How To Become An Authority In Your Field

Leigh Peele was one of the very first students to take part in both my Blog Mastermind and Membership Site Mastermind programs and follow through all the steps to launch her own blog and information products. Today she has created lifestyle freedom thanks to her online business helping other people lose fat.

I’ve invited Leigh to share some of her experiences running her online business, and today she begins with this analysis of what it has taken for her to become an authority in her niche and how you can do the same…

Generally humans have a fear of being different. While we may think we want popularity and attention, it is easier to blend. Blending may mean less of an impact or legacy in life, but it also means less ridicule and judgment.

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” – Chanel

Being an authority means to be different and to stand out from the crowd. It means to become a leader and an expert in learning your craft. Notice, I did not say it means to be an expert of your craft. The first rule of being an expert is to acknowledge you will never be one. All anyone can ever do is try to educate themselves on their craft with as little bias and agenda as possible.

Competition Raises The Bar

In my field, health and fitness, I am constantly regarded as an expert and authority on a variety of topics that go beyond “eat a handful of almonds and do your sit-ups.” Anyone can do that. Anyone can take a small course, read a few magazines or websites, and produce a handful of articles that will get lost in the shuffle of the blog madness.

There are currently now two billion internet users around the world. There are almost 300 million websites with over 100 million of them being blogs. That is your competition and it will only grow because the online world is still like a new toy.

The internet hasn’t been harnessed even close to what it will be in the future. Yes, there are outliers and people who get by on lucky connections or one good idea. The rest of us can’t be average in passion. You can’t be average in knowledge. You can’t be average in your skills. I believe in order to survive; you must be an authority in your field.

To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.” – Albert Einstein

6 Steps To Become An Authority

1. Go the extra mile for knowledge

Different fields are going to propose different challenges. In my field, it means taking the time to dive into mounds of research on very difficult topics. This can apply to anything. For example, if your niche is knitting it may mean you going that extra mile to read up on a different technique or design that has become popular. You can probably tell I don’t know anything about knitting, but you hopefully see my point. Continuing your education and not getting “set in your ways” shows in your work.

Don’t be afraid to go the distance and do the thing the other guy isn’t willing to or can’t do.

2. Break through your comfort zones

What is uncomfortable to one may be easy to another. While I love my job (and I mean LOVE my job) it doesn’t mean I am always comfortable. What makes you uncomfortable could be dealing with new technology or talking to people and networking. It could be shutting off the TV and giving something your quiet and undivided attention. Change takes time and often change is not comfortable, but will give you extreme growth in your field and as a person.

3. Be unafraid to voice your opinion

You have to understand (and this is easier said than done) that people aren’t always going to like you. The more popular you become, the more people will surface who don’t like what you say. We don’t all have the same beliefs or opinions.

Personally, I don’t understand how someone doesn’t think that Felix Da Housecat’s mix of Nina Simone’s Sinnerman isn’t one of the greatest musical creations on earth – but that is me. You are wrong, but you can have your opinion and I have mine.

If your topics and opinion break away from the normal conversation, you may find yourself the target of unfriendly comments. You shouldn’t try to find controversy, but you shouldn’t be afraid to speak your mind and be who you are.

4. Care more about quality control than making money or keeping others happy

If you think there aren’t moments I want to make something up or take the easy road out, think again.

I get tempted all the time by big money offers or easy outs. I have literally said no in the past year to easily $100,000 in opportunities. I do not come from a silver spoon upbringing – not even close. That is more than my family made in four years when I was growing up.

In the end, your integrity and authority is one of the few things you have that sets you apart. Sometimes saying no to what others will say yes to, gets you further in the long term. Let’s hope I am not wrong in that, eh?

Building relationships is extremely important, but not at the cost of your morals or beliefs.

