People in the music industry often ask me, "So who is someone you've worked with that I would know?" In other words, "Who is someone well-known or 'popular' you've worked with?" My internal response to that question is, "If it's someone of notoriety who doesn't have a good image or doesn't give a good interview, why would their name alone make you impressed with me?" It's just like a photographer I once knew who said he often got the same question, "Who is someone 'big' you've photographed?" His response: "If the pictures themselves looked like POOP, what difference does it make if I photographed a George Strait or a Garth Brooks?" It's our work that should speak for itself.
I recently read a short but interesting blog entry from Seth Godin entitled "What's the Point of Popular?" which speaks to this concept. You should really check it out!
Then there's the opposite end of the spectrum, when people in the music industry try to impress me with whom they or their client is, knows, or has worked with. I've even had a few people drop names in the expectation that I would provide them or their clients consulting services for free as a result. (Seriously? I'm pretty sure they wouldn't work for free, regardless of who it's for! Sorry, temporary time-out needed to vent!)
What matters to me is not someone's name or who their famous relative is, but instead their work ethic and their attitude. Someone who is humble enough to know and understand the hard work it takes to earn respect and recognition, and someone who in turn understands and respects the hard work others provide to help them achieve their goals. These are the kind of people that make my work joyful, and make it easier for me to decide who I 'm going to take on as clients the times my schedule is limited! (Just like Godin says, "When you focus on delighting an audience you care about, you strip the masses of their power.") These are the ones who grow in their success (not necessarily their popularity) and go on to do great things!