Career or goals in life. Just have to have faith that it will happen for you!

achieving the dream

Achieving the Dream – Why One Degree Makes All the Difference

I recently got the opportunity to spend some time with Harrison and Dr. Ping up at Purdue. We had a chance to see a lot of the change that is going on around campus – and… man, there’s a lot!

While we were exploring a bit, we also paid a visit to the Triple XXX Family Restaurant. Whenever someone’s new to the area, that’s one of my go to places because it’s been a Purdue establishment since 1929. In fact, it’s such a local treasure that Guy Fieri visited it back in 2007 for his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

achieving the dream

After leaving there, we went to meet up with one of my business mentors – Mike Cassidy – on campus.

As Mike was chatting with us about our plans, we came to a part of the discussion where we were talking about his students and members of the Amplify Hope program.

Something got stuck in my mind about both groups of people. I realized that they were trying to build their dreams without fully having a real plan in place. They’re doing what they’re doing because their emotions are telling them to. (That’s actually one of the things that Mike helps his students with – getting out of their own head and looking at their business objectively.)

There might be a few minor issues they’ve overlooked, but over time those minor bugs can lead to huge problems.

 

Why One Degree Can Make a Huge Difference

These minor issues might not seem like a big deal. I mean, a few minor tweaks going along the way and the problems they might cause can be mitigated, right?

Well, sure.

However, if they’re not taken care of, then we’re looking at problems that might be noticed until it’s too late.

The traditional illustration of this principle is one of distance traveled:

Let’s say you’re going somewhere and you’re off course by just one degree. After one foot, you’ll miss your target by 0.2 inches. Trivial, right? But what about as you get farther out?

 

  • After 100 yards, you’ll be off by 5.2 feet. Not huge, but noticeable.
  • After a mile, you’ll be off by 92.2 feet. One degree is starting to make a difference.
  • After traveling from San Francisco to L.A., you’ll be off by 6 miles.
  • If you were trying to get from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., you’d end up on the other side of Baltimore, 42.6 miles away.
  • Traveling around the globe from Washington, DC, you’d miss by 435 miles and end up in Boston.
  • etc…

 

See what I’m talking about?

In real life, this can mean the difference of creating a business or nonprofit that is sustainable or pursuing a mission that makes someone take a 2nd or 3rd mortgage out on their house.

The key is to not let emotions and the pursuit of passion get in the way of our own success.

 

Delusions of Passion

David Anderson and Mark Nathan spoke in detail about this in their book, The Delusion of Passion: Why Millennials Struggle to Find Success.

In the book they argue that there’s several delusions we Millennials struggle with.

  • Where there is Passion, There is No Pain
  • Where there is Passion, There are No Problems
  • Passion Precedes Total Commitment
  • You Must Be Passionate About the Process
  • Living Passionately Is all About You

When we believe one of these delusions, we’re knocking our navigation off by a degree or more from the very beginning!

 

Action Steps

If you haven’t had the chance to read this book, here’s the link. Also, I’ve had both Mark and David on the podcast to discuss their perspectives a bit further.

I imagine it’d be worth your time to see if any of these perspectives are sabotaging your efforts to get to where you want in your career in life.

entrepreneurial process

4 Phases of the Mission Driven Entrepreneurial Process

When I restarted my own entrepreneurial process 3 years ago, I used Fizzle to help me design a roadmap of what I wanted New Inceptions to be.

Since then, I’ve realized that I was trying to build something that I couldn’t by myself. So, last summer, I started really putting an emphasis on meeting the right kinds of people to help things go bigger faster.

That’s about the time that I started doing more things locally and getting started with Amplify and C317.

Well, fast forward to today, and I have to say, there’s a lot of things I’ve learned along the way. And one of those things is that when you’re talking about scaling a business where you’re making a huge impact, you’re talking about a business that has gone through several stages to get where they’re at.

In this post, I want to share what those phases are so you have an idea of where you’re at.

