If you’ve ever wanted to become a celebrity (or just have people think you are), then I have a great story to share with you. It’s about how a regular guy from Ohio who runs a copier and printer company ended up in the front row of a celebrity golf outing photo.
Yea, that guy is me (I’m third from the right), and I certainly learned a lot from the experience. So, here are my four tips on achieving momentary greatness by accident, all while raising money for a great cause.
1. Work hard, manage a company full of great people and get an invitation to a celebrity golf outing.
Graphic Enterprises has been a trusted dealer of Konica Minolta copiers, printers and multi-function printers for decades. Last month, I traveled to San Diego as a guest of Konica Minolta, a major sponsor of the 18th Annual American Airlines Celebrity Golf and Tennis Weekend to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. I was honored to attend and pay tribute to our friends, employees and customers who have battled cancer.
As a charity event with elaborate fundraising expectations, I knew the weekend would feature first-class accommodations and spectacular entertainment. However, I had no idea the entertainment would include me.
2. Be nice to everyone you meet and follow their directions without asking.
As I was leaving my hotel room on the opening day of the tournament, I met a very friendly and energetic golf outing participant. At the conclusion of our conversation, she told me it was time for our group photo and directed me to the location. I never thought to ask about the details. We joined a group of other guests and posed for what I thought was a simple photograph.
3. Recognize when people are buzzing about you.
As the day went on and golfers began to talk about the photo, I quickly realized I had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was the only non-celebrity in an all-celebrity photograph that would be framed and auctioned at the weekend’s formal closing dinner! Just my luck!
4. Accept the honor (and the expense) graciously.
My mistake led to lots of buzz (and laughter) throughout the weekend, and none of the celebrity guests would allow me to leave San Diego without owning this piece of history. So, with a special gift to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, I now own the wonderful photo above.
Being a celebrity for a couple days was exciting, but the true highlight was being among generous individuals who also support a cause I believe in. And that legacy – which, I hope, will include finding a cure for cancer – is certain to last far longer than just one weekend.