Motivation

YOU REALLY NEED TO BE MORE THAN AN EXPERT

In today’s economy, it is important you are recognized as an expert in your field/niche. Being recognized as an expert will give you competitive advantage; because when you are an expert in your field or niche, people want to do business with you and your company, hire you and spread ideas. Being an expert is great. You need to become more than an expert in your your field or niche.

In today’s world, it is very important to be a thought leader. A thought leader is one who is:

  1. known for his or her ideas
  2. has followers

Thought leaders strive to make impact, and that requires them to move out of their usual environment to get their ideas across to others.

The term “thought leadership” coined by Joel Kurtzman in 1994, when he was the editor-in-chief of Strategy+Business Magazine, regarding thinkers whose ideas merited attention. Thought leaders bring in change through their radical ideas which usually runs countercultural to the prevailing received wisdom. They question the status quo. They question the prevailing assumptions and test them. If a longheld assumption doesn’t stand the test, they reject it in favor of what measures up.


It is a fact of the human nature to dislike change. The status quo is usually more appealing even when it doesn’t serve well. Thus, the ideas of would-be thought leaders are not usually welcome in the first instance. They are labelled as troublemakers who are out to upset the normal order. But many thought leaders have persisted in the face of resistance. Eventually, resistance progresses to slow change. And in persevering with their conviction, true change finally arrives. When Galileo Galilei challenged the heliocentric model of the Universe (meaning that the sun revolves around the earth), the church labelled him a heretic. He was persecuted and put under house arrest. But Galileo was just cooking up things. He had the fact to back up his assertion. He had looked through his newly invented telescope and found out that rather than a heliocentric universe, what is the fact is that the earth revolves around the sun. But Galileo’s persistence won the day as today it is taken for granted that indeed the earth revolves around the sun and not otherwise.


What it Doesn’t Take


Many are of the opinion that it takes geniuses to discover a new or radical idea in an established field or niche. Our minds usually gravitate to people branded as geniuses; those special breed of people whose IQ is in the astronomical range. We think of people like Isaac Newton, Richard Feynman, Shakespeare, etc. But the truth is far from that. In fact, in reading about Richard Feynman and others, I realized it wasn’t because they were super-talented; but because they cultivated the mindset and discipline which the majority do not care about. Thus, the average Joe with the right mindset and action can discover world-changing ideas and become a thought leader. We’ll look at what it takes in the next section of this article.


What Does it Take?


It takes courage to share your idea with the world especially when that idea is contrary to received wisdom. I like what Dorie Clark says in his book, Stand Out. He wrote: Whatever your course, or perspective, or point of view, we can’t afford for the best ideas to remain buried inside of you. The world needs your insights. Whether it is reducing crime or predicting election results or imporving a manufacturing process or stopping spam e-mails, there are an infinite number of ways to make a contribution. We don’t have to settle for following orders and keeping to the work we’re expected to do. Our value isn’t as robots executing tasks. It’s as thinkers, who make connection and spark new insights and change the world by seeing things in new ways.
What does it take to more than an expert? To be a thought leader? It takes:

Asking questions. Thought leaders are those who question the assumptions taken by for granted by others. They are curious and are alert for inconsistencies in systems or beliefs. They are not content to shrug away unease at inconsistencies and will not rest content until they find answers. It is usually such pertinacity and tenacity in looking for answers to questions that distinguish thought leaders or geniuses from the mediocre majority. Sure, it takes work to questions and seek answers; but it is the reason why so called geniuses are rare; why thought leaders are not the staple of the society.

Seeking first hand information. The casual person is contented with only second hand information, perhaps from sources such as the media or gossips. But thought leaders are those who go out of their way to verify information. They prefer actual experiences; to experience how things work themselves rather than rely on hearsay. They work with those at the frontlines and get a feel of situations themselves. This can be considered cumbersome as if re-inventing the wheel but it is this painstaking approach that makes would-be thought leaders get a deeper understanding of how situation is. I read of a famous Indian Mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan would solve problems by hand; by the long route rather than just plugging values into a given formula. He, by so doing, got a deeper understanding. Same thing applies to any field or niche. Eschew the shortcuts. Stay close to where the action is and get a feel of the situation yourself.

