Friday, December 2, 2011

How to Get People to Do What You Want

The following discussion post is the result of one of my recent PhD assignments.  As many of you know, I am pursuing my PhD in psychology through Capella University.  I thought it was general enough to be of interest to you guys.  Enjoy. 

DISCUSSION QUESTION: How would you instruct an individual to be more or less conforming, compliant, or obedient? Support your approach with citations from the text and resources you have used.

BY: Monroe Mann
DATE: December 2, 2011

Both the Milgram (1963) experiment and Kassin, Fein, & Markus (2008) explain that in order to get someone to do what you want to do, the easiest (and most assured) way of doing so is to slowly chip away at their defenses. In other words, it is very difficult to make someone do a full 180 in one fell swoop; it is far easier to get someone to make small 1 degree changes in succession. This is one of the key reasons why the Milgram experiment worked--the experimenter asked the subjects to give the shocks in small incrementally-larger amounts. Had the experimenter simply said, "Give the learner an XXX level shock," the subjects would in all likelihood not have complied.

Before discussing ways to avoid falling victim to unwanted compliance, it is important to first understand some of the key compliance and persuasive strategies that psychologists have proven to work effectively. Kassin, Fein, & Markus (2008) provide a number of these strategies that can be used to help secure compliance with your wishes:

a) WORDS: simply by putting the word 'because' in your request, you will increase the likelihood of the other person's compliance. Further, by making your request as odd as possible, you also increase the odds that the target person will stop his thought processes and actually consider what you are requesting.

b) RECIPROCITY: No one likes to be in someone else's debt. In other words, if someone gives you a gift, you are in all likelihood going to reciprocate in some way, in an effort to even things out. Therefore, if you want someone to do something, you might want to give that person a gift first.

c) FOOT IN THE DOOR: Get someone to COMPLY with a small request first, and then they will be more likely to later agree to the more important real request.

d) LOW-BALLING: Get someone to AGREE with a small request first, and then turn around and increase the size of the original request, and the person is likely to feel an obligation to go through with the transaction anyway. Notice that low balling and foot in the door are virtually the same, except in the latter, you only need 'agreement' whereas in the former, you also need 'compliance'.

e) DOOR IN THE FACE: This is the opposite of the foot in the door. Instead of securing compliance with a small request and following up with a larger request, this technique starts with a HUGE outlandish request, and upon rejection, follows up with a smaller (real) request. An example might work with a girl: if you first invite her to marry you, she will likely laugh and say no, but then, when you ask her to dinner, it doesn't seem so bad. :) The same technique is the punchline to a joke I once heard. A college student writes home to her parents: "I'm sorry, and I don't know what to tell you, but I'm pregnant, I crashed the car you let me borrow, I was arrested for attempted murder, and I need you to bail me out of jail. Actually, none of that is true. I just wanted you to know I scored an F in biology. -Jenny" This technique is also sometimes called the 'high ball' technique.

f) THAT'S NOT ALL FOLKS: In this reverse of the "door in the face", you would first make an inflated request, and then, soften it up and reduce the perceived size of the request by offering a discount or a bonus. In this case, the price remains the same, but you increase the value by adding additional items or nicknacks. This is like the 'high ball/door in the face' technique, but a) the starting amount here is at least somewhat reasonable, and b) the amount does NOT change (as it does in the high-ball). g) AUTHORITY: If you can come across as a person of authority, people will tend to obey you. If you can act like you are a true authority figure, that will help. If you can wear a uniform that conveys authority, that will help. If your name or title bring with them a nature of authority, that too will help.

h) SOCIAL IMPACT THEORY: Latane (1981) believes that social influence is a result of three factors: 1) the source's strength, 2) the source's immediacy, and 3) the source's number. The strength of a source "is determined by his or her status, ability, or relationship to a target. The stronger the source, the greater the influence." (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2008). Immediacy simply refers to how close the source is in time and space to the target. Finally, number means that the influence of a single source will increase with the addition of more sources up to a total of FOUR. Beyond four, the effect was negligible.

