Don't believe your own press

At the last South Australian election Nick Xenophon resigned from the national Senate to compete in the state election. In other words he gave up his seat in federal parliament for a shot at power at the state level. His party failed to win a single seat.  

Paul Kelly (one of Australia’s leading political journalists) wrote that he was undone by hubris.  

For thought leaders there is a good lesson here.  

Don’t believe your own press.  

This game takes a bit of hutzpah and hustle. You need to claim your place. Even saying you are a thought leader takes confidence. But we say go further – position yourself as the go-to person in your domain. And by the time your practice is above blue belt ($500k a year) we recommend you sell your time for $10k a day or more. (Well, we talk about selling the value, and pricing programs at $10k a day, but that's a conversation for another day).

One of the challenges we face is staying humble as we do this. Or as my friend Darren Fleming says (and Georgia Murch before him), don’t be a dick.  

Some things that can help with this are:  

  • Practice gratitude. If someone is willing to pay $5k or more for a day of your time, be very grateful. You were fortunate enough to be born in this time, in your country, to your parents, with your genetics, get your education, and have the market value your expertise at that rate. It doesn’t actually make you a better person.  
  • Put out the bins. You might value your time like that when you’re in work mode, but coming home and putting out the bins is a good reminder that you’re still not the President.  
  • Be kind to waiters. And be kind in general. I haven’t thought too deeply about it, but intuitively I think kindness is the antidote to hubris.