Want to influence more people through your work? Go first. That is why bravery and creativity are such important subjects of focus. You have to go where no one else will go and create things that others aren’t creating to stand out in the crowd. You cannot lead without first producing innovative products so that people will follow.
Think of the biggest businesses in the world right now in 2017 — Apple, Amazon, Facebook — they all built something first, giving others the option to follow later on. Apple built amazing computers and phones and now the world gets to enjoy them on a daily basis. They even have multiple companies imitating them, but people know who the original is. As long as Apple continues to become better, their results will attract even more people. Same for Amazon and Facebook. They continue to innovate, attracting even more people to use their products.
So how can you begin leading in your area of focus? Here are five steps that anyone can implement in their lives and in their work to lead in work and in life:
Know who you are.
I recently wrote an article for Success Magazine on this very subject, and it’s an important step to not miss. Many times people don’t stop long enough to pay attention to this before putting in the work, and for an idea to resonate with you (which is what you need for the next step to make sense), it’s a good idea to focus on this first.
Find an idea that intrigues you.
Someone recently asked my advice for creating a new business, and here’s what I told them: Find something you love, something you’re good at, and what the market needs. That’s the idea that should intrigue you to pursue further.
Design a plan for where you want to go.
Although plans won’t end up exactly where you think they will, planning is still an important part of the process. A detailed plan gives you direction and clarity. You need a plan to lead well.
Realize that your work isn’t for everyone.
Just because you receive criticism along the way doesn’t mean that you’re doing the wrong thing; you just haven’t found your audience yet. How do I know this? Because there’s a market for an incredible amount of bad inventions and ideas. (Not saying yours is bad. Ha!) As you pursue those ideas that you feel impressed to chase, there will be doubt, but that’s natural. Pursue them anyway.
Pick one thing and start working.
How bad do you want your dreams to happen? If you want things to happen, you’ll put the work in. This is the most important part of the equation because nothing happens without taking action. Remember that the next time you wonder why your ideas aren’t taking flight and commit to putting your time and energy where you need to most.
Do these five things and go lead, today.