Modeling Mashup: Your Template of Success

something-to-ponderME “Liz” Strauss has a regular event called “The Mic Is On!” featuring a topical conversation in the comments. It’s a cool idea, and though I wasn’t able to make it this week, the topic, “We’re Having Parallel Lives” got me thinking about how we can view our ideal selves.

The discussion surrounded who we might like to be in a parallel life or lives. People we find inspiring or interesting, doing things that we’d like to do, and living lives we find exciting.

Rather than just hero worship these types of visualizations can be productive. A technique called modeling, is a great way to create a shortcut to success by modeling the behavior of those already successful in the area you are focusing on. Though there are different views on the technique, I’ve found it to be very effective.

The term mashup describes mixing pieces of different songs, videos, or Web sites to make a new work.

So instead of parallel lives, what about creating a “Modeling Mashup” of our role models? Think of 5 to 10 people (real or fictional) you find to be living the “ideal” life. Those that embody your idea of success, or that represent an area of success for you. Then visualize a mashup of those models to get a sort of template of your ideal model. Do you want Trump’s money and business acumen, with Jobs’ flair, Branson’s sense of adventure, and Oprah’s compassion? Who exemplifies those qualities, or maybe just a single quality, you find important to have in your life? Here’s my current list:

  • Alton Brown – truly loves what he does, knowledgeable and funny (sort of the hipster of the culinary world).
  • Bill Amend – Foxtrot cartoonist – funny and a little bit geeky.
  • Charles Schulz – an extraordinary cartoonist and my first hero.
  • Dave Barry – one of the funniest people on the planet.
  • Heathcliff ‘Cliff’ Huxtable – the epitome of cool, funny, and loving dad.
  • Jeffrey Gitomer – sales guru with entertaining approach.
  • Malcolm Gladwell – incredible and prolific writer who sometimes ticks people off.
  • Peter Max – one of the greatest artists of all time.
  • Steve Jobs – creative and a great business mind.
  • Wayne Dyer – great speaker, big thinker, and loving father.

Think of your own success models and mix them together into the perfect representation of success. It’s a fun and creative way to help get an idea of what you consider to be the necessary ingredients for a successful and fulfilling life.

Happy mashing!


  1. Hi Tony,
    I think I would have to include
    two women who worked for me — Joellyn and Martha — one is sunlight the other is grace

    Add the heart and the music of Pwter Gabriel
    the soul of a rock group Sonya Dada
    the twinkle in the eyes of Dennis Quaid
    the sense of self that was Katherine Hepburn
    and the ideas of Tom Peters
    with a mixture of Steven Spielburg as a flower farmers who reads books to children.


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