Therefore, if someone wanted to be more or less compliant, here are the factors he must consider:

a) be aware of the words someone says--to be less compliant, don't let words like 'because' influence you;

b) be aware of the effects of receiving something from someone else--to be less compliant, be suspicious whenever someone gives you a gift or does you a favor, and do not feel obligated to satisfy the social norms of society, i.e. reciprocity;

c) be aware of the various sequential request strategies (foot in door, low-balling, door in face, and that's not all)--the more aware you are of these techniques, the less likely you are to succumb to their effects.

d) be aware of the authority of the person making the request--to avoid blind compliance, truly consider the source's authority, and whether he really has the authority to make the particular request he is making.

e) be aware of the source's strength--consider who the person is who is talking to you if you want to be sure you are not being influenced solely because of the person's relationship to you;

f) be aware of the source's immediacy--to avoid becoming blindly compliant, consider where the source is in relation to you when making his request; also consider the surrounding events in terms of the time period in which the request is being made.

g) be aware of the source's number--if there are 2, 3, 4, or more people 'pressuring' you to do something, do not succumb to what is often known as 'peer pressure' or sometimes the 'tyranny of the majority'. Stay independent and trust your judgment. (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2008).

Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2008). Social psychology. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral study of obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67(4), 371-378.
No Rules, No Excuses, No Regrets (r)
-Monroe Mann, Esq, MBA, ME

P.S. - google me. amazon me. youtube me. itunes me. imdb me. facebook me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Word on Confidence & Chutzpah


Years ago, I would walk down the streets of Manhattan and see women WAY "out of my league" (whatever THAT means) walk by me, and I wanted so much to be with these types of girls. I never was.

One day, about 10 years ago, I said, "DUDE, man up! The only way you are going to get a gorgeous girlfriend is by talking to gorgeous girls!" So, from that moment on, as soon as I saw a pretty girl, I approached. Without thinking. Even just to say, "Hi". Sometimes, it was really awkward. More often than not, she said hi back, smiled, and a conversation was off and running.

THE KEY: I never said hi with any expectation. My mission was just to approach and say hi--as soon as I saw her. And wow, it changed my life around, because my confidence in ALL AREAS of life have skyrocketed as a result of that.

You can apply this to all areas of your life.  If you are scared to do something, make it a habit that as soon as you starting thinking, "Oh no, I can't do that," you FLIP THE SWITCH and automatically do that thing.  At first, it's super hard, but honestly, once you get the hang of it, it becomes really easy.

Using this technique, I acted my way into the Cannes Film Festival; I had a one-on-one cocktail with Ed Norton at a party in Manhattan; I got CAA agent Jim Toth (Reese Witherspoon's husband) on the phone and talked to him for 20 minutes about Rachel Bilson and my wakeboarding film; and this list goes on and on. 

Years ago I realized something.  Confidence is not acting without fear.  It is acting DESPITE your fear.  So suck it up, put your shoulders back, put a smile on your face, and... APPROACH!

Hope this helps!
-Monroe Mann, Esq
Author, "Guerrilla Networking" (with JCL), "Time Zen", "The Theatrical Juggernaut", and the upcoming, "Romantic Suicide."
Check out my motivational album "Get Off Your Ass" on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby

Saturday, June 4, 2011

How to Reduce Your Credit Card Interest Rates.

F.A.M.E. -- The 'F' in FAME stands for 'Financial Advisor'

by Monroe Mann, MBA

Guess what?  You are probably needlessly paying more in credit card interest than you legally have to.  And by simply reducing your interest rates, you will end up with more money in your pocket at the end of each month.   Sounds great, right?

Well then, just follow these three simple steps, and voila, your interest rates should drop:
a) Take out one of your credit cards from your wallet/purse.
b) Call the customer service number on the back.
c) When someone answers the phone, say these words, "Hi, I am calling about lowering my interest rate.  May I please speak to someone about that?"

If you do this with each of your credit cards, the odds are in your favor that they will have the authority to decrease your interest rates on the spot.  How do I know this works?  Because I have done it numerous times.  In fact, I did this just today with my Capital One credit card, and had one of my interest rates reduced by over 5%.  This is a significant amount if your balance is high.  This is still a significant amount even if your balance is low--cause why should you pay for interest you don't have to pay?

