do you want to be qualified or do you want to be amplified? accepting your role as a leader

I just came back from the World Domination Summit, a 2-day party with 500 of my closest friends.

Looking around the ballroom, everyone gathered & buzzing with excitement (and coffee, it is the Northwest after all!), it was clear to me that there were only 2 types of people in this room:

  1. Leaders
  2. And those on the cusp of becoming leaders.

That’s one exciting revelation for me. I really wanted to run on stage, grab the mic, and tell everyone what amazing leaders I saw sitting around me. I didn’t…. maybe next year, Chris?

Last week, I spoke with Sinclair about a lack of leadership in the entrepreneurs around me. They’re struggling to find their voice, struggling even more to be heard, and therefore struggling with cash flow. She agreed: a major stumbling block in making a business work is accepting your role as a leader to others. It’s less that entrepreneurs are not leaders and more that they haven’t owned their own leadership yet.

Becoming a leader can be frightening. It means your opinions are trusted, your ideas are given weight, your voice is heard. That’s a lot of responsibility! But offering a product for sale or guidance for hire carries the same weight. You can’t avoid the responsibility and, if you try, you end up feeling a bit trampled.

If you’ve abdicated your position of leadership as a business owner, you probably have a difficult time prioritizing your work, you feel like you have to shout to be heard, and what little communication you receive is generally in the form of polite encouragement instead of cash. When you don’t act out of leadership, you feel subject to the flow of the system instead of a driver on your own wide open road. When you haven’t accepted leadership, you use qualifiers like “I think,” “in my opinion,” and “maybe” instead of unequivocally owning your beliefs.

Do you want to be qualified or do you want to be amplified?

When you accept your own leadership, your voice is joined by those who trust you and by those who support you. You are no longer listened to – your word is acted upon.

Being a leader isn’t about how many customers/followers/friends you have, it’s about shining out of the dark.

Being a leader also isn’t dependent on what your business is about. You can lead from any industry at any level, it’s a mindset not set of qualifications.

Accepting your role as a leader allows for your art – your voice – your change-making to be witnessed.

You, my friend, are at the cusp of a new dawn and we need you as a leader in this new day. We need a jolt of your power and a taste of your juice. We need you to bring forward new, crazy ideas. We crave your voice & vision.

Will you step up? Will you show up?

I’ll be speaking more about this & a whole lot more at Profit Catalyst in Portland in a few weeks. This event – organized by Sinclair & also featuring the brilliant Charlie Gilkey – will be like no other and the good news is you don’t even have to catch a flight to attend. Sinclair is offering a simulcast version (watch with us live!!) of the full event so that you can get activated, catalyzed, and edified about doing business in the 21st century right from the comfort of your very own home.

To get all the details on Profit Catalyst – both the LIVE and SIMULCAST versions – click here.

PS The first 10 peeps to click the link above AND register for the Profit Catalyst simulcast will also receive a free 1 hour coaching session with me to be used between August and September 2011 (a $200 value). This is a great way to follow up on what you learned and grab one-on-one help where you need it most! So click here and get registered.

time to get activated, catalyzed, and just plain excited: interview with Ashley Sinclair

Oh boy! Do I have some big news for you?!

In a few short weeks, I’ll be speaking at a fab event hosted by the fab Ashley Sinclair, of Self-Activator. I’ve been watching Sinclair’s business explode for a while. If you dig my vision of a world led by passionate, creative entrepreneurs, her vision is going to rock your socks too.

You can find out more about the event – Profit Catalyst – and how to participate (including a sweet deal from me!) at the end of the post. But please take a minute to read through this brief interview with Sinclair where I dispense with the niceties and cut right to the quick.

You have experience working with large corporations & organizations. Why work with individual entrepreneurs?

Two very important reasons:

  • I love business
  • but I speak entrepreneur.

I come from a family of them. So I’ve been learning the ups and downs, the risks and rewards, of running your own business my whole life long. From tiny cottage businesses to multinational corporations, I’ve seen it all, but I’m most interested in the entrepreneur’s experience.

I want to be on the leading edge of culture and innovation, helping change agents push things forward. I may be biased, but I believe individual entrepreneurs are in this incredible, unique position to do just that – and I love to help them get there.

Well, we certainly have that in common!

You run a BIG business with a highly individual touch. Your tribe feels like they are connected to your personally (and I suspect that they are!). But in order to achieve this big business, you’ve got a team working behind you and supporting you.

Did you build your business with a team in mind? And how would your business be different if you didn’t have a team?

This is such a great question. I built my business with my personal strengths in mind – so yes, I planned on a team from the beginning, even though it was just me for the first 6 months. I know that I’m at my best when I’m leading a group of people, and helping each team member contribute what they are really best at.

I just don’t show up in the biggest way until I’ve got people to lead, so I make sure that I do. My own business would be much smaller in scope if I was still a solopreneur. I’d be much farther removed from my audience, since I’d be focusing solely on automated income streams to maximize my leverage on my own. And I think I’d simply be less creative, because I know that I build things best when working with a team.

You approach business creatively, holistically, and strategically. How do you envision business changing for creative entrepreneurs over the next 5 years? What strengths will be most valued?

I think we’ll continue to see a proliferation of boutique creative industries pop up, as the way we digest content and info matures in the marketplace. I would not be surprised if this proliferation required all entrepreneurs to become branding and positioning experts – I think we’ll see less hangups about that as people get more comfortable with the self-publishing model of sharing free content to attract business.

I believe Individualization will increase in perceived value, big time. Authenticity will be at a premium, because nothing else will get through the noise of the marketplace.

Many start-up entrepreneurs have major difficulty getting past the PROFIT part of business. Their heart & souls are invested in what they’re doing and that’s just hard to price. What is ONE thing you wish entrepreneurs knew about themselves & they’re inherent ability to command a good price for their work?

Oooh, this is so tough to share just one thing. I’m going to with what I think you need to know first:

Pricing has nothing to do with your worth as a person, or the worthiness of the client. It’s not the time to get squeamish, that’s for sure.

If you’re struggling to make a good living, you’re absolutely useless to those outside of yourself.

Price accordingly – the world needs your gifts, and needs you at your best, so you’ve gotta take great care of yourself to begin with by charging well for your work. I mean it – this is non-negotiable for passionate entrepreneurs who want to make a contribution.

Making this higher pricing understandable and desirable to your customers is the art of packaging and positioning. Don’t worry, it’s a skill set, and it can be learned. Hallelujah!

In my experience, coaching crafters and Fortune 500’s alike, I’ve found that if you give the customer the right info to make a great decision about your product, they are more than happy to pay a premium, every time.

Profit Catalyst: You’re Invited!

How’s this sound?
: More play than you’ve had in the entire last year.
: More training than you thought a human could handle in 72 hours, at all levels of the entrepreneur.
: The neuro-rewiring stuff you guys always beg me for.
: The sales-conversion insider strategies that buck all soulless trends.
: PROFIT – leveraging what you’ve got to rake it in.

That’s what Profit Catalyst is all about. And since I’m all about producing the work of your heart & soul whilst making a keen profit, I’m speaking at this outrageous event. Join me, Sinclair (above!), and Charlie Gilkey, of Productive Flourishing, fame to get catalyzed.

Click here to learn more.

PS If you click through my link above and decide to meet up with me at the live event, I’ll gift you one of my Jumpstart packages, a $400 value, to be used between August & September.

Connect with Sinclair on her website or on Twitter.