Putting yourself out there and standing up for what you believe in can make you a target. Becoming an authority, in any space, is a big responsibility.
When you are an authority you get to meet interesting people, and to do amazing things.
But it can also be a mixed bag. There are a great deal of expectations and pressures put on public figures in any niche. I know from talking to other business owners who are considered authorities in their spaces: we all have our haters! Sometimes it feels like everyone feels entitled to a piece of your time, or that people are constantly copying you.
What I’ve learned about becoming an authority in my niche is that it comes with a lot of benefits and a lot of responsibilities. Over the years, it’s made me really consider what kind of authority I want to be, and how I will use my position for good.
If one of your goals is to increase your authority in your niche, I highly recommend starting with my Authority Game Plan worksheet — click here to grab it now. It’s a peek into what’s available exclusively to Business Class members inside our “How to Increase Your Authority In Your Niche Quickly” Destination Guide.
And then, while you’re planning your rise to the top, consider these ideas about what kind of authority you want to be:
Will you be an “authority figure” or a leader?
There’s a big difference between someone who simply has authority and a leader.
You’ve probably experienced an “authority figure” in a job or school situation whose idea of leadership was “my way or the highway!” These people might be authorities because they have rank or tenure, but they aren’t leaders. They don’t inspire people to want to come along and do better; instead they get their way through threats and bullying.
But authority can also be used for good. Think about a boss, family member, or teacher who used their position of authority to inspire you to greater things. I often think of celebrities who use their social authority to support charitable causes they believe in as falling into this category. And of course, a business owner can use her authority in her space for good.
I am inspired by friends and colleagues who have used their authority to support charitable causes, offer scholarships to people who couldn’t otherwise afford their trainings, go out of their way to provide valuable free resource, and generally model being a good citizen in our business world.
4 Guideposts of Leadership
To be a strong leader instead of simply an authority, I try to use these four guideposts:
- Use authority to amplify other voices.
Even as an authority in my niche, I know I’m not the only one with good ideas! That’s why I interview guest experts in Business Class and recommend books from other thought leaders I admire. Instead of insisting that mine is the only way, I like to use my authority to amplify the authority of other people who have ideas worth sharing. It makes me a stronger leader, too, to always continue learning from others.
- Use authority to help others build authority.
That’s the whole point of the “Grow Your Authority Quickly” Destination Guide — and indeed all of Business Class! Some people who rise to positions of authority are afraid of other people surpassing them. Not me! I’d love to see a Business Class member grow her business even bigger than mine. To me, that would be the ultimate testament to my success! So I’m dedicated to using my authority to help many, many more women entrepreneurs reach the $1 million mark in their business and beyond.
- Use authority to lift people up, not put them down.
It’s so easy for someone in a position of authority to say, “No! You’re doing it wrong!” But that’s not at all how I want to lead the women in my communities. No one is going to benefit from me telling them they’ve made a dumb mistake or having me point out their shortcomings. But my people will rise when I can offer constructive criticism and advice, encouragement, and the confidence to take risks and make their own way!
- Use authority to be a model of possibility.
Finally, an authority has to remember that there isn’t just one path to success! My success looks a certain way, and a lot of my audience is inspired by that — but it doesn’t mean that anyone is wrong for wanting their version of success to look different from mine. For example, my #workfromwherever philosophy encompasses beaches in Tahiti, chateaus in the Swiss Alps, and the sidelines of a little league baseball game!
As you dive into your Authority Game Plan Worksheet, I hope you will keep in mind the kind of authority you want to be and how you can use that authority both to benefit your own business, but also to benefit others as well: your customers, your colleagues, and the greater world at large.
And if growing your authority in your niche is a goal you want to pursue, be sure to check out a Business Class membership for full access to the ““How to Increase Your Authority In Your Niche Quickly” Destination Guide — with more than a dozen unique ideas for growing your authority, even if you’re just starting out.