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Become a Thought Leader: Why People Fail

Let’s explore why many people fail at becoming thought leaders and influencers:

  • Time.
  • Resources.
  • High expectations for a quick and easy solution.
  • Fear.
  • Procrastination.

People have good intentions. They convince themselves that they will take the time to work on their goals. That they won’t let anything get in the way.

But then, other things start to take precedence, or the goal seems to be taking much longer to achieve than they expected.

With that mindset, I can tell you what usually happens. Nothing. Inertia. Paralysis.

The process seems far too overwhelming with all the pressures of daily work, career, life.

So, the dream of becoming a thought leader and influencer and sharing your experiences takes a kick to the sidelines. And quite often, it stays there. Permanently.

That’s the real reason why many people will fail at this. And as a result, they will settle for less than they’re capable of.

And it’s not because they don’t have the talent and the ability.

It’s because they don’t have a clear vision, a commitment, and a plan.

They look at the tasks at hand all at once and panic instead of breaking those tasks down into manageable segments.

  • Persistence.
  • Consistency.
  • Tenacity.

These words are the three key elements to becoming successful as a thought leader and influencer. This journey is a process. It will take time and it will not happen quickly.

If you allow self-doubt and fear to consume you, you will not attain your goal.

When you let that little voice in your head tell you that you’re not good enough, you will derail yourself. Don’t let it. You are good enough!

Write that down and read it every day. Change your mindset now and the rest of the journey will be easier.

If you’re coming from a place of desperation, your journey will be difficult. If you feel this way, but the desperation thoughts aside and concentrate on your goal.

Nothing good ever comes from desperation.

For example, I once worked for an executive and business owner who became desperate to become a thought leader and influencer.

And, the sad part is, he would have been great. He had something of value to share.

But he assumed that if he threw enough money and resources at it, without having to do the heavy lifting himself, that he would be transformed into a well-known, nationally recognized thought leader and influencer in just a matter of months.

I learned that he was desperate to add a new line of business that would complement his existing product offering because his sales fluctuated with the economy (which at the time was being influenced by the onset of the Great Recession), and he was looking for a balance to offset those fluctuations.

And while he had a loose vision of what he wanted to achieve, and had hired resources to develop a plan, he didn’t have the patience to work on his goal for the long-term and mistook spending money on consultants as commitment.

He wasn’t committed – his money was.

He refused to listen to the advice of his consultants who had laid out a long-term plan of action. His expectations were high and unrealistic and based on desperation.

He didn’t want to invest in that long-term commitment. He wanted instant fame, success, and wealth, and in the end, he got nothing but obscurity.

And what about fear?

Fear is the worst four-letter word in the dictionary, I believe.

Fear is paralyzing. If you allow fear to influence your actions, you will fail.

Here’s another example. Several years ago, I worked with a client who had written a book.

She was a professional television scriptwriter by trade, but this was her first authored book on an interesting motivational and spiritual subject that she had extensive knowledge about and wanted to share with others.

The book got published, copies were distributed to news outlets, t-shirts were designed and printed, press releases were sent, requests for interviews were coming in, and her website was up and running. It had taken lots of planning and commitment, and the prospects for success were looking promising.

We started off with a soft launch at a local bookstore followed by a reception and book signing.

However, what she hadn’t shared until the very last minute was that she was terrified of speaking in public and being in the limelight.

And although some quick coaching sessions helped her enough to get through her book launch, she could not overcome her fear.

She had enormous potential to become a true thought leader and influencer, but her fear of public speaking and being in the limelight destroyed her dream.

She stayed in her comfort zone and settled for less than she was capable of, for the sake of fear.

Becoming a thought leader and influencer is a long-term commitment, so pace yourself.

Stay consistent.

Don’t throw obstacles in your way as an excuse to not move forward.

Don’t tell yourself that now is not the perfect time. There is no perfect time.

Don’t make excuses. Don’t let fear keep you from becoming who you want to become. Face the fear and find ways to overcome them. Focus on the end game and not all the minutiae.

Have fun and enjoy the journey!

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Written by

Carol A. Wilcox

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