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.