The Different Games You Could Play

Extract from Pete's upcoming book Sell Your Thoughts - how to earn a million dollars a year as a Thought Leader (co-authored with Matt Church and Scott Stein, currently being printed by Harper Collins) Thought Leaders Global is an educational organization that focuses on growing practices, businesses and careers. In this book we set out to tell our story and share the strategy we use to build a ‘specialist infopreneurial’ practice. It is worth understanding the game we are choosing to play in this book. It’s not the only game in town; we don’t even go so far as to say it’s the best game in town (although it is). It is simply a different game to the ones most people play.

The career game — Get a job!

When you leave school or college you typically get a job, learn some skills and spend 40–50 hours or so a week using those skills as part of someone else’s business. This is a pretty typical path for most of the working population.

After a while, if you apply yourself, you rise up through the ranks, get really good at what you know, and maybe even find some ways to contribute to the workings of your organization. Many Thought Leaders we meet love the challenge of large organizations — they love innovating and running large-scale projects within big businesses and organizations. These people who work for someone else can still be Thought Leaders — they simply do their great work within businesses.

They are what we call ‘intrapreneurs’.

This book is not about getting a job.

The business game — Run your own company

Many people decide that they want the freedom of working for themselves and so they start a business. This can occur when they realize that they are working to benefit someone else, or that they want to be in control of their own destiny. Many simply become ‘business owners’ who have in effect bought themselves a job, working within the business they create — often up to 60–70 hours per week! Some, however, work on their businesses and go on to become ‘entrepreneurs’ as they look for ways to start, grow and exit a business. The thrill of building businesses and selling them for lottery-like figures is the game they are playing.

This book is not about starting, building and selling a business. And it’s definitely not about buying a job.

The practice game — Sell your thoughts

We believe that a specialist can achieve an income approaching and even exceeding $1,000,000 a year by leveraging their expertise and employing maybe one or two personal assistants. The infopreneur (a one-person business, such as an independent consultant) is a relatively new category of worker. Fiercely independent, unconventional, non- traditional and growing in numbers, these people search for greater freedom and more control over their destiny. The Million-Dollar Expert revenue ladder illustrates the income levels many of our program graduates have achieved. This ‘white belt to black belt’ model is the key focus of this book and your Million-Dollar Expert journey selling your thoughts. We will expand further on this model later on and give you specific strategies that you can use to move through these levels.

Who will say we are wrong?

Business experts will suggest that you are running an income-based practice and that if you don’t work, you won’t earn money. We know this, and are quite intentional about building the whole ‘practice’ model around one income-generating guru. This is not for everyone. You have to be an expert, love what you do and want to actively put yourself out there 50–200 days a year (and just to be clear, it will start at 200). The game is to get paid extremely well doing work you love, with people you like, the way you want.