How To Be An Authority: Pick Your Field

Pick a field where you can easily leverage your strength. Ask yourself if you see yourself doing this particular work till you retire, picking an industry that you really love and enjoy, instead of trying to be an expert in multiple fields unrelated to one another.

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The Principle Of Authority

According to the author and psychologist Robert Cialdini, people resort to ‘fixed-action patterns’ in this fast-paced world, and authority plays a huge factor in the science of influence and persuasion. People listen to and trust an authority figure, as they are too busy to study everything in detail.

Word of mouth also works in the same way, as if someone is trusted by the people in our circle, we also tend to trust that person.

Creating something of value, like a painting, app, or book puts you in the category of an ‘author’ or a ‘creator’ automatically.

A book, even a self-published one, is an ideal stamp of authority and builds credibility to your other work like public speaking or blogging.

Associate yourself with brands, trusted people, publications and online authority figures to build social proof. Focus on getting ‘logos’ to create instant persuasion or influence. Getting published in an authoritative source is not easy, but can build credibility that will last.

People hire credible, authoritative people, mostly deciding by checking the body of work, associations and testimonials. Make sure your profile is authoritative, and that you deserve it.

Helping others and showcasing their success stories creates a synergy effect, and helps one succeed in the long run. Ask people to be featured on your blog/site/podcast and collect their testimonials. It creates a body of work that other people (like clients of book publishers) can check and determine if you are the best person for the task.

We need to build value by demonstrating the benefits of our product or service.

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Where to direct your attention

Stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, "Most of what passes for legitimate entertainment is inferior or foolish and only caters to or exploits people's weakness."

This is very telling even in our age about our attention and the things we focus on. We let other people decide what to focus on and are defenceless when the media exploits our weaknesses. Instead, we should control where we direct our attention.

Procrastination

Procrastination is one habit that most of us have. We tend to delay finishing a task or a project not because we are lazy but because we have negative emotions surrounding the task - boredom, anxiety, depression, and more.

It is a chronic cycle that rewards our present self with a feeling of momentarily relief which could only lead to us procrastinating more often than needed.

Avoid tension and build rapport

This underscores the importance of starting on the right foot.  If you upset the person you’re trying to help, they’ll wall themselves off. 

It's important to use empathy, but don’t get too friendly. Take a careful balance between making someone like you and asserting your authority.

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