Building a Thought Leadership Platform

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

This year I have comitted to be more consistent in managing my online presence. So I started off this year conducting monthly webinars on positioning oneself as a thought leader. I am a business coach, and my circle consist of many coaches and consultants. It baffles me how many of my colleagues still have absolutely no online presence! I’m currently pursuing my doctoral degree for the purpose of entering the academia world. With all the academics who are truly experts in their field, it surprises me how many of them don’t have an online presence.

We all have a story. We all have lessons and skills we have learned over the course of our lives. You can take the things you already know and position yourself in the marketplace as a thought leader. Positioning yourself as a thought leader allows you to take advantage of today’s global marketplace, thereby gaining a competitive advantage over your competition, increase your revenue potential, and increase your authority and impact in your industry. Thought leaders drive the conversation in the marketplace and shape perceptions.

During the three webinars we conducted I discussed:

  • the various ways you could share your expertise;
  • how to use social media and online marketing to position yourself as a tought leader; and,
  • the rules of success in the new information age, among others.

I also shared nine tools that could be used to build your thought leadership platform. These included:

  • a professional website;
  • a professional email;
  • a consistent social media presence;
  • blogging;
  • a newsletter list;
  • podcasting;
  • information products;
  • a membership site; and,
  • joint ventures.

These may seem like simple tools, but I notice, over and over, how very competent and wise leaders overlook these tools or use them incorrectly. The game of business has changed, and we have to learn the new rules. We do the world a disservice when we allow the knowledge we possess to end with us.

Duplicating our knowledge, and automating the process we take prospects through our signature system, can create residual currency of knowledge and income for generations. This includes having a strategically planned and well designed sales funnel and marketing processes. We must design clear systems by which prospects are introduced to our brand, and we build upon their interest and desire in a way that moves them to take action. Our sales funnel must include free, low-level, mid-level, and high-level products. And as promoted by DuctTape Marketing, we must have organized marketing process that build our know, like, and trust factor with our prospects. This process must also move these prospects to try, buy, repeat, and refer our expertise to others.

Again, these processes can be automated in a manner that saves us time and money. By properly positioning ourselves in the marketplace as thought leaders, we can create a community of followers around our expertise that can outlive us. You are an expert. It’s time to let the world know it, too.

As Roger Deveau says, “You are an expert. It’s time to let the world know it, too.”

Posted in Entrepreneur Leadership, Lead Your Business, Lead Your Industry, Small Business, Thought Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 Ways to Encourage Yourself and Stay Focused as an Entrepreneur

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/

The entrepreneur life is an exhilarating adventure full of twist and turns. The uncertainty that comes with being an entrepreneur is often challenging for those that value stability and comfort. I often kid that as an entrepreneur you have to be willing to throw that out of the door.

The reality is things in business will happen. You will face curve balls. Things won’t always go as you plan or expect them to.  The key is just knowing how to press through these turbulent times.

Here are 4 ways that I encourage myself and keep myself focused on my entrepreneur journey:

  1. Listen to inspirational music. I often have music playing all day when I really need to focus and get things done.
  2. Have a good laugh. For me this may include watching a funny TV program, scanning funny YouTube videos, or just calling a friend. My mom always provides a good laugh with her straight shooter personality.
  3. Reading entrepreneurial stories. One of the greatest motivators for me have been the entrepreneurial stories of those who have the level of platform I desire to have. Reading how they pressed through the tough times helps me to pull myself up by the “boot straps” and keep pushing forward.
  4. This is huge for me. I realize that what I do is a gift. It’s not something everyone can do easily, or even wants to. I don’t take that for granted. So I approach every task with prayer, asking God for the strength and wisdom to provide my clients with the greatest value to solve their problems.

What are some things you do to encourage yourself and stay focused?

Please share in the comments below.

Posted in Aspiring Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur Leadership, Executive Leadership, Faith in Biz, Lead Your Life, Small Business, Thought Leadership, Youth Entrepreneurship | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Are You Following an Old Model in Business

Image courtesy of mrpuen/

Image courtesy of mrpuen/

We live in a world that is rapidly changing. This week I had the pleasure of attending a seminar with Rodney Sampson, of Kingonomics and Opportunity Hub. He is one of the few voices in business that I absolutely love hearing. He is a man so full of wisdom for his young age, and his ideals are absolutely revolutionary. He is a voice that these changing times need.

As he shared from his book Kingonomics, he shared how many entrepreneurs and small business owners are running their businesses based on 20-30 year old models.  In my workshops, I often talk about how web-based technologies have completely changed the way business is conducted. In many ways these technologies have lowered the barriers to entry in business. We are in a time in history where we have never had so many opportunities at our disposal to build the capacity to see poverty eliminated because of these lowered barriers to entry.

Yet even with all these opportunities and ability to build capacity quickly, we haven’t seen the improvement in the health of small businesses that we probably should be seeing. Sampson stated how in business we often attempt to rush too quickly to market using old models that don’t necessarily work in our new economy. If we are going to increase our number of successful entrepreneur leaders we must learn to adjust to the quickly changing global economy we live in. This requires us to stay up to date on what the markets we are entering into requiring. We must keep our ear to what our customers want first, and to changing market trends.

