Why Meeting Your Small Business Heroes is a Good Idea

Space Ghost

I heard a song on the radio today by Metric that said:

“They were right when they said we should never meet our heroes.”

It got me thinking about the people in business I’ve looked up to, and then met. Was it a bad idea? Not in my experience.

First there was Wendy Piersall. She used to run Sparkplugging, a blog with all kinds of crazy good business content. I had such an intellectual crush on her. Then I met her. I was just as impressed. It was like meeting a rock star for me at the time. And she turned out to be so supportive of me: she took me under her wing, added me to the blogroll, then pushed me out of the nest and onto bigger things when the time was right.

Then there was Anita Campbell, founder of Small Business Trends. Come to think of it, maybe Wendy sent me there as a place to guest post. At any rate, once I met Anita (virtually first, then years later, in person), I was in awe of her poise and business savvyness. (word?) I learned so much from her models of her businesses. And now? I work with her on a lot of projects. I’m always proud when I can be associated with her brand, as it’s so respected.

This year at a conference, I met Norm Brodsky, entrepreneur extraordinaire, and writer at Inc. Some people get sweaty and excited about meeting The Stones. For me, standing there with him was more thrilling. He’s such a nice guy, and always responds to my tweets. Take that, Justin Bieber.

I think the point of the lyric in the song was to say that sometimes our heroes don’t live up to our expectations in person. I disagree. They always do–and more. And seeing them up close and personal makes them human, which to me only serves as more inspiration for the entrepreneur I’m trying to be.

So who do you look up to? Who could you not possibly imagine meeting? I challenge you to introduce yourself. I guarantee that business owner will be happy to meet a fan, and might even have some advice for you!

Photo: Creative Commons License Kevin Dooley via Compfight

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