Are there exceptions to this three-step system?  Yes, of course.  Sometimes I call up and they say, "I'm sorry, we don't have any interest rate reduction offers at this time."  In that case, ask to speak with a supervisor.  Often, the front-line customer service reps are not authorized to reduce your interest rate, but a supervisor can.

You might be wondering: "Why would they agree to reduce my interest rate?"  The answer is simple: they want to keep you as a customer.  By lowering your interest rate, they encourage you to pay off more of your credit card balance.  The more of that balance that is paid off, the more likely you will again use that credit card to make purchases.  The more often you use that credit card to make purchases, the more interest income the credit card companies will make.  See--they are not lowering the rates just to be nice; they are lowering the rates in an effort to woo you as a customer.  If you close the account due to a high interest rate, they will lose you as an interest paying customer.  They would rather appease you in the short term than lose you in the long term, and that's just good business no matter what country you are from.

If after all your efforts, they still say no--do not give up.  Just wait two months, and call them again, and ask the same question.  I can virtually guarantee that eventually, you will receive an interest rate reduction if you keep asking.

Sometimes, the interest rate reduction is permanent.  Sometimes it is only for a short period of time (three to seven months).  If you receive a short-term reduction, be sure to mark in your calendar when the interest rate is scheduled to increase again--that's your cue to call them back again and--once again--ask for an interest rate reduction.

One other strategy: if you do receive a short-term reduction, work your butt off to pay off as much of that credit card balance as possible during that time.  With the lower rate, your payments will have more bang for the buck, and when/if the rate jumps back up again, you will end up paying less overall because the balance is now much lower than it was when the rate originally was reduced.

I hope this is helpful!

The Science of Stardom - Part IV

Part IV - The Foundation of Stardom & The Four Pillars of Stardom
by Monroe Mann
(c) 2011 by Monroe Mann

The Foundation of Stardom

In Part III, I provided a theoretical foundation for my theory of stardom.  That being said, time to get to the main event here: the science of stardom. 

First off, the talent is NOT why someone succeeds or does not succeed.  It is merely one ingredient.  And frankly, as far as I am concerned, the foundation is NOT amazing talent.  Talent, folks, is assumed.  Either you got it or you don’t, and frankly, it doesn’t matter whether you do or not.  Case in point: how many movie, tv, and rock stars do you know of who you think absolutely stink?  Well, somehow they made it.  Think about that for a moment and then… case closed.  Clearly, they had something else.  Yes, the right attitude and business sense (as I have always said), but more importantly, they probably had a large enough fanbase.

You see, your fanbase is what assures your stardom; not your talent.  Your talent is merely what will get you a fanbase.  And in fact, in many cases, you don’t even need talent to have a fanbase.  Check out the folks on all these reality shows: they display no talent, and yet, they sure do have a fanbase.

Bottom line?  The foundation of stardom is YOUR FANBASE.  And everything you do from this day forward needs to be the development of that fanbase.

The Four Pillars of Stardom

However, a fanbase alone is—as I said—just the foundation.  You still need to build up your career, and this happens by building what I call the four pillars of stardom.

The four pillars (and this is what I figured out when watching the Justin Bieber movie) are: Belief, Connections, Influence, & Resources.  First I’ll explain the four pillars, and then I’ll explain how Justin Bieber’s rise fits into this theoretical framework like a cookie cutter.

  1. PILLAR ONE IS BELIEF: You need someone who believes that you are the greatest thing on the planet and who supports you one-hundred and ten percent.  Not a he’s pretty good type of belief but rather an I unequivocally believe in his greatness and that he is the next big thing! type of belief.
  2. PILLAR TWO IS CONNECTIONS: You next need someone who already has the first pillar who also has connections with people with influence and resources.  You see, a lot of people have connections.  The question is, “what type of connections does this person have?”
  1. PILLAR THREE IS INFLUENCE: You next need someone who has the first two pillars (belief and connections), but more importantly, influence.  In other words, what good is a huge supporter who has powerful connections if that person has no influence over those powerful connections?  You need someone who believes in you, who also knows powerful people, and who has the power to influence those powerful people.
  1. PILLAR FOUR IS RESOURCES: Finally, you next need someone who has the first three pillars (belief, connection, and influence), and also resources.  In other words, what good is a huge supporter who has influence over powerful connections if ultimately those powerful connections do not have the resources to help promote, market, and ‘manufacture’ your platform for stardom?
Bottom line, it doesn’t matter how strong your foundation (i.e. your fanbase) if you lack any of these four pillars. 

