer group called Serve Charlotte’s Homeless for about 4 years now. When a news reporter found the topic interesting he came to interview me as an expert on the topic. Over the next few months my name and company name, David Levine from Integrateideas, was on Fox News Charlotte twice and Charlotte Talks on NPR twice as well. Pretty awesome PR for taking the time to support someone else.

Be a leader every chance you get

If you want to see something succeed, step up and make it happen. People respect others that are willing to take on the responsibility that others shy away from. Get out of your seat and take charge. You’re not getting any younger and the opportunities in front of you this year might not be there next year. Instead of being lazy, stand up and take charge now. This year’s success will make next year that much easier.

Stand out from the pack

Creating a distinct way for people to identify you can pay huge dividends. How often did the runners up become more famous than the actual winners of American Idol? On a list Ryan Seacrest put together, 6 of the 13 most successful American Idol contestants were runners up in the competition. Each of these singers differentiated themselves from the rest of the competition and reaped serious rewards in the years to come. You might not win every battle but if you keep fighting and stick with it, you will win the war!

Be relatable

How many computer programmers have you met become the life of a swanky party? I’m not talking about the gal that got a minor in undergrad that’s now a model at Ford Model Agency. She clearly had no intention of staring at a computer screen all day. I may have been a jock, playing competitive soccer growing up and landing a soccer scholarship in undergrad but I was also the nerd that landed an academic scholarship because I was making straight A’s when most of my friends were going to the bars every night. I can sometimes be shy and introverted but those are not qualities that a pretty girl or a possible business mentor want to see. You have to brand yourself in your personal life too. Make sure you’re the type of person people want to trust and connect with, then when it’s time, think of small ways to stand out from the pack! It’s much easier to be extraordinary when people want to hear what you have to say.

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