There are more entrepreneurs trying to brand themselves as authorities than ever before. As I mentioned in my last article in this series, positioning yourself as an authority is the smartest thing a business owner can do to generate more revenue.
However, you can only really be an authority, an expert, a thought leader or any of the other synonyms if you perfect your authority status in all three dimensions. If you do not master all three dimensions, you will be seen as a fake and that could cause permanent damage to your business or platform.
The mad rush to the authority designation started about a decade ago. The idea is really simple: If the world sees you as an authority, in your space, people are more likely to take you seriously. They will buy more from you. They will hire you more often and at a higher rate. The opposite is also true: If people see you as a fake, they will completely throw you to the curb.
With millions of people now trying to take advantage of the authority designation, there are hundreds of thousands who are now trying to take the short cut to this celebrity-like status. They think a flashy website or an email marketing account will fool the masses into believing they know what they are talking about.
Unfortunately, you cannot cheat your way to top-expert status and the endless flow of cash that comes with it. In order to establish yourself as an authority and reap the financial rewards, you will have to master all three dimensions.
1. The personal dimension
Your road to authority status needs to start with you. Take a minute and think about five people who you consider to be the pre-eminent authority in their verticals. What do they have in common? They are all students in their space.
The true authority is a life-time student. They are studying as much as they are teaching. If you want to become a world-caliber authority on anything, then you need to be a master of that thing. You must know who all the other top experts in your space are. You should be constantly reading in your industry. You should be published in your space. You cannot be an expert / authority unless you have published a book on the subject.
Becoming an authority starts with a concentrated effort on aligning your body, mind and spirit. You must be incredibly passionate about the subject that you want to be an authority in. You have to know as much as there is to know about the subject. You need to know who the current top authorities are in that space.
Finally, you must be physically congruent. Authorities are not slobs. The world is a harsh place. The masses are less likely to see you as an authority if you are not well kept, unless you are an authority on how to live life as a slob.
2. The inner dimension
The next dimension that you need to master is the people who know you. You will never become an authority on the world’s stage unless you are seen as the go-to-authority on that subject, in your backyard.
If you are a true authority on a subject, you will not be able to stop talking about it, but you will also have the ability to do so in a way that does not annoy your friends and family. You need to become an authority in the inner dimension of friends and family in order to start practicing your craft. Also, it will be your friends and family who will organically help you get to people you don’t know.
3. The outer dimension
Once you have perfected the personal and inner dimensions, you will naturally be taken to the outer dimension -- the people who don’t personally know you. The outer dimension is the world. These are the millions of people who will come to you and follow you because of your knowledge of the subject and your ability to communicate it.
The outer dimension is where the money is made. You do not make money in the personal or inner dimensions, but you need to perfect them before the money will flow. Some of the common traits in tackling the outer dimension would be writing for a third-party authority website like Entrepreneur.com or speaking at TedTalks. These organizations screen their participants / contributors and only allow those who have already mastered the personal and inner dimensions.
When extending your authority status in the outer dimension, consider seriously championing a cause related to your subject of your authority, but make sure it is something that you are really passionate about. Over the past 15 years, I have developed my authority platform around books, reading and publishing. During this time, I have become acutely aware of the staggering number of people in the world who are illiterate. Did you know over 32 million Americans are considered illiterate?
I have a deep desire that transcends my desire to make money and live a fruitful life. I want to be part of radically lowering -- if not eliminating -- illiteracy in children, as that is the secret to eliminating illiteracy in the world. When you start studying authorities, you will find that the world’s elite authorities are anchored in causes that are related to their passions.
Obviously, you need to start with the personal dimension and then work outward. Starting on the outer dimension is recipe for disaster or exposure as a fake. Take your journey to authority seriously. In future articles, we will start to dissect the roadmap to authority status. From my research, I am starting to realize that there is a blueprint that any entrepreneur can follow to authority status. Stay tuned!