Turn Your Ls Into Lessons

Facing failures is an important part of life but most people associate losses with defeat - the type of defeat that there’s no coming back from. The proverbial nail in your coffin if you will. 🔨🔩⚰️

It's programmed into all aspects of our lives. Parents and guardians do their best to make sure their kids don't face pain for the most part.

In school, we are taught that if you get a D or an F, you’re a failure. 

At work, our bosses might tell us that if we don’t close an account, we shouldn’t bother coming back to work. 

In sports, if someone misses a shot or penalty, a lot of us are quick to ridicule that person. 

In our families, if we happen to “marry the wrong person” or “choose the wrong job”, we are labelled disappointments. 

Essentially we have created a world whereby failure can affect how we see ourselves and how others see us. We have this relationship with failure that somehow translates into shame, disgrace and lack of initiative. 

I’d like to suggest that we reconsider this relationship though because the journey is more important than the destination. It's like Arthur Ashe once said. “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”💡🔦

As I reflect on my losses today, I love understanding how my failures were teaching moments for me. 

🔥 My 85+ job rejections after college helped me understand the importance of not giving up 🔈🔉🔊

🔥 My near death experience gave me perspective of how short life is⏱

🔥 My 4 MBA rejection letters led me to take a gamble and move to NYC where I launched my career.

🔥 My getting fired twice helped me focus on my vision and choose myself. 🔭🔬

Connecting the dots backwards, I realize the following:

  • When we fail, we learn.
  • We grow and mature.
  • We achieve new understandings and perspectives on life, love, business, money, relationships, and people.
  • We’re forced to make new connections and bridge gaps where we couldn't have connected the dots previously.

Without failure, we’d be less capable of compassion, empathy, kindness, and great achievement. It’s through failure that we learn the greatest lessons that life could teach us.

I want you all to understand that it’s okay to fail so ignore the naysayers, use your experiences to create an action plan and turn your Ls into Lessons!


The Triangle Of Leadership

Leadership has different meanings to different people but my favorite definition is the following:

"Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal."

My hope is that we all learn to embrace leadership in a way that pushes us to our maximum potential. 
If you want to become a leader, don’t wait. Start to act, think, and communicate like the leader you want to be today. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re not mentally there. Commit to action by doing these three things. I call them the triangle of leadership.
Be a problem solver: Start with yourself and look at the problems you have faced in the past. What did you learn from those experiences? Codify your experiences into frameworks and then start to look for themes and trends that correlated to your success and failure in the past. This allows you to practice the courage needed to stand up for others because you’ll be operating from memory and experience. When you operate from what you know, you become more confident. This will also allow you to practice the art of seeing more possibilities. 
Be a connector: Other than being a problem solver, leaders need to be able to put what I call “people puzzles” together. Essentially, who in your network can you connect to someone else right now? Got that person in mind? Now make the connection. Make sure these connections provides value for all parties involved. This allows you to practice having vision and foresight. 
Build a community: So you’ve become good at identifying problems, sharing solutions and connecting people. The next thing you need to do is to learn how to build communities. Create a Facebook group, mastermind group or membership platform that creates opportunities to discuss common interests and share insights related to your interests. This gives you a broader view of the world, your interests and your industry by exposing you to multiple perspectives. Wider perspectives lead to more inclusive and strategic ideas. 
Comment below if you’re ready to step up.

Do You Challenge Your Biases?

Our view of the world is instilled in us from our own particular cultural perspectives. This is often called ethnocentrism—the tendency to view and interpret the behavior of others through a personal cultural lens. In order to start learning how to connect across cultures, it is important that we start with understanding our own cultural lens, and realize that we need an outlook that takes into account how other cultures look at the world.

Future leaders will need to understand their own unique cocktail of talents, ambitions, biases, and vulnerabilities to help them manage the cultural differences they will face. Our (cultural) rules will not always work with or in other cultures. Rules will differ not only on what hierarchy means, but also on how we negotiate, influence, view time, build relationships, and engage in many other behaviors.

So before any of us in positions of leadership (personally and professionally) start to make critical decisions in our lives, it’s important we examine our biases and ensure that we are being inclusive with our thoughts and actions. 

Use your DIFFERENCE to make a DIFFERENCE. 

How To Build A Following With Your Expertise

One of the most common challenges I have noticed while working with aspiring thought leaders and change makers is that a lot of them struggle with ways to position themselves as experts or the go-to people in their field of interest.

In fact, the number one question I get asked is this:

"What is the best way to communicate to my potential clients and the world that I am a subject matter expert in XXX?"

Essentially, they want to know how they can translate their expertise in a way that demonstrates trust and leads to a following.

So I recently asked Josue Peña, a growth expert who has a 200 million follower network this same question when I interviewed him for Thought Leader Academy and here's what he said: 

  • Provide value in what you're an expert in OR
  • Become the Google of the niche you want to be an expert in

Let me explain...

Provide Value In What You're An Expert In

Is there something you are legitimately good at and passionate about?

Share it with the world!

Identify one or two channels that you can consistently share your ideas, frameworks, messages and thoughts on.

Consider the following methods when providing value.

Create Content: You can do this by using one of these or all there (blogs, vlogs or podcasts). I mentioned these three because some of you may consume information in different ways. 

Whatever way you do, always create content and have it all point to a personal website of yours.

You can't avoid this!

Start off by doing this once a week and see if you can build from there. This will train you to organize your thoughts efficiently and coherently! 

Having a personal website is important because it's your digital home and is not subject to the algorithm changes other platforms that aren't yours may experience. It also allows you to collect email addresses which you can use to develop deeper bonds and relationships.

Speak: When starting out, you don't have to do anything too complex here. Start out locally and identify industry events, chapter meetings, and networking meetings that would benefit from hearing your voice. By consistently sharing your knowledge, you’ll hone your ability to communicate effectively and see what resonates vs what doesn't. It will also help with your confidence as you will become more comfortable with the idea that you're an expert. This will serve as a good reminder to you when that pesky imposter syndrome decides to show up. Make sure you document your presentations by recording it as well as taking photos. The videos could be used as part of your speaker reel, your YouTube channel or repurposed as social media content, blog posts or podcast episodes.

Also, make sure you collect testimonials! They will help to validate you.

Coach/Consult: Once you've consistently been creating content and speaking, you'll be able to position yourself as a coach or consultant to individuals, corporations and both because you'd have had the assets to back up your credibility at this point.

Creating content and speaking will help you develop your voice and frameworks.

So don't be afraid to step out as a coach or consultant. Even if you only have one or two clients to start off with, provide value for them and they will become followers or even better, evangelists.

Become The Google Of The Niche You Want To Be An Expert In

So what exactly does it mean to be the Google of the niche you want to be an expert in? 

Well, let's think about what you use Google for.

You use it to:

find out what something is,

how to do something OR

where to go

Now apply that same concept to an expertise you're interested in developing.

If you don't feel like you're an expert in anything, then think about what field you want to be an expert in and create a list of all the things you want to know about that field. 

Got it?

Good! Now, start documenting your journey towards getting there.

As you're documenting, you will be doing things like:

  1. Listing out the recurring themes that come up in your conversations with your clients/prospects -- you can even keep a note on your phone so you have it with you all the time
  2. Keeping track of new trends, tips, or tools that are important for your market to know about? You can talk about it yourself or bring on a guest expert to your platform to discuss
  3. Sharing what's working for YOU right now? "Behind the scenes" is something your audience will love because it humanizes you
  4. Sharing learning experiences you have had recently. Think of breakthroughs, setbacks, obstacles, or a challenge you're working through now or have overcome in the past
  5. Sharing ways to help your customers/audience save time or money! Take what you're seeing in your market and share some of the mistakes you know are being made out there
  6. Busting a myth or dispelling a rumor in your industry - show a different perspective, bring a sense of calm, and help people overcome changes in the market
  7. Sharing changes YOU are making to what you are doing and WHY. Essentially, sharing your own evolution and learning with your audience to build trust

All these will build your credibility as well as your relatability. It’s what will drive sales, brand awareness and more importantly, It’s what will grow your following.  

If you can effectively communicate that you are a subject matter expert, you will gain tremendous leverage over your competition because people love direction and crave connection.

You will be solving a problem or helping someone be a better version of themselves.

At the end of the day, people want to be heard, seen and understood. They want to know that they have value. My hope is that you become that guide for your tribe. 

So my questions for you today are these: 

  • How can you start providing value in what you’re an expert in today?
  • What niche can you become to Google of to your followers today?


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