Here are some examples:

a)      You can have a team that has belief, connections, and influence… but if you lack the team member with resources, it doesn’t matter how much the team is behind you—you simply cannot sustain your drive to the top.

b)      You can have a team that has belief, connections, and resources… but if you lack the team member with influence to make things happen and get the ball rolling, you will remain mired in a hope and a dream.

c)      You can have a team that has belief, influence, and resources… but if you lack the team member with connections, then you’ll have no one to influence.

d)      You can have a team that has connections, influence, and resources… but if you lack the team member with belief in you, then you’ll have a ready-made machine, with no one inspired to put it in motion on your behalf.

Now, some of you may have realized something.  What is a fan?  In my opinion, after watching this Bieber movie, a true fan is simply someone who... a) has an unequivocal belief in your greatness, has connections, has the ability to influence others, and resources to show their support.  In other words, a fan is someone who thinks you’re awesome, has lots of friends, the ability to turn their friends onto you, and the money to buy your CDs, movies, tshirts, books, etc. 

Think about all this for a moment, and you’ll realize that it makes complete and perfect sense: who is at the top of the media ladder?  You are.  Next?  The fans.  And therefore, the fans are pretty powerful.  That’s why they are the foundation of stardom. 

Next comes the four pillars.  And think about all this a little more: each pillar (i.e. each member of your team) must first and foremost become a FAN before they can become any of the other pillars.  If you have any member of your team who does not first satisfy the test of the first pillar, i.e. unequivocal belief in your greatness, then that team member is essentially useless.   For example, what good is someone with connections without a belief in your greatness—for without that belief, they will not use their connections on your behalf.  Nor will they use their influence.  Nor will they particularly use their resources to help you. 

Anyone and everyone who is on your team must first believe 110% in your awesomeness, and believe that you are going to be the next big thing. 

If not, then you are wasting your time with that person or those people, because they are never ever going to get off their ass and actually do something for you.

Coming up next—what I have been promising the whole time: explaining away the ‘luck’ that everyone claims was responsible for Justin Bieber’s rise to the top.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Is Angelina Jolie lonely?

by Monroe Mann

If you ever feel lonely (particularly my fellow showbiz friends on the drive to the top), read this article (link below) about Angelina Jolie, & the fact that she doesn't have many close friends.

The saying goes, "It's lonely at the top."  Well, folks, guess what: "It's also lonely on the way to the top."

The article ends: "... a dearth of friendships is often one of the costs that many high-achieving women pay for celebrity & success."  The same applies to men.  And the same can apply to romantic relationships too.

So, if you are single or without hundreds of friends on your drive to the top... take heart!  This is just part of the burden your career path requires you carry. 

But (I wouldn't leave you without a 'but'!), I want you to smile.  Why?  Cause it'll be worth it in the end. :)

Here's the article:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

T.R.U.S.T.™ - or, how to get people with money to invest it with you and your project!

by Monroe Mann, Esq.
(c) 2011 by Monroe Mann

After losing a major (multi-millionaire) investor in 2004, I decided I would try to figure out WHY.  I came up with this acronym:

T - Track Record
R - Rate of Return
U - Unique Investment Opportunity
S - Systems
T - Team

Bottom line: if you lack any of these T.R.U.S.T.™ factors, you are probably not going to get someone to invest in you.  On the other hand, if you can meet all five T.R.U.S.T.™ factors, people with money (who are looking to invest) are going to bring out their checkbooks.  And they did... for my most recent project, "You Can't Kill Stephen King"--i.e., this technique works.

Now, of course, there are many other reasons why a deal can fall apart, but these five T.R.U.S.T.™ factors are all things that YOU can control.  YOU can create a track record for yourself.  YOU can create an investor prospectus that shows a high chance for a decent rate of return.  YOU can create a unique investment opportunity.  YOU can create systems in which investors will trust.  And YOU can put together a rock-solid team that instills confidence in your potential investors.

I'll be writing more about this later, but for now, I suggest you make a two-columned list why you meet (or don't meet) each of these five factors.  When you do, you will be well on your way to getting potential investors to T.R.U.S.T.™ you.

Oh, and as P.S., if you are raising money for an entertainment project, and you spout of fifty reasons why your investor will make lots of money, I wouldn't trust you.  Tell them the truth, "You are probably going to lose all of your money, but if we do make money, we're going to make a lot of it.  But... you are probably going to lose it.  Do this because you love the project; not because you expect to ever see your money again."

[Legal notice: The acronym T.R.U.S.T. is a legal trademark of attorney Monroe Mann.]

The Science of Stardom - Part III

Part Three - The Media Ladder
by Monroe Mann
(c) 2011 by Monroe Mann

The Media Ladder

Years ago, I wrote and published a motivational book called, The Theatrical JuggernautThe Psyche of the Star (which by the way has over 35 five-star reviews on Amazon). 

In the third edition, which I have been working on for years, I have been writing about something I call The Media Ladder™.

The Media Ladder™ is my theory on the easiest way to ‘make it’ to the top.  I came up with this theory long before I ever heard of Justin Bieber, and you’ll need to understand it before we move on to the next part of my theory.

At the top of the ladder is YOU.  It progresses as follows:

YOU -->

It’s pretty simple to understand: You are at the top of the ladder—along with your talent—and if you follow it, rung by rung, you will soon be at the top. 

You see, once you start performing or doing your thing, soon enough, you should have some fans. 

Get enough fans, and the media is going to take notice.  For instance, if suddenly you have 10,000 fans screaming at a show, the media is going to want to interview you.  That’s a guarantee. 

Next, if the media is publishing articles about you, and you are being interviewed on tv talk shows, you can bet that the industry too is going to start to take notice.  For instance, if some unknown artist suddenly appears on the cover of People Magazine or Rolling Stone, record labels and movie producers are soon going to be calling that ‘unknown’ artist to get them into a contract. 

Finally, once you’re with a record label, or in a movie, or on Broadway or whatever, the brokers (i.e. the talent agents and casting directors, etc.) are finally all going to want to work with you.

Now, this is the surefire way to make it to the top.  Is it easy?  Nope.  But it helps explain something: most people never make it to the top because they fail to follow the rungs of the ladder consecutively, and in most cases, they simply failed to amass a large enough fan base. 

Most aspiring professional actors/musicians I know constantly bemoan the fact that they don’t have an agent, and yet, where are the agents on the ladder?  The bottom!   Why is everyone reaching for the bottom rung on the ladder when the closest one and easiest one to grab (the fanbase ladder) is just a foot away?

This doesn’t mean that agents are not important—but ask yourself this question: who is ultimately more important to an artist’s career longevity—his agent or his fans?  If a star has to choose between his millions of fans, or his agent… the choice should be clear.  Ditch the agent.  With a million-person fanbase, another agent will quickly come along.

So this is the first reason why most people do not ‘make it to the top’—they are focusing on the wrong end of the ladder.  While they should be focusing on developing a fanbase, they are focusing on ‘getting an agent’.  Folks: it is SO much easier to get a devoted fan than it is a devoted agent.  And ultimately, the power of a fanbase is more powerful than the power of any agent. 

That being said, can you skip the rungs on the ladder?  Of course.  Some people get a great agent or manager first, and that team member helps develop a larger fanbase.  But don’t you realize that the agent actually became a FAN first?!  And that the agent saw the potential of that artist to amass a fanbase, and get media and industry attention, and that is why the agent picked up the artist?  

Folks, no agent will work with someone he is not first a fan of in some capacity.  No agent or manager will work with someone who he doesn’t think has potential to create a large fan base that will ultimately pay the agents’ commissions!  Do you get this?

