Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

When You Shoot For The Moon

When Neil Armstrong leapt onto the moon and drove his boot into the lunar dust, the astronaut’s name was fated to live forever. Little did Neil know that his stunt would make all his marks, smudges and scratches worth a fortune.

Today, an autograph by the first moon-walker is worth $11,000. Not even the signatures of the Rolling Stones combined can top the value of one Neil Armstrong.

Why do we value scribbles of individuals so highly?


Before Hermione, Emma Watson was a normal ten-year-old with a passion for acting. After the opening of the Philosopher’s Stone, she struck stardom. First locally, then abroad.

Now the 29-year-old Emma can walk into a press conference and make the hearts of every audience member skip a beat.

There’s a reason we’re in awe of the famous and desire their autographs.

For starters, a celebrity is in great demand and has lots of attractive options.

Which makes the attention of a star more special than that of John Doe.

To shake hands with Bono, or to get a selfie with Beyoncé feels amazing because they could be eating caviar on a beach in the Bahamas. But instead, they decided to be with you.

That desire for an intimate connection is ultimately what allows professional actors, musicians, authors and artists to set their own prices—we’ll gladly pay an arm and a leg to be in the presence of greatness.

That bigger paycheck is not just reserved for the very famous. Everyone can get to a level where they can ask higher prices.

As long as you have a strong ‘personal brand.’ Which is marketing slang for reputation. 

Most starting professionals have a poor brand, which says, “I’m just in it for the money. If you pick me, I’ll offer you my services for less.”  

Which has two major faults.

One, if you charge based on what the services cost, you’ll struggle to make ends meet.
Two, if price is your only advantage over the competition, you’ll surely lose clients to cheaper competitors.

A true professional charges based on what the service are worth.

Nobody asked Elvis Presley how long it took to record the songs, or how much the recording equipment cost. Everyone just bought the album, because Elvis was worth it.

How do you show proof of your worth?

  • Don’t be generic. The other day a truck drove by with its company motto on the side, “We do everything to keep our customers happy.” Not only is that generic. It’s a lie. Because nothing would make their customers happier than free service. Rather than hide behind empty promises, collect testimonials. If you can show your client or employer a long list of people who vouch for you, you won’t have trouble earning jobs. If nobody wants to leave a testimonial, you’re probably generic, because the only people who get testimonials are remarkable.
  • Be famous in your field. You won’t be number one in the world. That’s like winning the lottery. But you can be the leader of your niche. Once you’re the John Lennon of your neighbourhood or market slot, people won’t argue about price, because your worth has become undeniable. Clients only question the skill, resumé and work ethic of nobodies. Clients and employers don’t question the famous—or the prices they ask.
  • Google doesn’t forget. When you apply for a job, recruiters Google you and inspect the hits. Your Facebook photos, your YouTube comments and your blog posts are all put under the microscope. If the recruiter finds anything unflattering, your application goes right into the bin. The problem? You don’t have to be a bonghead, bigot, or ex-con for your online records to sabotage your career. Everything you do leaves a cyber trail. And a recruiter may find something that simply marks you unfit for the job. One solution is to put all your personal media on private, and ask web hosts to delete the rest. The better plan is to overwhelm Google with good content and to permanently act like you’re on Big Brother. 
By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach