For the past few years, gossip guru Rob Shuter has opened up his Naughty but Nice podcast, with his signature greeting, “Elo, Elo, Elo!” It’s a perfect show opener for the quirky, Brit-born veteran of all things Hollywood whose past client list as a publicist includes J-Lo, P-Diddy, Jessica Simpson, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Jon Bon Jovi, and many more.
As Friday co-host of Naughty but Nice, I have shared many hilarious and poignant moments with Rob discussing his early years of navigating the Tinseltown-celebrity landscape and how those priceless experiences have paved the way for the successful man he is today.
Having paid his grunt work dues throughout the 90s, today, Rob Shuter has been dubbed “America’s Number ONE Gossip Columnist” by the National Inquirer. His website NaughtyGossip.com posts celebrity news every day with a perfect balance of Rob’s trademark wit, show biz scandals, and of course some sweetness — all embodying the Naughty but Nice brand, which has become a Top 10 Apple podcast loved by all ages.
Yes, Shuter is known for his affinity for gossip delivered with whimsical cockney charm, but he’s more than meets the eye. Behind that accent lies a critical thinker with terrific perspectives on how we can all become happier once we learn to love ourselves. These principles are the basis of his debut book, The 4 Word Answer, in which he shares words of wisdom from his past A-list clients, in conjunction with his keen insight on the power of positive thinking, self-awareness, and putting in the work to become deservedly successful.
With that said, I couldn’t let my access to America’s number one gossip columnist go to waste, now could I? To celebrate his Amazon top-selling book debut, I recently turned the tables on Rob for a special bonus episode of Naughty But Nice. I took over as host of the show, and Rob was my guest. No question was off-limits as I interviewed him about the inspiration behind The 4 Word Answer.
Starting with the basics to get our interview started, I asked Rob to explain what The 4 Word Answer is and why the answer to that question can be both professionally and personally life-defining…
RS: Corey, every super-successful person I have ever met could describe themselves in just a few simple words. In fact, it was the most critical question that they were able to answer. It made them confidently aware of themselves as individuals or their brand as a media personality. They know exactly who they are.
Entire marketing, branding, and PR departments are created with one job at hand —to figure who each client is in just a few words and then promote it. Those comfortable enough in their own skin know how to answer the question “Who are you in 4 words?” And those who can answer this truthfully, through a filter of honesty and self-awareness, will be successful.
CA: I’m reading the book right now, and one chapter really resonated with me right at the start. It’s the chapter on understanding our importance. Not to be confused with the arrogant position of “self-importance.” But instead believing you are important and worthy of success just as much as anyone else. Can you expand on that?
RS: Yes, it’s a pretty solid and reaffirming mantra I learned from Diddy. He taught me never to forget, the most important person in your life is YOU! Your chances for success are significantly increased simply by taking the first step: believing that you are essential. For example, nobody can make Diddy feel unimportant— without his consent. And he would never allow anyone to do that. Don’t ever give anyone that power, and always remember, your thoughts, your ideas, your contributions are important. YOU are important!
CA: You have a fascinating perspective on something so many of us are guilty of, and that is how we are always looking for support and validation from others. Some people thrive on it. However, in The 4 Word Answer, you say, by the time others finally decide to support you, you realize, hey, you’ve been staying the course and still reaching for your goals —without their support. So you never really needed their validation in the first place, right?
RS: Bingo! By the time they support you, you realize you never needed them. Another example from Diddy, he refuses to dim his light for others who don’t shine as brightly or don’t share his vision for success. So rather than risk being seen as less than his authentic self just to get validation from others, he knows that trying to win over people who aren’t on board is a full-time game that he is guaranteed to lose.
Instead, live your life without needing the approval of others. Besides, quite honestly, you’ll never get back the enormous amount of wasted precious time attempting to appease people, and you’re likely never to win them over anyway.
CA: So true, and that’s an excellent segue into another point you make in the book to which I totally relate. What is your advice for what to do when people don’t like you?
RS: Do nothing —except, don’t go around them and don’t hang with them. This goes back to knowing you are important, and that means to question yourself in asking, why would I put myself in a situation with people who don’t like me or with those who don’t have my best interest at hand.
Surround yourself with good people and those who lift you up. And it’s not a one-way street; you support them in return, genuinely wanting the best for them. It’s all about building people up, or at least it should be as I see it.
CA: You really get into self-doubt and rejection in The 4 Word Answer. I find your outlook on both these topics potentially life-changing for readers who struggle with not feeling good enough about themselves or those who are constantly battling the ever-pervasive “imposter syndrome.”
RS: When it comes to doubt, yes, you’re right. We all at one time or another, some more than others, bog ourselves down with doubt. But here’s the thing to remember: we doubt ourselves because someone along the way taught us always to do so. They’ve programmed us to always question ourselves. And so now is the time to recognize this. Identify who those people are, and rid them from your life. They have done enough damage already, keeping you on a cycle of constantly sabotaging yourself and feeling inadequate, which then becomes a familiar and reliable sentiment. Again, it’s a cycle, and only you can stop it.
How do you stop it? Rid yourself of the negative nellies, know yourself and go for your dreams by putting in the work and always being prepared! Nobody can take that away from you when you’ve done the work, and you know your stuff. The best way to eliminate doubt is to be prepared!
CA: And why do you consider rejection a gift?
RS: Oh, because it is a gift, Corey. Rejection is a gift. That’s possibly one of the greatest lessons too that I learned from Diddy. He believes that rejection is a gift telling us that whatever we thought we wanted actually may not be suitable for us or at all what we need.
You have to reframe the word “rejection.” Rejection doesn’t strip away your dreams but rather leads you toward them. It’s not a ‘no’ but rather a ‘yes’ toward something better ahead.
Rejection is simply redirection, allowing us to regroup and recalibrate and try a different execution for reaching our goals. Think of it like feedback or market research that will enable you to look at why someone said no— and that information is priceless to your ability to evolve and get even closer to your ambitions. You’ll find that some of the most successful people in the world got turned down countless times before their big break, but with each ‘no,’ they went back and fine-tuned what they were doing, then came back bringing their A-Game!
You can do it too, and if you’re ready to really change your life, I’m excited to show you how in The 4 Word Answer.
Listen to the bonus episode interview with Rob Shuter on Naughty But Nice.
Check out Rob’s Recent Interview on Elvis Duran’s Morning Show / Order your copy of The 4 Word Answer at Amazon.