Yes, the whole idea is to garner the attention of the media, and ultimately the industry—but that happens by first having a strong fanbase.  Make sense?  The fans create the desire within the media and the industry and the brokers to work with you—and in return the media, industry, and brokers work together to create for you an even larger fanbase.  Back and forth; back and forth.  Making sense?

But there’s a big caveat here: yes, you can skip rungs on the ladder, and yes, you can still become a success by skipping the middle rungs.  But if you do skip rungs on the ladder, and you do become a success, the odds are that you will become a ‘one-hit wonder’.  For instance, look at American Idol.  This show allows artists to skip many rungs on the ladder, as it attempts to create stars without the artists first having created devoted fanbases.  The show attempts to ‘manufacture stardom’. 

This is why—in my opinion—most (but not all) of the contestants (and even the winners) are no longer in the limelight a couple years after their appearances on the show—the fans were manufactured so quickly that they disappeared just as fast.  These fans were not there through the artist’s many years of difficult struggle so they don’t have all that much invested in this artist’s longevity. 

Have some American Idol contestants gone on to stardom?  Yes, but the biggest stars in the music business (and also showbusiness and entertainment in general) are those who followed the rungs of the ladder consecutively, or at the very least, amassed an appreciable fanbase independent of and prior to any major manufacturing help from the industry. 

Take note: this applies not only to music, but also books (John Grisham, who sold thousands of copies of his books out of the trunk of his car before becoming a bestselling author) and movies (Jim Carrey and Steve Martin, who toured for years as struggling standup comics before becoming movie stars).  But does it apply to up-and-coming actors too, I am often asked?  Many up and coming actors bemoan this theory, telling me, “But authors and bands and comics are different—they all create their own shows so it’s easy to get fans!”  And my response is always the same: “Then produce your own shows!  First off, if becoming a professional actor really means that much to you, then get off your ass and produce your own shows and films in which you star so you too can amass fans!  Hello?!  Second, they are not different.  There is absolutely NO movie or Broadway star today who doesn’t have thousands and thousands of fans—the fans may be audience members visiting from Kansas… or those within the industry that had faith enough in the actor to cast him—BUT ALL SUCCESSFUL ACTORS HAD FANS TOO ON THEIR RISE TO THE TOP.  (And incidentally, sometimes, it just takes one fan to get on the road to stardom—but a very special fan with four very special qualities that I call the four pillars of stardom—which I’ll be talking about in a future blog post.) 

Bottom line: when it comes to success, and to amassing a fanbase, you can’t focus on the reasons it won’t work and the obstacles in your way—you need to focus on the reasons it will work, and figure out ways to overcome those obstacles.  I read recently that when President John F. Kennedy said to his think-tank of scientists, “I want a man on the moon,” they all responded, “It can’t be done.”  Kennedy apparently then asked them to make a full list of every reason why it could not be done.  Then, he thanked them, and took that list, and gave it to a new think-tank of scientists and said, “Here are the reasons it won’t work—I want you to find a solution to each obstacle.”  And… they did.  And the rest is history.  [In case you didn’t know, yes, we put a man on the moon!]

Are there exceptions, i.e. those who made it to the top in other ways besides amassing a fanbase?  Yes, of course, and if you can do it in some other way—great!  But you’re now banking on luck (which is a poor investment of your time).  The better strategy is to invest your time pursuing a strategy that is guaranteed to succeed.  I don’t want to tell you ‘good luck’—I want to tell you ‘put this surefire plan into action’.  And I am going to do that in this article by providing you with something tangible—a formula that you can follow.  I want to provide you with some type of blueprint that you can emulate to get noticed, and ultimately get to the top.

And that—ladies and gentlemen—is coming in the next blog post.  Stay tuned!

(Legal Notice: The term 'Media Ladder'™ is a trademark of Monroe Mann.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Science of Stardom - Part II

Part Two - The Story of Justin Bieber
by Monroe Mann
(c) 2011 by Monroe Mann

First off, if you have not yet seen the Justin Bieber movie, “Never Say Never”… go see it. 

Whether you like Bieber or not is irrelevant—I want you to watch it for the lessons you will learn. 

I am not so much a fan of Justin Bieber as I am now a huge fan of his story.  Further, after you watch the movie, my article here will make a lot more sense.

