From CEOs to Opera Singers - How to Harness the "Superstar Effect" - The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss
From CEOs to Opera Singers - How to Harness the "Superstar Effect" - The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

From CEOs to Opera Singers - How to Harness the "Superstar Effect" - The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

Despite this heretical behavior, Michael was still accepted at Stanford. To understand why, I will turn your attention to a little-known economics theory that changes the way we think about impressiveness. To get there, however, we'll start at an unlikely location: the competitive world of professional opera singers. (View Highlight)

Taking a step back, we likely agree that it's an interesting finding that being the best has a hidden advantage. If reaping this advantage, however, requires becoming class valedictorian or honing a brilliant singing voice — both staggeringly difficult feats — it doesn't seem all that applicable. (View Highlight)

During this research, I kept noticing the same trait in these teen-aged lifehackers: they had accomplishments that triggered The Superstar Effect, but which revealed on closer examination to not require a rare natural talent or years and years of grinding work. (View Highlight)

his earned him press coverage, and the resulting Superstar Effect helped wow the Stanford admissions department into overlooking his borderline scores. (View Highlight)

Notice that nothing about Michael's rise to stardom required a rare natural talent or overwhelming work load. His projects required, on average, less daily time investment than participating in a varsity sport. Yet, he was the best at what he did among all applicants to Stanford, and the resulting Superstar Effect earned him a disproportionate reward. (View Highlight)

To sloganize is to transform your conquest into an easy-to-describe and immediately interesting quest. For example, Chris Guillebeau, mentioned above, sloganized his conquest of the adventure travel writing by focusing on the catchy goal of visiting every country in the world. (View Highlight)

Here's a simple rule: If you're not willing to bet $1000 on your success within 6 to 12 months, then either your goal is quixotic or you don't know enough about the field yet. In both cases, you're not ready for the project. A blind adherence to the flawed idea that getting started is the most important step is best left to cheesy motivational speakers — winners make plays with confidence. (View Highlight)

For the post-liberation, muse-owning lifestyle entrepreneur, The Superstar Corollary provides a powerful tool for ramping up returns without ramping up the work invested. (View Highlight)

Specifically, he set out on a mission to visit every country in the world. The scope of this quest transformed him into a star among travel/lifehacking bloggers, and his site quickly become a lucrative success. (View Highlight)

To Martin, the key to diligence isn't the work applied to your pursuit, but instead the work you don't apply to other pursuits. He succeeded in reinventing comedy because he kept his focus on comedy, even when other, more shiny and interesting side projects presented themselves. (View Highlight)

The same concept applies to The Superstar Corollary. When conquering your uncontested niche, it can be tempting to divide your attention. Here is where Martin's diligence is key. The bonus reward you get for being the best far outweighs any small benefit that a shiny new side project can provide. On the large scale, therefore, maintaining a relentless focus on your conquest maximizes your total overall reward. (View Highlight)

The Superstar Corollary Being the best in a field makes you disproportionately impressive to the outside world. This effect holds even if the field is not crowded, competitive, or well-known. (View Highlight)