5. Be respectful and have tact

I am not going to lie to you – I can be a bit of a debater. People who know me and follow my work may think that is an understatement. Truthfully, I still have my moments of letting my passions get the best of me. While there is nothing wrong with debating or voicing your opinion on things, the manner you choose to do it is important.

If you take a look at leaders like Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or Mother Teresa – these people made extreme impacts on our lives and the world. You will be hard-pressed to find them being jerks to others to make their point. Tact and respect for others were their strong suits.

People don’t change by screaming in their face or trying to convince them they need something they don’t. People change by opening up their minds to new possibilities when they feel comfortable to do so.

Respect your passion and respect the people you interact with.

6. Reach out for help from others

Presidents and kings have aids and advisers – don’t think you are above it.

No one can be there all the time and know it all. As entrepreneurs we sometimes live by the “I’ll do it myself!” way of thinking.

I was extremely guilty of this until last year. I am slowly learning to let go of control and my ego. You know what I found? I was pretty bad at a lot of things others are better at! Maybe I know my research, but I am a horrible organizer. The dots will connect and lead you to doing a better job when you reach out your hand for help.

Whether from a personal assistant, an educator, or competitor in your field – there is never a bad side to gaining knowledge or relief from other people. Learn that you can’t do everything by yourself. Learn that cutting corners almost always leads to lackluster results.

Leigh Peele

About Leigh Peele

Leigh Peele is a nationally published author and expert in the field of fat loss. Currently, she has two successful ebooks, a membership site, and endless options in clients and business opportunity. She is now taking her time to help others grow in the business of marketing and blogging. You can find more information at http://www.leighpeele.com

Follow Yaro

View Yaro Starak's profile on LinkedIn
Follow us on Instagram

23 Comments

  • Great tips, thanks!

    This line made me laugh: “I don’t know anything about knitting, but you hopefully see my point.”

    Knitting needles… point… I get it.

    Joking aside, great advice all around. Items #3 and #6 have been my personal areas of opportunity, which I continue to work on. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Excellent article Leigh. I’ve read ChrisG’s book on authority. This post takes it a level up I guess. Nice thoughts. Thanks for sharing. I hope I will be able to build a very strong authority.

  • Becoming an Authority is not an overnight adventure, but it sure is fun! Thank you for the great post. It is fuel to keep us on target.

  • To become an authority one needs to be polite enough and should have the knowledge of getting the work done from others. The post here has mentioned very good points.

  • I particularly like the tip on quality control! You are right , you just cnt let any Tom , dick and harry to talk you in to something… if you are building your business long term you need to let instant gratification go and and strive for the long term, that is what the world needs! People like you are entrepreneurs who will be leaders of the industry… we dnt need more business people, they are only in for the money short term and do not care about the society, its all about the personal gain!

  • “Go the extra mile for knowledge” is key to becoming an authority.

    Writing a book is also a very powerful way to become an authority in your field.

    Author = Authority.

  • “Personally, I don’t understand how someone doesn’t think that Felix Da Housecat’s mix of Nina Simone’s Sinnerman isn’t one of the greatest musical creations on earth – but that is me.”

    Most people will agree with you here, if only because they don’t get past the triple negation construct.

    That aside, a great article!

  • Soild information. Always good to read a success story!

  • Great insights Leigh!

    I especially like #4 – I think we all waste too much time trying to please others. Love the Einstein quote, I hadn’t heard that one 🙂

    I hopped over and checked out your blog and I really like it – You’ve picked one of the most crowded niches on earth and you do a great job standing out.

    Continued success!

  • This is good stuff Leigh. I’m glad that you brought up the dreaded “comfort zone”. It’s something I talk about often when I’m speaking or in private consultation. I truly believe that we cannot reach our full potential without pushing through the anxiousness and fear that keeps us from growing. Thanks!

  • One thing I would add as a precursor to the tips provided here is that you have to first realize that you do have valuable information to share and that you don’t need anyone’s permission to be an expert.