For those who have not seen the film, his story is relatively simple on its face: Justin Bieber was born in Canada.  At a very young age (2 or 3), Justin showed an amazing talent for rhythm and playing the drums. 

Shortly thereafter, he began to play guitar and sing and years later, he entered a talent show. 

What happened next is the chain of events that led to his stardom:

A) His mom recorded each of Justin’s performances singing each of the songs during the multi-day competition (and other videos) and posted them all on YouTube.

B) He received a huge amount of viewership hits on YouTube from fans. 

C) A new talent manager from Atlanta, GA named Scooter Braun found the videos on YouTube in 2008 while searching for another artist and flew Justin and his mom down to GA.

D) Scooter introduced Justin to the rock star/R&B musician Usher.

E) Usher introduced Justin to the famed record producer L.A. Reid.

F) L.A. Reid ultimately secured Justin Bieber’s signing to Island Records in 2009.

G) Bieber sold out Madison Square Garden about one year later, with no opening act, in less than 15 seconds.

Yes, the above story is simplified, but it is adequately inclusive for the purposes of this article.

All I want you to do for the moment is reread that chain of events.  Try to formulate in your own head what happened.  How could everything have happened so quickly, and apparently so seamlessly?

Think about how amazing it is for an artist to sign to a record label one year as a total unknown, and then to sell out Madison Square Garden (20,000 capacity, plus or minus) one year later.  In just 15 seconds!  THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN PEOPLE! 

Well, clearly, it can happen.  And does happen.  Because it did happen.

And if you follow what I am about to share with you in part III (coming up soon), you can put your best foot forward to try and mimic what happened with Bieber… with your own career.  Stay tuned!  This adventure is just getting started.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Science of Stardom - Part I

Part One - Introduction
by Monroe Mann
(c) 2011 by Monroe Mann

He sold out Madison Square Garden on August 31, 2010 (will no opening act) in 16 seconds, less than three years after officially starting his career, and based solely on his first album. Having achieved this amazing feat, whether you like it or not, he is now considered among the ranks of musician legends Michael Jackson, U2, Madonna, and the Rolling Stones.

His name? Justin Bieber.

Ozzy Ozbourne asks in the television commercial, “What is a Bieber?” The answer is not, “A random fluke success story.”

In this article, I aim to explain why Justin Bieber succeeded, and how anyone else (i.e. you too) can copy what he and his team did to try to reach similar results. While not everyone will have his level of success (and so quickly)… someone has to. As I like to say, “Someone has to be on the cover of the next People Magazine… and it may as well be you.”

Folks, contrary to popular belief, his story is not all about luck (which I do not believe in) and has nothing to do with his talent (there are more talented artists out there). It has to do with what I am calling:

The Science of Stardom.

I saw the movie Never Say Never about a month ago. Never Say Never is the totally inspiring documentary about Bieber and his rise to stardom. After I left the theater, two conflicting thoughts came to my head:

1) HOW INSPIRING. It was so eye opening to see what is possible in this world; to see that it is certainly not impossible to go from obscurity to stardom in just two years (and in Rebecca Black’s case, just two weeks). It really was wonderful to see that the underdog can succeed in the hardest business of them all.

Watching the movie, however, also brought this second thought to mind:

2) HOW DEPRESSING. I thought, “But it was so random. What does this say about my whole theory that there is no such think as luck? Did his success happen completely on a fluke? This can’t be!”

Well, fortunately, on this second point: that’s where I was wrong.

That night after the movie (when I should have been sleeping in prep for day 2 of the California bar exam, lol), all I was doing was tossing and turning, trying to reconcile these two conflicting thoughts in my head. It bothered me SO much that his success was a ‘fluke’. That someone just ‘discovered’ him on YouTube and off went his career. It bothered me so much because I don’t believe in luck; I wanted there to be some method to the madness that is Bieber Fever; I wanted there to be some science behind his stardom.

Well, the following night—after much tossing and turning in my bed—I figured it out. I figured out what exactly had happened.

Keep reading this blog and I’ll keep explaining. Part Two of The Science of Stardom is coming soon.