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Can You Describe Yourself In Four Words? This Author And Columnist Says Doing That Could Be Game Changing

Jeryl Brunner

Before he was a gossip columnist breaking celebrity news with his Naughty But Nice column, Rob Shuter was a celebrity publicist for 15 years. Working with many stars including Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Simpson, this New York-based publicist was not only the person who they turned to for guidance, he had a unique perspective on how they operated day-to-day.
Rob ShuterCourtesy Rob Shuter

Jon Bon Jovi flew Shuter to all of his concerts on a private jet just so he could escort out the press. He was responsible for ensuring that a pear was always within feet of Jennifer Lopez. Jessica Simpson called Shuter before she told her then-husband, Nick Lachey, that they were getting divorced.

Being involved in the lives of the best and the brightest, Shuter quickly discovered it wasn’t talent all his super successful clients had in common. Rather, what all these extraordinary people share is they know exactly who they are—in just four words.

He got a real understanding of what made them successful. “Every successful person knows who they are,” he explains. “It’s the most important question you’ll ask. “Who am I?” Only people who are comfortable in their own skin can answer it.”

Shuter took his knowledge and wrote the book, The 4 Word Answer: Who Are You In 4 Words? (Post Hill Press).

“Every super-successful person I have ever met can describe themselves in just a few simple words,” he explains. “And only those who know the answer will be successful. I’m going to help you discover who you are in just four words!”

Shuter shared more.

One of the four words all your celebrity clients had in common was “kind.” Why is that so?

Acceptance is the cornerstone of kindness and no one accepts themselves more than Jennifer Lopez. Jeniffer taught me how to be comfortable in their own skin. Nothing is kinder than accepting yourself. Jennifer doesn’t say cruel things to herself.

She has silenced the voice that tells us that we are “not good enough.”

Another word you say is essential for success is “smart." In fact, you have a whole chapter on being smart and Jessica Simpson.

Jessica Simpson, like so many other successful people, believes that the only thing that makes anyone smart is their willingness to try. Smart people think about winning, not losing. It’s a positive mindset. Watering dead plants never brings them back to life. Also, every smart person sets a deadline.

You write about how Diddy taught you to believe you are important. Why is that so?

Diddy taught me that the most important person in your life is you. When people don’t like you, leave. He sees rejection as a gift that guides him to the path that is right for him. Most importantly I learned from Diddy that if you are not doing the work, you don’t deserve the results

What is one of your favorite celebrity quotes in the book?

Diddy told me, “If you are chasing your dreams, you are not running fast enough.”

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New York based journalist who has written for Forbes, Parade, InStyle, National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and The Wall Street Journal. Author of the book "My City, My New York, Famous New Yorkers Share Their Favorite Places" and podcaster, ("When Lightning Strikes"). I cover the arts, theater, entertainment, food, travel and people who are motivated by their joy and passion.

New York City, NY

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