Recently I wrote this post on the Happy Pants Books blog. It outlines what an authority business actually is.
This is what I do, and it's what I help other people to do. And at the heart of it, the way to make an authority business successful is to focus on three important ideas. I call them the 3 Commandments of an Authority Business.
1ST COMMANDMENT: Find a pain, and create a solution.
This is the whole point of your authority business. Keep your eyes open. Do you see a pain somewhere? Do you see someone struggling with something that you can solve? Once you've identified a pain, and created a solution for it, you have a product.
2ND COMMANDMENT: Market that solution to the people who need it most.
The best-written book in the world does no one any good if nobody knows about it. The finest-crafted jewelry doesn't matter to the person who isn't aware it exists. The greatest WordPress plugin of all time means nothing to those who have no idea it's out there. "Marketing" may be a dirty word in some circles, but good marketing means that you're answering a call and soothing a pain. You owe it to those who need what you have, to promote your work so they can find it. So start looking at ways to market and promote your authority business.
3RD COMMANDMENT: Do the work only if it comes from a place of love, not if the motivation is purely money.
Money is useful. It lets me buy the things I want and need. It puts food on the table and clothes on my back, but it also gets me a Playstation or a pool table. Money lets me travel—my primary muse for inspiration. Without money, I'd be in pretty bad shape. But money can't be my primary motivator in life (nor yours). "Doing it for the money" alone won't be enough to keep you going when things get tight. There are far easier ways to make money than building an authority business, so your primary motivator needs to be the love you have for the work and for others. Do it if you're passionate. Don't do it if you're not. The money comes as a result of doing what you love and solving a problem for someone else.
As simple as all that sounds, it can be daunting for someone starting an authority business—an author, a speaker, a coach or consultant—as they hang their shingle and step out of their door to face the world. That's why it's important to get a little help, when you can.
I've had hundreds of mentors. Some of them have come to me via podcasts and blogs. Some via books and videos. And some have come as consultants and coaches who have worked with me one-on-one.
If you need some guidance in building or growing your authority business, there are three things I'd recommend:
- Listen to podcasts — The Wordslinger Podcast is a good place to start, but you can search iTunes and Stitcher for podcasts on any topic you can imagine. These are free, highly valuable sources of information on your topic!
- Read books — Depending on your chosen area of expertise, there are tons of books I could recommend. But some basics to get you started include The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss and The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. You can find more books and more useful, Wordslinger-recommended resources for the budding authority business on my Resources page.
- Find a mentor — Look around at the people who are successful doing what you want to do, and read their books, listen to their podcasts, read their blogs. You might even reach out to them and see if they offer coaching. You can also contact me for some one-on-one consulting about how to build, promote, and grow your authority business.
Whether you want to be an author, build a consulting practice, or start speaking for a living, the resources above are a good start and a good best-practice. But the most important thing on this page is the advice to do what makes you feel passionate. Do it because you love it, and you want to help, and you'll find that money and success just happen, and that your energy and freedom and happiness go up with every day. So start now, find a pain and solve it, and build the business and life you've wanted with all the authority you already have.