Drawing upon your own experience. A few things can be said to be unique about you. You fingerprints, your personality and then, your life experiences. No two life experiences can be the same in all regards even those of identical twins! This uniqueness about every individual shapes our perspectives and helps us to see situations in different light. These differences in perspectives stemming from our unique combination of experiences can become a catalyst for seeing innovative solutions to a problem. Don’t cheapen your life experiences, whether they are good or bad. They can provide a complement to your formal qualifications. Fresh insights come from individuals with ecclectic backgrounds. For example, Wharton professor Adam Grant worked as a magician and Gianpiero Petriglieri of INSEAD is a psychiatrist by training.

Hard Work and Patience. Ideas usually don’t come as finished product the first time they arrive. There is usually the reiterative process of testing and refinement. This can take years of hard work and patience. Even then, most times these refined are not usually accepted into the mainstream. We have learned that the human nature is resistant to change. It takes patience and perseverance to stick with conviction about a new way when the noise of the majority is deafening.

Finally, we have learned that today’s world requires that we be more than experts our field. We need to come up with innovative ways to doing things. And that requires asking questions, seeking for answers and going for firsthand experience.

Ultimately, it will require courage to share whatever the idea with the world and patience to see it win the day. You deserve to be heard. The world need to hear you. Become more than an expert. Be a thought leader.


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You can reach me with your questions at triplyfree@gmail.com

Financial Freedom

HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE WITH YOUR HOBBY

The Challenges and Opportunities                                     

Today’s world is filled with more challenges and opportunities than ever. Making money has never been harder in one context and easier in another. The challenges we face today are enormous and can fill the average person with uncertainty and anxiety. Globalization, outsourcing, downsizing, foreclosures, Ponzi schemes, Wall Street fiascoes, recession and now the Coronavirus Pandemic have brought a steady dose of bad news and anxiety. The unemployment rate is also increasing. Employees are being laid off as organizations experience downturns in the market. And many of those still with jobs are unsatisfied and wish for a way out.

But as the challenges have increased, so has the opportunities. The present Connected Economy has brought in good news in the midst of bad news.  According to a 2016 Harvard Business Review webinar, in the Connected Economy, value is created through the technology-enabled links between people, machines, and organizations. The Information Age and the Connected Economy has made it easy for us to connect with others around the globe and transact business with people far away—people we might never meet.

There also been a steady proliferation of various internet technologies that can now give the average person a voice in a crowded world; something that only the media houses could pull off in the time past. The sad reality however, is that many are unaware that opportunities for financial freedom exist, away from the regular 9-5 jobs.

In fact, in this Connected Economy, these worse times can be the best times; but only if you are armed with the right knowledge and take action. In this blog post, I will be showing you how to make money from your hobby.

What Does It Mean?

A hobby is any activity you undertake for leisure; that is, during your free time. By understanding how to make money with your hobby, you can break free from the rat-race and live life on your terms.  This blog, triplyfree.com is here to make time, health and financial freedom a reality for you. Monetizing your hobby online will give you the shock absorber to weather the rough times in our economy by helping you create another source of income called passive income (also called residual income). I love this quote by Amah Lambert: “There is no true freedom without time freedom. And there is no time freedom without financial freedom.”  This subject is therefore of utmost importance in these crucial times. I urge you to keep reading.

One particularly interesting story I came across is that of Lain Ehmann of layoutaday.com who built a six-figure income online with her scrapbook blog. For those who don’t know what a scrapbook is, a scrapbook is a method of preserving personal memories by sticking photographs, printed media, artwork, etc. on blank pages of a book along with journal entries or descriptions. One might consider such a hobby too trivial to become a source of livelihood; but the beauty of this Internet Age is that we can make money from hobbies that are even considered trivial like Lain did.

How To Monetize Your Hobby On The Internet

Here are the steps taken by those who have successfully made a living out of their hobbies on the internet.

