You don’t want Marie Forleo’s branding. I know that is a bold statement to make. “But VANA,” you cry out to me, “She has a beautiful, clean website. Forleo has an amazing program that sells out every time it opens cart. She’s making massive changes for women in their lives and businesses. She’s met Oprah for pete’s sake.”
Shh my sweet summer child. Worry not for I have what you truly seek.
You don’t want Forleo’s brand because what you seek is to have an expert brand like hers.
What you seek is brand authority.
And the only way you can do it is to blaze forth on your own trail, not by following the path another forged.
How does one just become an expert in their field?
Forleo certainly didn’t just wake up one morning with Oprah on her schedule. It took a solid plan and positioning herself to get there. I’m not here to tell you your work must be hard or easy to be fulfilling, or that the hustle struggle is real or a 4 hour workweek is possible.
I am here to tell you if you commit to it, show up for it every damn day, and live your biz with authenticity, you can have your own unique brand authority.
And that is much more satisfying than chasing a grasp of someone else’s.
So without amassing a pile of student debt or credit card loans, how do you become an expert?
Use your noggin
Some people say fake it till you make it which works to a certain degree, some people educate themselves in depth. However, knowledge is a resource like anything else, you just have to know how to cultivate it.
People are another fantastic resource (one we are not caring enough for but another post for another time), and knowing how to listen and what to ask is crucial in gaining expert knowledge.
Being a great entrepreneur (and a better human tbh) is 80% listening and 20% asking the right questions.
Another way to achieve this is self-educating. “But Vana,” you tap your foot at me, “If everyone could just teach themselves to do something, why isn’t the world full of entrepreneurs?” And a perfectly valid question.
The reason is time.
Teaching yourself new things as an adult can be difficult and take some time (time you might not have with a 9-5, family, social life, relationships, ANIMALS TO PET, you know life). And until someone makes time turners a reality, becoming an expert entrepreneur is going to require a bit of sacrifice on your part.
Gotta give to get
Speaking of sacrifices, let’s talk about the final block in becoming an authority in your industry. Some of you may possibly be reading this and be thinking “I’ve got the best mentor and all of the time in the world but I am still not hitting that expert brand I crave.”
I hear you.
What is required of you is a change of mindset. Some people have to give up time or money (and maybe you already have) but everyone must be willing to sacrifice their old thoughts and habits to make room for new ones.
You got to where you are by doing what you do and thinking how you’re thinking right now.
You’re not gonna grow past that acting and feeling the same way. If you aren’t willing to try new things, you can’t ever discover new ideas. You cannot be an expert without being an innovator.
So what are you willing to sacrifice to make your dreams come true?