A simple Google search can reveal all we need to know about successfully entering into the markets we desire. We can no longer do business the way we’ve always done it. Are customers aren’t having it and it will show in our lack of growth as a business.

Posted in Small Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How I Recovered from Business Failure

Image courtesy of pakorn /

Image courtesy of pakorn /

I officially started my coaching practice in 2008. In those early days I spent a lot of time and money on what seemed to be good things, but turned out to be bad decisions for my business. I did things by the book, but found my journey in business to be hard, frustrating, and overwhelming. I spent thousands of dollars launching my business the first year and I did not see any return on my investment.


What gives?!?! I often asked myself. The journey was tough, but it was this journey that made me a better coach, trainer, and consultant. Now I know how to help people avoid the same mistakes I made. I know what to look for and how to get past the fluff that is often found in the service part of business.


So fast forward to 2013, I had a huge epiphany that change the course of my business. I realized that it was the very things that I was avoiding that were hindering my business. They were simple things, but they were making a huge impact on the success of my business. I realized the power of AUTOMATED systems and processes, and sales and marketing. I realized that most successful businesses have a duplicable process that is easily implemented, and allows the business owner to spend less time working in their business. I had a system for how I coached, but I did not have a system for the operations and customer management of my business. With sales and marketing, I HATED this aspect of business and avoided it like the plague. I thought that if I simply told people what I did, they would want to work with me. Well that definitely didn’t work! I realized that if I did not commit to learning the process and system of sales and marketing, then my business was doomed!


So I made a commitment to myself and my business, and I learned how to establish automated systems and processes for every aspect of my business. I then studied sales and marketing and found what worked for me. These two small changes made a huge impact in my business. Opportunities started to come to me and my business has been profitable every year since. My profits have also increased every year. I still have a ways to go to reach my revenue goals, but I learned that sometimes it is the very thing that we avoid doing in business, that is the very thing that will create breakthrough in our business.


So what is the one thing you’ve been avoiding that you know you should be doing in your business? I guarantee you, that is the thing you should be doing that will make a difference in your business success!


Join me for this month’s free webinar, where I’ll share what I’ve learned about increasing your market engagement and automating your business processes.

Posted in Aspiring Entrepreneur, Clarity, Entrepreneur Leadership, Lead Your Business, Mid-Size Business, Small Business, Thought Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Top Threat to the World’s Economy

- Image courtesy of cooldesign /

– Image courtesy of cooldesign /

Recently, Gallup released an article “The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment”. This powerful article talked about the deception of the unemployment rate, as millions of Americans are not included in its calculation. Only those who are actively looking for employment are counted in the unemployment rate. This leaves out those who have stopped looking for work and those who are underemployed. In fact, this article states that only 44% of Americans have a full time job. The CEO of Gallup, Jim Clifton, echoed this sentiment during Operation Hope’s Global Forum, stating that the world needs approximately 2 billion more entrepreneurs to adequately provide jobs for the amount of people that need them.

Right now in the United States approximately 21 million of 27 million firms do not have any employees. This means they are not providing jobs for America’s population. Even worse, about 80% of these businesses make less than $50,000 in gross receipts. Worldwide, the economic situation is dire. This is especially true for our youth. Whereas, some states boast a youth unemployment rate of over 20%. The amount of people participating in America’s labor force is the lowest that it has been since 1978! There are just simply not enough jobs for the amount of people that need them, and many of the available jobs do not match the skills of the current available workforce. This makes it very hard to have a consumer economy, when people do not have the money and resources to consume.

The world needs more entrepreneurs that create businesses that create more jobs! THE WORLD NEEDS YOU!

When we look at these numbers I believe the biggest threat to the world’s economy are those who give up on their entrepreneurial dreams. We do the world a disservice and contribute to the systemic poverty plaguing our world when we don’t start that business.

We are now living in an economy where it is imperative to have multiple cash flow vehicles. The three basic building blocks to wealth, not only for individuals, but for world economies, include entrepreneurship, real estate, and investing. Families and economies thrive when entrepreneurs take the risk to launch their dreams, and are provided with the right support to grow successfully.

Even if government doesn’t provide all the resources needed to grow a business, there are plenty of private sector and nonprofit resources available to help businesses thrive. Also since we are in the information age, there are plenty of resources on line that can guide you through every step of launching and growing a thriving business.

So I implore you, for the sake of the economy, for the sake of our world’s future, let go of your fear, use your expertise and start that business! If we don’t build our own dreams, we are in bondage to building the dreams of others, and the world suffers as a result. The numbers don’t lie. Our world is in desperate need of more entrepreneurs or the economies of the world will die a slow financial death. Let’s stop contributing to the problem and be a part of the solution!

Posted in Aspiring Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur Leadership, Impact, Lead Your Business, Small Business, Youth Entrepreneurship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No matter where you are in life at this moment, I believe you were created for better than what you’re experiencing in life right now! I believe that you were created to rule and reign in your world, and live a  life of love, joy, peace, and prosperity!

You were created to live your life on Earth as it is in Heaven! Your dreams and desires are a gift to you from your Creator, and an indication of how you are to walk out your assignment to express Heaven on the Earth.

Everyday there are people around the world waking up to the life of their dreams. Why not you? It’s time for you to stop settling and give your life to your dreams!

Posted on by coachlavonyajones | Leave a comment