  • Be clear on your ‘Why’

It is important to clarify the reason(s) you want to monetize your hobby. Different people have different reasons. These reasons will serve as your motivators. For some persons, the prospect of not being under a boss might be a motivator. For some others, the dream of spending more time with your family might be a motivator. Or making more money. Any one of these reasons or a combination of any of these can be a source of motivation to build a business around a hobby. What is important is to get clear on your why so that you can have a strong motivation.

The truth is there will be downtimes and uptimes when building a business online around your hobby. In fact, it is important to know that making money from your hobby is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. It takes time and patience. It takes some amount of hard work. It is very important you get this straight. It is not a get-rich-quick-scheme! But it is far worth more than working for a boss in the long-run. In fact, the worth long-term cannot be compared with working at a paid employment.

You need to concretize your ‘Why’ by writing it down for future reference. When your motivation is flagging at some undetermined time in the future, you can pull the sheet out and get yourself back on track.

You should have a five-year plan. Five years is ideal because it is neither too short-term nor long-term. Write down what you hope to accomplish in the next five years. What kind of life do you intend to have in the next five years? Write it down. This will serve to motivate you towards building your online business.

  • Build trust

There are ways you can show your potential audience or fans that you are to be taken seriously. One way is to join a network of those who are already successful doing what you intend doing. You could offer to contribute free articles or content to the blog, website or podcast of those already successful. Your association with those who are already established in your niche will give you credibility in the eyes of your potential audience and make them want to do business with you. By associating with those already established in the niche you are trying to break through, you are networking and building social proof.

People like to associate with the person behind a brand. It is for this reason people tend to become disenchanted with the corporate image which usually come across as soulless and detached. You want to build trust with your audience? Let the unique thing about you—your personality—come shining through whatever you do. For example, if you have love ice creams, tell your audience in your content that you love ice creams. If you have a challenge you are currently facing in your personal life, feel free to share with your audience. I’m not saying you should overshare. Share according to the level you are comfortable with. The most important thing is to let your personality, or call it your humanity shine through whatever you do.

  • Maintain connection with your audience

It is important to use various platforms to keep in touch with your audience. Today, there are several platforms that can help you do that: blogging, emails, social media, and podcasting. Use them to your advantage. You want to show your audience that you care. Ask them about the challenges facing their life or work. Use the encounters with your audience to ask about what they need. Go out and meet that need.  Put your audience’s interest first and then the money will follow. Be committed to helping them solve their problems and they will be grateful to be your loyal fan, bring others to you and so on you will make enough to be financially free.

People like to feel that they are part of a community. They want to connect with others who share the same vision and values. Every once in a while, bring your followers together for a live event. You could do that with the available internet technologies like ZOOM or some other ones. Discuss, answer their questions, ask your questions, give them a challenge, etc. Come up with innovative ways to make them feel part of a community.  Create magic moments for your audience and they will stick with you like velcro!

  • Extend Your Reach

In today’s Information Age, there are several ways you can reach your audience. You could create online courses about topics in your hobby niche or create e-books, audio books etc. If you have already done well in the previous steps, you know what your audience need. Your digital products will be geared towards meeting those needs and they will be more than happy to buy your solutions.

You are also not limited to internet technologies when building a business around your hobby. You can develop your speaking and become a sought-after paid speaker on your hobby. You could also develop your coaching practice and have one-on-one mentorship physically with your customers. You could also ask for referrals for those customers satisfied with your service delivery.

  • Keep learning

We are the Information Age. Knowledge grows at an amazing pace. What is relevant today may become outdated tomorrow. It is important you keep up to date. Know more about your niche. Know about digital marketing. Know about building a business online. Be flexible in your approach so that when a new wave of disruption hits, you can be prepared to take advantage. Read books, listen to podcasts, go for courses and stay relevant in your niche.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help with taking your hobby online and monetizing it, I (Peter) am available to render help. You reach me on triplyfree@gmail.com with your questions and enquiries. Note: I could charge you some fee if what you are request will require much resources. Lol! Remember, I’m in business too!

Now…

This is an amazing time to be alive. It is a time filled with great opportunities. There are several people who have built a business online around their hobby. They are not a special breed. You too can learn how to make money from your hobby.

Take That Step

Contact me on triplyfree@gmail.com for business consultations. Don’t forget to make your comments on this blog post. Share the post too. See you!