There’s a stench in the air and it’s called conflict.
I see it over and over again…
Talented, skilled, results giving professionals conflicted with the title of authority.
“I’m not an authority or an expert, I’m just someone that’s learned a few things.”
The self deprecating sentiment is almost sweet.
Except that it doesn’t do you or your business any favors.
It doesn’t elicit the respect you want.
It doesn’t help you command the fees you want.
It doesn’t establish you as an authority, you said so yourself.
It does however position you as “one of us” which seems as warm and fuzzy as a Snuggie blanket, but here’s the rub…
We don’t pay, and certainly not premium pricing, to learn from someone just like us. We pay to learn and be supported by someone that’s figured things out and that exudes the kind of confidence and knowledge we aspire to posses ourselves.
Sure, we’re attracted to people that make us feel heard – people just as goofy and whack-a-do as us.
We open up our wallets to people that have cojones bigger than our own because they are a symbol for what’s possible. And we love, love, love it when someone demonstrates that what we secretly dream about is attainable.
Authority figures aren’t all tightly wound, cold hearted, robotic assholes.
A true authority beautifully balances generosity with respect.
Accessibility with firm positioning.
You don’t need to choose between being “one of us” or “one of them” because chances are, you’re a bit of both.
Learning how to communicate with confidence and grace…
Learning how to find and express your voice…
…that’s the unspoken secret.
You don’t need to make yourself smaller than you are.
You don’t need to be an asshole to be an authority.
But you do need to use your voice.
It’s not a nice thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.