Rebel Uprising Podcast

What Can a Thought Leader Business Look Like?

The Rebel Uprising Podcast is dedicated to helping passionate business owners become recognized leaders who make more money and impact the world by turning their messy, complicated ideas into thriving thought leadership businesses.

You might remember that line from the Rebel Uprising trailer, but what does a thought leader business actually look like?

It's a business built around your original ideas that achieve results for people.

You're probably still wondering what the heck that means and how you actually practice that daily in your business.

Here's a few takeaways:

  • A big part of me believes that your thought leadership business can look like whatever the hell you want it to be, there is no one size fits all here.
  • Your thought leadership should energize you, do something that is fulfilling and is not a one-way street to burnout.
  • Remember that you are in control and your business can evolve as your expertise deepens and your audience grows.

I'm sharing more about each of this points on the full episode of Rebel Uprising today, so listen in to the full episode and then leave some time to reflect on your current business model and how it could improve to match your personality. You'll be one step closer to have the thought leader business that I truly believe you can have.

Tune in or read through the transcript below

Resources mentioned in this episode

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For regular listeners of the pod, you may have noticed this line from the trailer, “The Rebel Uprising Podcast is dedicated to helping passionate business owners become recognized leaders who make more money and impact the world by turning their messy, complicated ideas into thriving thought leadership businesses.”

But what the hell is a thought leadership business?

Well, it's a business built around your original ideas that achieve results for people. But what does that look like in practice? And does it have to look like a course? Most of the time when people talk about thought leader businesses, it seems to always have something to do with writing a book, then creating a course.

Well, buckle up my rebel friend, because on today's show, we're going to talk about building a thought leadership business, and I promise it's going to be unlike what you've heard.

Just like the term thought leadership is misunderstood, I believe the idea of what a thought leadership can be is also completely misunderstood. As I was doing my research for this episode, I was Googling “thought leadership business model” and what I found surprised me, even though it shouldn't have. The advice that I found, and the courses that I found seem to all involve the following advice: get great branding or write a book, create a course, grow your audience and voila, instant thought leadership business.

Although, I think it's important to have a thought leadership message and to have a brand at some point, the rest of it, it was a little blah. It feels very one size fits all. Just add water and you too can be a thought leader, but what can a thought leadership business look like for you? Well a part of me says, whatever the hell you want it to look like, honestly, there's a ton of truth to that.

What needs to happen is that we, as an online business collective, need to stop shitting on certain business models because a thought leadership business should energize you. For so long, we've heard that a business that scales, which a thought leadership business technically should be able to do well, can't include one-on-one work. I'm so over people crapping on one-on-one work, saying you're just trading your time for dollars and it's just not scalable and it's a short path to burnout and it's not going to be fulfilling for you, and the only way that you can really have a scalable business is by having a course or a membership or a mastermind or whatever it is that they're trying to sell you.

I've been in business for over eight years now and I freaking love one-on-one work now. I get to go deep. I get to learn about all kinds of different expertise. That's what keeps me going in my business because when I work on someone's messaging, I get to become like a little mini expert in them.

I have been inside of all different types of business models. I've been inside one-on-one business models, courses, memberships, groups, masterminds, franchises, agencies, events, and I'm probably missing some, I've seen it all work and I've seen some stuff, then it doesn't work. Here's the thing, it works if it fits your personality.

So a thought leadership business can look like whatever the hell you want it to. It can be viable if it energizes you. If that's one-on-one work, yes, that can work in a thought leadership business model. It can be events or small group programs. It really doesn't matter. 

I think that's the beautiful part, realizing that you ultimately have control over the business that you want to create, because here you are, a person with ideas that matter that can help people achieve results in their life, in their business, in this world. You get to be paid for that and you get to choose the best way that you want to be paid for that. No one gets to dictate that to you.

I realize that freedom can be a little overwhelming, so I'll have some reflection questions for you at the end to think about to see if your current business model is working for you, if it energizes you. Maybe you need to shift a little bit. There's nothing wrong with shifting things so that your business works for you, so that it fits you.

I think the bottom line is that you really just need to find something that fits you and what you want to build and realize that you can change that up as your audience grows and as you evolve in your business.

One thing I do think a thought leadership business does have is some type of public facing component to it. That can be speaking or teaching, writing books, creating videos, podcasting, but you need a place to store your thought leadership. Because what I've noticed as I've been working with people in the Marketing Uprising workshop or BOLD Messaging sessions is a lot of people are just posting their ideas on social media. You need a storehouse for those ideas, a storehouse where people can come and consume those ideas after they find you.

Once again, this is the cool part, you get to decide how you want to put your work out into the world based on how you like to communicate. So if you, you love speaking, speak, even in this world of COVID-19 virtual speaking events are still abundant. I've even booked a couple of virtual speaking gigs, not even looking for them in the past couple of months. Let me tell you, my friends, virtual speaking gigs are amazing because you get paid the same as a real speaking gig, and you don't have to leave your house. Amazing. No commuting.

You can also create a podcast that hosts your ideas, right? Like this podcast is a place for me to share my ideas with you and to share other people's ideas and have conversations about those ideas. If you love videos, then create videos. One of the things this year has given me an opportunity to do is to teach. Do you love teaching? Guess what? Online courses aren't the only way to do that.

For me, teaching is about that live interaction that I get while I'm in the virtual classroom with people. I love that interaction and I've been so grateful that this year, after leaving academia for so long, that I'm back in a virtual classroom, teaching Marketing Uprising and helping people connect their marketing with their sales and PS I'm teaching Marketing Uprising again in September. So if you want to know about when that's happening next, get on the list.

If you love writing, write books. It's easier than ever to write a book and to publish a book and get it out there. Or you can write a blog. You are creating a body of work that you can make money from. That is what thought leadership is about. We're monetizing our ideas and creating a business around it.

So your business model, how you work with clients can look any way you want. It might be a membership. It might be one-on-one, it might be programs or masterminds or a franchise, or who knows what it might be, but you get to decide that, and then you also get to decide how you want to create your body of work in the world.

Now it's time to reflect and time to think about either your current business model or the one you want to create.

So question number one that I have for you, how do you like to work with people? Think about the ways you're currently working with people. Is it energizing you, how do you feel after your sessions with clients? After you teach a workshop, is it giving you energy? Is it depleting your energy?

Question number to, how do you like to create content? What's the best way for you to capture your body of work so that you can make money from it so you can share your ideas? 

The final question, is there a way that you secretly would love to be working with people that you're currently not working with people because somebody told you that you can never make money that way? Is there a way that you would love to meet with working with people that you're not because somebody told you it was a bad idea?

Let me know what you think. My Instagram DMs are always open to you. Let me know, is your business model working for you? Is there something new you want to create or do you just want to keep going?

Before we go, once you have that business model down and an offer your people can't resist, the next big hurdle you have is getting that into the hands of as many people as possible. That means having a great message. That is why the Rebel Uprising podcast is brought to you by the 3 Word Rebellion messaging intensive. If you're ready to package up your big ideas, skills, expertise, and your vision into a one of a kind message that attracts the right people to your business, grows your audience and helps you make more money while making more of an impact, I'd love to help you create that messaging. The first step is to go grab the 3 Word Rebellion pricing and service guide.

Remember, there is no one thought leadership business model, the right model is one that energizes you and attracts the right people who are willing to pay you for your ideas.

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