 

Definition of the Entrepreneurial Process

Traditional Process

So there’s several entrepreneurial processes out there. One is the model that a lot of people know from academia or other traditional sources. It looks a little like this:

I’m not saying that this isn’t correct, but it’s not very functional. It “might” be functional if you’re in the tech entrepreneur space. But in reality, most entrepreneurs don’t focus on these topics today – especially not “Developing a business plan”!

 

Fizzle’s Three Phases

When I was in Fizzle, they had their own entrepreneurial process. It looks like this:

This is a much more practical model. And when you listen to Corbett, Chase, and Steph on their podcast, it does make a lot of sense in why they made it this way.

However, as I’ve been going back into studying other entrepreneurs out there, there seems to be an alternative path to the one above (which, I think is a great plan otherwise I wouldn’t be a proponent of theirs!).

This 4 phase path is one I wanted to share with you guys

The New Inceptions Roadmap

So, New Inceptions – what does that mean? When I first came up with it, I had recently seen the movie Inception. In the movie, we see this world where dreams happen in dreams. And if you’ve heard the podcast or talked to me in person, you might have heard that I feel that my job in life is to pull people out of mental prisons. Whether or not they put themselves there OR they’ve allowed others to put them there, they’re stuck.

So my 4 phase process includes one phase in where the focus is simply getting “unstuck”. I believe that this is is the most foundational phase and I see a lot of entrepreneurs skipping right over it as well as the next one. They start in phase 3, eventually find that they don’t like the work they’re doing or they’re simply not happy, and then have to start something again.

Our goal here is to prevent that from happening to you!

So, just to lay them out – here are the four stages:

  • Phase 1 – Set the Foundation
  • Phase 2 – Personal Mission Development
  • Phase 3 – Product and Service Development with First Customers (Start Becoming the Expert!)
  • Phase 4 – Optimization and Growth

 

Let’s take a little more of a look at them:

 

The 4 Phases of the Mission Driven Entrepreneurial Process

entrepreneurial process

Phase 1: Set the Foundation

You guys know that I’m also a huge fan of Dane Maxwell and Andy Drish’s The Foundation.

When I heard about it back in 2012, it blew me away. Up until that point, I had only really heard of the first process I presented here.

One of the things that The Foundation does a great deal of work in is helping people with their limiting beliefs.

It’s these same limiting beliefs that keep people stuck in their mental prisons.

So in this phase, a new entrepreneur should be essentially taking dumb action. Just getting a feel for what’s out there. What sounds interesting to them? What do they feel like they gravitate towards?

Another thing we need to look at is how do we communicate with ourselves and the world around us. Are we real when need to be with ourselves and others? If not, why not? Do we lump all people into one group or are we aware of the different personalities that are out there?

Also in this phase, we need to focus on moving a external locus of control to one that is a bit more internal.

This is all important stuff that needs to be thought about before we can dive into the next phase.

 

Phase 2: Create Your Personal Mission

In this phase, we’ll be looking at crafting your own personal mission.

This is a vital phase that many entrepreneurs skip over. However, time and time again, I’ve heard those from the top say they would have gotten to the top faster had they taken the time to understand what their work actually meant.

In particular, in this phase we’re looking at discovering our Passions, Purpose, and preferred Process (the 3 P’s) and how that relates to our overall mission. We’ll also be looking at all the options you could put your unique skill set towards.

And we also want to make sure we’re starting to develop our network. But we have to make sure we’re doing it strategically. There’s some key people that we need to be meeting if we want to do extraordinary things. We have to seek those folks out who have been there before.

 

Phase 3: Product and Service Development with First Customers (Start Becoming the Expert!)

Now that we’ve developed a understanding of who we are and the skills that we can bring to the market, it’s time that we actually see if someone would be willing to pay for what we can help them with.

Here’s the thing, though. It’s not about what we THINK we can help them with. It’s about what we KNOW we can help them with. And the only way to find out what we can help them with is by actually ASKING them.

Once you know what they want – how are you going to bring it to them? Are you going to get external funding or are you going to do a presale (hint: if you’re smart, you’ll do a presale before you ever lift a finger creating a service, course, SaaS, or even a physical product).

There’s a lot of moving parts in this phase. However, if you do them in the right sequence, it can be super fun.

 

Phase 4: Optimization and Growth

Once you have your first handful of customers, you’ll need to start thinking about your systems. No business became an empire without having a set way of doing things. The more automated you can make things, the more you can leverage your time… and your TEAM’s time.

So, yes. This is the stage where we start thinking about hiring people to help.

Also, if you haven’t made a website yet, then you’ll want to do that in this phase. Because when you’re marketing to the masses (regardless of how you do it), you have to give them something to go to that’s not controlled by third parties.

 

Action Steps

So, this is a lot to throw at you. And really, it depends on where you’re at in your journey. I’ve known people who were in phase 4 and ended up having to go back to phase 2 to recreate their career. In fact, the last two books I read were all about that – people who were at the “top of the world” came crashing down only to build a less stressful and much more enjoyable life.

So where are you at in your journey? Let me know where you’re starting from and I’ll help you get to the next level.

a simple life

The Magic of a Simplified Life

Over the weekend, many people all around the world watched the Royal Family’s wedding. When you think of a Royal wedding, you think of a huge production full of… well all kinds of stuff: trumpets, long dresses, swords, horses, crowns and tiaras, limos… you name it.

As much as it was advertised, many would say that you had to practically be under a rock to not have watched a part of it.

If that is the case, then consider me squashed!

I really had no interest in watching it.

If you did, then we’re cool. It’s your call to do so.

But for me, I didn’t want to watch it because it interferes with my desire to keep simplicity in my life.

What do I mean by that? Well, let’s talk about it.

 

The Western World is Full of Offers

So what do I mean by keeping simplicity in my life? Well, it’s what it sounds like.

I like having a simple life. I’m really a simple guy. I have the things I like to do, and there’s only certain times where I feel I need to buy something.

Heck, I won’t buy anything unless it’s a replacement for something else that’s broken, torn, or somehow wrecked. I have clothes that are fairly old (some are 10 years old!), one of my cars is 20 years old, and when I do listen to music – it’s usually from the 90’s or the 00’s.

Here’s the thing, I’m happy with this stuff.

But, if I was to watch the wedding – I might have thought “Oh, damn. I really need to step up my game! I want something like that!”

Growing up, I was always comparing myself to others. It’s something we all do.

Even this morning, I saw an advertisement for a store I’ve never heard of. It was a very Ikea like place – I think it was called At Home?

Anyway, the ad that was played was like, “Keep up with the seasons by buying all new furniture!

Keep up with the seasons? Really? Who needs to switch their chairs and sofas that many times?

No one. But society, especially here in western society, would make us think we have to keep up with the Jones’. No, scratch that. The Kardashians!

Why do people behave this way?

Because buying stuff just to buy stuff – aka retail therapy – is nothing more than addiction. Those who participate get a high when the thing is new, but in the end, they don’t want the item anymore and/or, even worse, they end up being in a worse financial situation than they started.

 

Getting rid of Stress with a Simplified Life

So if you find yourself with a lot of stuff in your house you wonder why you bought OR you find it hard to live under your means, perhaps it’s time to not think about buying yourself out of the problem. Instead, perhaps it might be easier to bring more simplicity into your life?

I’m not saying you have to go minimalistic. No, instead I’m suggesting to have less stress in your life. Less clutter. Having the money to buy things you really REALLY want.

Does that sound good?

Well, here’s a few things to think about:

If your house was about to get hit by a tornado or a hurricane and you had a 20 minutes to pack a handful of items, what would they be?

In that same situation, what items would you pack in a suitcase?

If you had to move into a space half the size of what you’re currently in – what would you HAVE to keep?

 

Action Steps

I’ll tell you, when Laila told me she was a minimalist, I wondered what she meant by that. What went into being a minimalist? Later I had the chance to interview a couple of digital nomads including Arne Giske and Gregory Diehl. We found out that being able to live the lifestyle they do requires a minimalistic approach.

Today, I know that the minimalist lifestyle isn’t completely for me. However, it might be for you. Here’s a couple of exercises you can try if you’re wanting to experiment with this lifestyle. If it feels liberating, then maybe it’s a sign to bring more simplicity into your life.

 

  1. For one month, limit the non-essential items you bring into the house to one thing a week. At the same time, go through your house and ask yourself what items you need and love. If you don’t need OR love something, then consider getting rid of that item – you can trash it, sure – but I’d recommend giving it to someone who appreciates it (just like the collectors do with Mike and Frank on American Pickers!) either by giving or selling it.
  2. Also, as I mentioned in a recent post, pay for everything with cash only. This gives you a finite about amount of funds to work with and makes it harder for you to buy on impulse. You learn to appreciate the money you have. Stretch that dollar!

 

Let me know how it works out for you!

break the cycle

Break the Cycle: Using Corrective Actions to Overcome Bad Habits and Mental Blocks

It’s true what they say. A person who is convinced that they can or can not do something is right.

Even when we’ve figured out what our personal mission is or our next steps in life are, many times we’ll find ourselves still in a place where we might think “Well, the ideal me might be able to do this or have that – but I’ll never get to that point. I have these problems to deal with.”

If you have that kind of perspective, then you need to break the cycle.

Why?

Because this is the mindset of a victim. Victims blame others or their situation in life for their shortcomings. If you pay attention to the media, there’s a lot of this going around.

Unfortunately, a victim is just one of 4 internal saboteurs that can affect our ability to actually achieve what we want to do.

The others include the child, whose entirely naive and innocent. They focus on family and fun.

There’s the drama queen, who just feeds on drama and being the center of attention.

Then there’s the prostitute, who might say “I have these standards and I’d never do… <fill in the bank>”, but as soon as as a large enough reward enters the situation, they throw their standards out the window.

Personally, I can recall being one or more of these at different points in my life. 3 of the 4 I used quite regularly when I was in college. (I don’t remember ever trying to be a drama queen. Video games kept me from being in everyone’s business.)

It’s no wonder that I didn’t feel like my life was going anywhere!

Eventually I was able to stop the vicious cycle, and hopefully what I learned can help you too!

 

Building Your Awareness

Don’t Aim For Perfection – Go for Mastery!

Being more aware of your surroundings, or simply being more present, I feel is the biggest ingredient in getting out of your own head.

What do I mean by this?

Well, when you think about your time in school, if you were a good student, you might have been focusing on doing everything perfectly.

However, in life, we can’t be perfect. In fact, trying to be perfect before we actually take action only prohibits our eventual success.

Have you heard that an entrepreneur doesn’t go “ready, aim, fire” but instead goes “ready, fire, aim” when they’re starting a business?

That’s what I’m talking about.

Entrepreneurs have to be aware of their situation and read it for what it is. Why? If anything clouds that perception, then their product or service won’t do as well as they’d like. They could build the perfect solution to a problem they believe their market wants, but if they’re not actually getting feedback, then they’re not really building what the market wants.

 

Check Your Outdated Caveman Firmware

Another thing that clouds our perception of reality is our antiquated feeling of fear. On his podcast, Jordan Harbinger regularly has guests on that talk about how many of our bad habits are from outdated caveman habits – fear is one of them (jealousy is another).

Back in caveman days, it made sense to have a decent amount of fear. They had a ton of threats to deal with in their day to day lives. Some of these threats included large animals – some that wanted to eat them for lunch.

So the more fearful they were, the more likely they’d stay alive.

However, that fear today prohibits us from stepping out of our comfort zone. In our conversation with Marti MacEwan, we chatted a bit about how this fear gets in the way of us becoming public speakers. (Here’s a bit more on the topic from Dr. Dave Guin if video is more your thing.)

In both the case of running from predators and public speaking, what you’ll find out is that this fear can be totally rational. The trick is to be aware enough to understand why that fear is there in the first place. What could have triggered that feeling? If nothing presents itself as a trigger (for example, the audience isn’t going to laugh at you) – then you should proceed.

The more you do this, the more you can harness it as somewhat of a “Spidey Sense” to tell you if a certain situation is wrong or not.

 

Instances Where Action-Correction is Useful

As I previously said, a real entrepreneur doesn’t go “ready, aim, FIRE!”. Instead they’re all about “ready, FIRE, aim!”. As veteran Andrew O’Brien said in his interview, being an entrepreneur isn’t about being a sniper. It’s about seeing where the bullet lands and adjusting!

But entrepreneurship isn’t the only instance where this cycle can be used. Here’s a few others:

  • Personal Spending (Use cash if your spending is out of control!)
  • Health and Wellness (Count your caloric intake!)
  • Investing (What works, what doesn’t?)
  • Relationships (Learn to care what your significant other cares about so you can help them get what they want when you get what you want and visa versa.)
  • Fun and Entertainment (Get out there and give it a shot! Don’t knock it until you try it! Want to learn to dance? Then dance!)

 

Action Steps

Ok, so your next step here really depends on how you’re planning on using this new information. In most instances, it probably would help if you have someone external to give you feedback – so get an accountability buddy.

Another thing that would help is to have a journal. Why? Because you don’t want to keep all these thoughts and ideas about your learning about in your head all the time! Perhaps that journal takes the form of a blog. Maybe it takes the form of a calorie counter app on your phone. Heck, maybe it’s a financial statement.

Just keep track of whatever you’re trying to improve. Doing so will allow you to make better judgements in how you can adjust your game!

reinvent yourself

6 Steps to Reinvent Yourself

In my quest to find my true self over the last 10+ years, I’ve realized that there is a TON of self help courses, books, and even “big events”… that could be considered fluff.

People (including myself) buy into these programs thinking that they’ll get the exact same results as the thought leader.

If that thought leader regularly travels the world, they’ll get that opportunity if they blindly follow their advice. Sounds, good, right?

Well, maybe.

On top of finding your personal mission (where you’re at) you need to do a real study of where you want to be, as well.

You don’t want to try and obtain something you don’t want, right?

I mean, can you imagine changing your life for “the better” only to realize that the place you’ve arrived in life is nothing like you thought it was going to be?

I can’t imagine it’d be too easy to go back to your “old life” at that point.

So after you’ve spent the time figuring out who are and the options you have – how do you actually choose a path that won’t be a complete waste of your time?

How to Reinvent Yourself

Once you have your personal mission figured out (which is like finding out where you are on a map), you need to find out where you want to be in life (your destination). The catch is that this destination needs to be a place that you’re committing yourself to not only arrive at, but live at.

Why? Because once you put in the work to become that new person and you’re actually successful – it’s hard to go back to your old comfortable self.

So that said, just like you might consider spending a vacation to get to know a new locale, you might want to spend some time seeing if this new big work and life change is what you really want to do.

 

1. Connect with those who are already doing what you want to do.

In the 9 to 5 job world, it’s easy for us to see ourselves moving up. We see what our supervisors do and think “I could do that better than them!”.

In the entrepreneurial space, however, it’s a bit harder to imagine yourself in that space because we don’t have that regular connection with people who are already doing something.

Seek these folks out.

 

2. Get some time with these folks and ask Useful Questions

It’s well known that if you want to make a change in the 9 to 5 world, you want to get some time with someone who works where you want to be. You wouldn’t ask them, “how do I start working for XYZ Company?”. Instead, you’d say, “I’m thinking about a career change and I was wondering about a few things when it comes to working for XYZ. For one, do I start from the ground up or should I develop my skills elsewhere?”, “What’s it like working there?”, etc.

Likewise, if you’re looking to start a fitness coach business, for example, you should find 3 or 4 people who are already successful fitness coaches. Then ask them a list of questions that are important to you.

Find out what their daily routine is. How do they meet with their clients? How long did it take to get to their level of success?

Heck, if it’s someone you know, you might even ask them how they came to the rates they charge their clients.

 

3. Don’t Go for the Feel Good Answers

When you’re asking these questions, you need to be going for the right answers. Don’t let your thoughts and emotions cloud your perspective of the truth.

Also, if the people you’re talking to can’t answer the questions you have on your list, then you might need to find another person or two to ask.

As you’re getting these answers, you should be coming up with a clearer picture of what it would be like to be in this new role. The more research you do, the more you’ll find out if it’s right or wrong for you. Be transparent with yourself.

 

4. Know the length of your runway.

Once you’ve determined that you’re ok with this new role and everything that goes with it, you’ll need to start thinking about the transition time. It could take you 6 months to ramp up, it could take you 3 years.

How much are your expenses per month? If you’re floating under $2000/mo budget to pay your bills, do you have the 12 grand you need for the six months? Maybe you’re on the larger side of that. How can you allocate $72k for next 3 years?

 

5. Make a Plan

Once you’ve done the research in figuring if you want the life and how you’re going to arrive there, actually write it down. Write it in a way as if you were telling someone else. You want a ton of details.

If you do it this way, you’ll have more checkpoints, but you’ll have a better chance of arriving where you want to go.

Also, don’t worry about all the fluff that people say you should have. This means vision boards, business plans, mission statements, etc.

If you really need them, they can come later. Right now you need to focus on the step-by-step method of how you’re going to reach your next level.

 

6. Get Accountability

For the most part, if we want to change something in our lives, most of us need external motivation to keep things going. Chances are, you’ll eventually deviate from our intended path.

However, if you have that person that helps you keep your times lines and projects in check, you’ll significantly improve your ability to achieve them.

You don’t see professional athletes having success without a small army of support. So why would you want to try something you’ve not achieved by yourself?

 

Action Steps

So if you haven’t already, the first thing you should consider doing is finding out what your personal mission is. Luckily I have a resource for you to do just that.

After you spend the time to go through it and do the exercises in it, you’re ready to start talking to people in the field you want to be on.

Best place for that, of course, is social media. LinkedIn used to be the only place to connect with people who could help you like this. But, if Facebook is where your network is, use it!

Then, as you let them know what you’re thinking of doing, see if they’d be willing to talk to you about how they got to where they are. You can ask them for a specific online meeting OR you can just ask them through messages over time. Personally, I’m a fan of actually talking with someone.

Also, be sure to check out Damion Lupo and Christofer Ashby’s book Reinvented Life, and my upcoming interview with Damion himself if you want more information on this subject!

introverted intuition

Kate St Hilaire – Being Introvertedly Bold: Unlocking the Magic of Introverted Intuition (AoL 121)

Introverts are said to be geeks, lonely, and awkwardly shy. At least that’s what society would have us all believe. Many of us use that stereotype as a means to stay in our comfort zone.

In fact, we trick ourselves to think that extroverts are the only people who can make a big impact in the world. I mean, they’re people-people, right?

Actually that’s not totally the case. Some of the most influential figures in tech, art, and business have been and are introverts.

So how do we embrace our introversion and use it as a superpower?

That’s what today’s guest, Kate St Hilaire, helps members of her Facebook community with.

Join us as we talk about how she found herself in this business and how you can use your leverage your intuition as a super power!

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • When did Kate realize there was a big difference between introverts and extroverts? 8:05
  • Why did she pursue studying Psychology in school? 9:14
  • How’d she came to the realization she could make her interest in introversion as a business? 11:05
  • What can happen if people can “get over” their introversion? 27:42
  • What are some specific tools that someone can use to change their mindset or get out of their limiting beliefs? 31:04
  • What’s Kate looking forward to in the future? 35:48
  • What are 3 of Kate’s top favorite books? 41:39
  • What’s a gift she loves giving others? 42:36
  • Smallest decision she’s made that has had the largest impact on her life? 43:30
  • What is something Kate has learned to say no to? 44:54
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 46:21

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

#BeBoldGoLive Challenge 1

#BeBoldGoLive Challenge 2

You Don’t Want to Bother Anyone?

Put yourself out there to make more impact!

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Cheers!

5 Levels of Leadership

The 5 Levels of Leadership: A Way to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

You guys know that I’m a big student of leadership. Heck, I even got my masters in the subject! As such, one of my favorite influencers is John Maxwell, and I once heard this really interesting lesson of his.

He called it the 5 Levels of Leadership.

Since the time I’ve learned about these levels of leadership (and posting this post on December 19, 2010), it’s helped me put a few things in perspective when it comes to not only seeing my progression, but recognizing where other influencers are at in their journey. By using this simple tool, among others, I keep myself from comparing where I’m at in my journey to where they’re at.

If you find yourself comparing your level of influence to others on social media and it bums you out, then you should definitely consider changing this habit!

You shouldn’t feel like you’re in a competition with them. Instead, you should use them for inspiration. Chances are good that they’ve had a longer journey and during that journey have had to go through each one of these checkpoints.

What’s great is that you can too!


As you all know, I’m a fan of John Maxwell. A really REALLY big fan. And I believe the main reason why is that I’ve always been interested in what makes a successful leader successful.

One of the key things to note about being a leader is that, according to Dr. Maxwell, leadership and the ability to influence others are basically the same thing. So in many, if not all, of his talks and writings, he will say that leadership IS influence.

With that said, it’s pretty obvious why one would want to be a leader. Just think, the more you lead, the more people that will agree with what you believe (for their own reasons)!! So really, your ability to influence others is a huge part of being successful not only in life, but also in business.

So how does one become a leader? Well, you can definitely wing it as many people do. You can have natural charisma (or any other leadership traits) and just get by OR, like anything else, you can learn to be one – A great one.

For me, I have had to relearn to be one – a real one. Not a guy who simply manipulates people to do what he wants them to do. Neigh, I mean a real leader who leads by example. A leader who pulls people with him and not pushes them. (Side note: people who push people where they don’t necessarily want to be often lose those people because they have pushed them too far.)

So answering the question… one becomes a leader by understanding key principles of leadership and practicing them. It’s as simple as that. Part of those key principles is the 5 Levels of Leadership. A note about these levels is that they are somewhat linear. Many times you must lead someone through level 1 before they are really in level 2 or 5 for that matter. However, this is not always the case.

5 Levels of Leadership:

Level 1.) Leadership from Position

This leadership level is the most basic. Many times it is usually not earned. One person has a title that another person does not. And because of this, one person reports to the other person. An example of this would be two people working at a restaurant. One has title of manager, the other has the title of line member. More often than not, the line member reports to the manager what they need to know and that’s it – without much feedback. Often with this level, there is minimum rapport because the person.

Level 2.) Leadership From Respect

This leadership level is just a notch higher than positional leadership. This level is where people start following another because they actually want to! The key to this position in leadership is that the leader shows that they care before the followers are interested in what the leader knows. You can begin to grow professionally as an organization when people follow you on their own.

Level 3.) Leadership from Results

People follow you not only because they want to, but also because of what you have accomplished.  Your group/organization will start to see what’s possible because you’ve actually accomplished a few things! And guess what? As a result, morale will rise even further than it was at the respect level.

Level 4.) Leadership from People Development

At this level of leadership, people follow you because of what you, as the leader, have done for them personally. Loyalty is key. At this point, the leadership has not only lead the organization to better things, but it has lead to the people themselves growing as leaders. Also, successful leadership at all levels is has an underscored by a win-win philosophy.

Level 5.) Leadership from Mentorship

At this point the leader is definitely respected. He has spent years developing other people and the organization. As a leader you are bigger than life and your success is shown through a life of accomplishment. Because not many people get to this level, people seek your knowledge for the success of other organizations.

In the end, success in leadership can be accomplished by any one. Something that is important to note is that the higher up in the levels a leader is, the longer it takes for that leader to get their own results and the more important it is for them to be aware of the leadership levels themselves.

If you’d like to know more about Leadership in general, for a starting point I highly recommend checking out John Maxwell’s Book – Becoming a Person of Influence.


Actions Steps

So where do you fall? How do you think you could get to the next level?

Even if you’re not actively comparing yourself with other influencers online, this is still a good way to measure where you’re at on that leader journey. As I’ve said in the past, all of us creators who have a message, product, or service that we want to give to the world… we’re eventually going to be leaders. It’s those of us who are aware that influence is leadership who will make the most impact.

So, have it. Let us know where you’re at in your journey below!