Fame is fleeting. And more often than not, it is cruel.
From hoopla to has-been, I've seen it time and again. It's weird — from heroes one day to bums the next.
Just ask Regis Philbin.
Regis single-handedly rescued ABC with his Who Wants to be a Millionaire. At one time, the game show, which ran constantly through the week, was the first, second and third most popular program in the country.
Now comes word that ABC might not even put the show in prime time next year. Audience and interest are down. So, what happened?
I'm sure Kenneth Lay at Enron is asking that same question.
A little more than a year ago, this wily energy executive was being hailed as a brilliant strategist — a guy who managed to make a trading market in energy and use those very pipelines for things like broadband. He was a visionary whose stock traded at 87 dollars a share.
Now, after a failed merger, it's a penny stock and Enron is all but "en-gone."
Or C. Michael Armstrong, still the hard-charging top guy at AT&T. But gone is the swagger and good press he got a few years ago as the turnaround artist whose own broadband binge helped make Ma Bell a 60-plus dollar stock. Now it is down to 17.
Big falls for big guys — a reminder to us all that things can change.
And leave it to me, a guy with a big head, to offer this advice: Don't get a big head. Don't believe all your good press clippings. Don't think you're indestructible. As soon as you do, you're doomed.
I subscribe to a lesson my parents taught me growing up: work hard; stay focused; do it, and only then talk about it — but sparingly. Modestly.
My father hated braggarts. My mother abhorred conceit. And boy did they let me know it, often times with this simple reminder I've so often used on this program: "Stay humble, Neil. In your case, it will come in handy."
And that, my friends, is my final answer.
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Watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World with Neil Cavuto.
Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.