Let me just start with gratitude, because I think this is important.
I am truly grateful to be where I am now; author of a couple of best-selling books, featured in a move with Tony Robbins and the Dalai Lama, and spoke to about 100,000 people across the planet. I have several six- and seven-figure companies and a pretty solid following. Looking back at it now, it was such a journey to get to where I am now, and I’m grateful for it.
But today, I’m going to share with you the one thing I know today that, had I known it back then, I feel would have made all the difference. Because my journey wasn’t straightforward or clear-cut. I went on so many different angles, pushed myself down so many different paths, and actually did so many things that I actually never intended to spend my time doing more of.
Which is why I want to emphasize now how the beginning is actually the most important thing.
Most people, from what I’ve heard and from what I’ve gathered from the people who approach me—they want to start big. They want to go out there and create influence by capturing the marketing with something big.
And so they worry about their product. They worry about what they’re going to sell or what they’re going to do. And I think this is flat wrong.
People come to me and they tell me that they’re a coach or a consultant or a this, and this is what they’ve got; they’ve got a product that they’ve made or they’ve done this thing and they want to offer it this way.
This isn’t the way to go about it, honestly. And if you’re used to starting out this way, you’re going to have to make an incredibly different shift. Because instead of worrying about what you’re going to give them, you’re going to have to learn to start worrying about them. To create an influence, you need to start with the person.
re You’ve got to start with the thought—the obsession—of helping them; of making their lives better.
Because you look at some of the biggest names in history that grew some of the biggest businesses and the biggest influences, they never worried about what they were going to sell the person. They didn’t worry how it was actually going to happen. That came second. They prioritized who they actually wanted to help first, and they focused on the change they wanted to see. Take for example Henry Ford. Put aside his ethics and things like that, just focus on him as a businessman—and he was a great businessman. We’re very fortunate to have the automobile and the manufacturing system he put together, but think about it; what he wanted to sell wasn’t even available during his time, but he didn’t focus on that. He knew the person he wanted to serve and he knew the change he wanted to bring about.
Think about Steve Jobs as well. The technology wasn’t even widespread yet, but he knew he wanted to put a thousand songs in your pocket. He knew he wanted to help you by putting the power of computing and entertainment in your pocket.
It’s a massive shift, yes, but if you want to create influence—if you want to make a difference, speak on stage, write the books, do all the things—then you have to put those aside (they’ll come later) and focus on becoming obsessed with the person you want to serve. I started out obsessed with the thought of people making an amazing life. Even after all the products and the books and the speaking gigs, I never stopped thinking about the idea of helping someone create a life where they were making the money they wanted, were constantly motivated, had meaning, had purpose, and—of course—were doing what mattered most to them.
That obsession never stopped.
So here are the actual steps you need to take to become a great leader and create a massive influence.
STEP ONE. Who Do You Want To Serve?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is, “who do I really want to serve?”
Really take the time to question who is the person that you want to help the most? Who is it that you want to impact? Who is it that you want to create change for? You need to get super clear on this because this person is going to the driving force behind your whole system—they’re the tip of the arrow that you’re going to use to cut through the market. Their existence is what’s going to push you to do everything you can to help them.
So when you choose this person, you need to obsess over them. You need to completely associate with them. You need to understand them fully until your commitment to them is burning and genuine. And they’re going to feel this! If you’re genuine, they’re going to feel your full commitment to them.
STEP TWO. What Change Do You Want To See?
After you’ve decided to get really, really committed to who it is you want to serve, you need to then ask yourself, “what change?”
This is step number two; what change do you want to see in that person? How do you want to impact their lives to make it better? The products come later … way later. You must get completely clear on the change—the transformation—you want to see happen to them or for them. So once you start thinking, “you know what; I really want to move them from here to here,” you know that you’ve got step two. You know that you’ve begun associating with them, and with the change you want to induce in their lives.
STEP THREE. Market Research
Once you know 1.) who you want to serve, and 2.) the change you want to bring about, you need to actually get out there and interview them. Find the people you want to help and talk to them. Ask them about what it is that they want. You have to know what they want to buy, because that’s what you’re going to provide.
If you want to create massive influence, you must be able to offer something relevant to the people you want to influence. How can they look to you as a leader and influencer if you can’t even give them the thing they truly want? And this is connected to Step Four, actually, because …
STEP FOUR. What Are You Going To Provide?
So here’s where your product/offer/service comes in, but here’s the thing most people don’t understand; you have to go micro-niche on this. You have to start out really, really specific. Now that you know who you want to serve and how you want to serve them and what they actually want from you, build an offer/product/service that ticks all the boxes. If it doesn’t meet one or two requirements, don’t use it. Your product will cater to a very small, very select portion of the market, but that’s good. That’s how you want to start out.
Let me give you an example; Facebook. Right now anyone can open a Facebook account, right? Any old email will do and you can register immediately. Well, way back in 2006 or 2007, when I was still at University, the only way you could get on Facebook was to have a University email. I don’t know if anyone remembers this, but that’s how it was ten-plus years ago; you could only register for a Facebook account if you had a University email address.
So Facebook started out catering to just one college in the US. And then they branched out to cater to the top colleges in the US. Before long, they were serving all the colleges in the US. After that, they expanded even further to include all Universities. And they just got bigger and bigger and bigger until anyone could have and use a Facebook account—they were catering to everyone.
But the point of the story is this; when you choose a person, you want to be as specific as possible. Start small. When you finish with that micro-niche—when you’ve completely saturated it and you’re the leader—then you can slowly expand to serve more. Most people want to go big immediately, without realizing that even Facebook started out with an audience of just 5,000 to 10,000 people.
STEP FIVE. Your Scoreboard
Lastly, you’ve got to have a scoreboard. You’ve got to have some way of keeping score of your wins, so that you know what is move you forward and what is actually keeping you back. Once you detail everything on your scoreboard, you’re going to understand the measurability and scalability of your business. You’ll be able to really build out your goals—what’s your vision? What’s your why? How many people do you want to impact? How many do you think you can in this amount of time? Where are you heading—using the data you pull from your scoreboard.
So start with pinpointing the one person that you want to help, and redirect all your focus on them. Obsess with them, and then obsess with the transformation you want to see happen in their lives. Interact with them; find out what they truly want, and then work on how you can provide exactly that. Will you use tools? Templates? Strategies? Will you build them a product or offer them a service? What will you do to create that transformation?
Once you create the means to that transformation, create a means to keep score. This will give you clarity. After that, everything just naturally follows.