    We get really preoccupied in our society with academic achievement and letters after our name. These things have their place, but I think it intimidates many people from sharing the insights, experience, expertise and passion that they have.

  • […] read an excellent article on How to Become an Authority In Your Field today. It’s a guest post by Leigh Peele on Yaro Starak’s blog. Here are my comments on […]

  • Excellent advice – particularly the tip that you will never be the definitive expert. Get over it. Accept that otherwise you will never be “ready.” But speaking out has been my dilemma – I am not content to blend in. As a result, I do stand out and my voice is authentic, but I pay a price. I am my own worst critic. I will reprocess what I’ve said and then worry I’ve offended someone. However, if I know I am authentic and am not trying to impress, I can set myself free.

  • The part about help from other is great. Too often people think that to be an authority means doing it themselves.

  • I don’t think that it’s accurate to say that “Being an authority means to be different and to stand out from the crowd.” Sure, being different and standing out from the crowd are part of a successful business strategy, and will help you succeed in business, but alone it doesn’t make you an authority. As a business strategy consultant I can put on a clown costume, walk into any meeting, and be noticed, but it doesn’t mean I know what I’m talking about.

    As an example all you have to do is try and find an internet marketer online. You’ll be faced with thousands of choices, depending on your geographical span, each claiming to be an expert. Moreover, you’ll be bombarded with quick tips, secrets, formulas to success, top 10 hits, and other silver bullets claiming to have your sales skyrocketing in no time. How do you decide who to trust, and how to measure their skills? Sharing insights, experience, expertise and passion is important, but does not make you an expert without a solid foundation.

    Regardless of technology the fundamentals of business have not changed. To become an expert, you need education, experience, and some success through execution. When I say education I don’t mean a college or online course. I’m talking about the time tested degree in a relevant field, as well as continuing education through additional courses and literature. The school of hard knocks is important, but falls under experience, not education. This of course applies more to things like business and industry, rather than knitting.

    Having said that, I’m a big supporter of point 5, because I often see people become successful and unfortunately arrogant at the same time.

  • Hey Yaro and Leigh,

    I like some of the points you brought up Leigh… especially about being unique and different. I feel that there are a flood of personal growth blogs out there… and I have still found a way to stand out… I don’t have tens of thousands of followers (yet) but I have found a way to be unique. It’s not because I’ve got some cool blog design or a membership site, but because of my videos.

    I even had one client say she could really connect with me and felt that I was at her level. Who would have known?

    • You can make an amazing living treating a few like a million bucks 😉

  • Great article, I think having the commitment to do the thing you’re most afraid want to try most is the key to finding fulfillment.

  • Fantastic post, Leigh. Agreed with all points you touched on. You absolutely have to select a niche and try to dominate it as much as possible over your competitors to be successful today. Belief in your product or services and maintaining integrity is also very important in the long run.

  • […] Peele is well-respected in her realm of weight loss and she explains how you can become an authority in your field too. The biggest take-home lesson is that you have to accept being different. […]

  • That’s a very interesting story and I fully agree, one of the most important factors to success is to be different and to stand out from the crowd. And also, integrity and providing outstanding quality surely pays off in the long run. Thanks for the great tips.

  • I completely agree with not being afraid to voice your opinion no matter how potentially controversial it may be. The more honest one is the more others will appreciate you.

    Being respectful of someone leaving a nasty or negative comment on your blog can be difficult to deal with. I agree that taking a deep breath, or several deep breaths, before firing off a too heated response is a good piece of advice.

    Here’s to endless opportunities.

    Andrew

  • Love this post Leigh! I think your points are right on the money! (no pun intended!).
    I think authority is a much overlooked quality of being a successful entrepreneur.

    Best,
    Warren

  • I find myself coming to your blog more and more often to the point where my visits are almost daily now!

  • […] How to Become an Authority in Your Field by Leigh Peele (@leighpeele) […]

Follow Yaro: Email | RSS | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube