SECRETS of COVER FEATURE
SUCCESSFUL Do you have designs on a higher profile in 2013? Dallas McMillan investigates tactics you can utilise − today − to become more influential, no matter what field you work in
e can all recall people, experiences, books and ideas which have changed our life. What motivates you, your dreams, and your passion? What have been your key ‘influencers’? I bet you can trace back to an inspirational person (family, friend, coach, business mentor), or a great book you read, an experience you had − positive or negative. I’m sure those entrepreneurs, managers and leaders among you have also been motivated by amazing business-women, such as Australian of the Year, Ita Buttrose. In such instances, we’re inspired ‘from a distance’; someone like Ita might have inspired through business, charitable or even political endeavours − hence, has created a positive effect (even from afar) by way of ‘influence’. Not only can a figure like Ita generate positive change around her, but a ‘high-profile’ works in other ways too. It leads to business success, enhanced opportunities to learn, travel and grow. Evidently, in many cases, such ‘influencers’ are rich, well-known or even celebrities. It may seem like this sort of influence is difficult to replicate if you are none of the above. Not everyone can be an editor for Women’s Weekly, or appear on Sunrise (although, there’s no harm in trying), however times are rapidly changing. The good news is social media and the Internet have offered us all not only the opportunity to be online publishers or TV moguls, but the chance to create an influential space around us within any given field. With the right strategies, skills and attitude, you can become recognised as a leader in your own area of expertise, and enjoy the benefits this brings. Why not try some of these strategies this month? 1 Find a mentor, be a mentor It is difficult to move from being unskilled or unsuccessful at something, to thriving and appearing as an ‘expert’, unless you have a role March 2013
model. Witnessing a model of what ‘successful people’ do, how they think, who they connect with and what they focus on can fast-track your own success. Find a mentor who has already achieved your goals, and learn from them. You will get even more out of having a mentor if you are also mentoring other people who want to learn more about the skills or success you have. Make time to help and support someone who is where you were a year or two ago: an added benefit is that the way to master anything is to teach it. Helping someone else learn will accelerate your own growth. 2 Do the work Successful people do the work. We all have great ideas (remember how you were going to create a social network just like Facebook, but Mark Zuckerberg took your idea?). The difference is the most successful people focus on one idea at a time, work hard at it and follow through. 3 Believe in yourself and your vision In order to succeed in anything worthwhile, we need to face adversity and challenge. The people who persevere can do so because they believe in what they do, and have the ability to sell others on it! If you want to succeed you need to believe passionately in what you do so others are drawn to share your vision. Choosing the right project to commit to is a big part of making this possible. Additionally, if you don’t consider yourself strong in the areas of ‘self promotion’ or ‘selling ideas’, research relevant courses or coaches in your area who can assist you to confidently develop such skills. 4 Surround yourself with successful people Take a good look around the business/ organisational/company landscape near you. Soon enough you’ll notice a trend; that is, 18
the most successful people you know hang out with other successful people − both in business and personal time. You can kickstart this by networking with some of the top people in your field. Again, social media makes it easier than ever before to connect with other successful people, to share ideas and discover new opportunities. If you haven’t already, start by creating/updating a profile on LinkedIn, follow groups, companies and people relevant to you, and commence interacting. Don’t stop at online social media though – a lot of the biggest opportunities come from real-life meetings. Look out for opportunities to network with people in your industry, at local Chamber of Commerce or business networking lunches, and with prospective clients or business partners.
5 Using social networks and the Internet to research, learn and become ‘better at your passion’ The internet means we have a wealth of information available at our fingertips, however, as you may have already identified, often there’s so much detail that it is overwhelming. In fact, we need experts more than ever to help us interpret and navigate. Learn to use tools like search engines, alerts, social media and productivity APPs to master your time and area of expertise, so you’re picking up only the relevant information that teaches and benefits you. Similarly, utilising available tools effectively means you can also share your passion and experience faster than has previously been possible. Share knowledge with friends and colleagues in an authentic, enthusiastic and helpful way, and you will steadily build a reputation as the go-to person for ‘your thing’. There’s a wealth of free and fun ways to train in many new areas, and you don’t have to be rich to keep learning. Invest time in webinars, join mailings lists, read blogs and online media
The Febuary issue of Getit Magazine