The Thought Leaders Practice is the best business book I have read so far in 2019. This book lays out a solid method for thought leaders to build their business and scale up their revenue. This book is so rich in information and practical tactics, I’m glad I spent the time to dive deep into it.
I hosted a virtual Book Club for this book, so I could discuss it in detail with a few other entrepreneurs. Rather than tell you what I thought about the book, I’ll just share the notes I took every week on my Instagram account.
Week 1: Business Model
1- When is a business better than a practice?
2- Out of the three, Message, Market, and Method, if you could only pick 2 to have solid, which would you pick as your weak leg?
3- If you built your practice so you had $5 million in 10 years, what would your life be like?
It’s a practice if you love doing it.
You need to enjoy interacting with your market. If you don’t like your audience, your passion won’t be there.
To find your message: What are you willing to rant about?
Live *into* it.
Week 2: Your Message
4- Full spectrum ideas are Relevant, Thorough, Elegant, and Unique. How can you tell the difference between these layers?
5- Can you test an IP Snapshot’s left-right balance?
6- How can you tell the difference between one idea and a group of related ideas?
On a smaller scale, an idea is just an opinion.
To test: Here’s my idea, can you repeat it back to me?
You don’t have to have more ideas, you just have to articulate yours better.
An idea is relevant to the market that will pay for it.
Week 3: Your Market
7- How do you discover unknown, unspoken problems?
8- What is your invitation right now?
9- Do all starter sentences apply universally?
Unspoken problems are often fears.
First levels of problems aren’t the real problems.
Being human with someone online creates a huge amount of trust.
You can fish in the smaller pond or the bigger pond.
Thought leadership is portable.
Week 4: Your Method
10- Do any of the 6 modes *not* depend on results?
11- What happens if you choose 2 opposite modes?
12- What is your big word?
Impact is different than results.
Masterminding with your peers is facilitation, and with up-and-comers it’s mentoring.
A thought leader does not implement the solution, they stay in the realm of the problem.
Thought leaders empower the fixers but do not implement the solutions themselves.
Services are not thought leadership, but they are a common starting point for thought leaders to start from.
13- What happens if you do the right things at the wrong time? Example: trying to have others sell your IP before you get to Red Belt.
14- Can you identify a cluster by finding a common tribe of 150 people in your network?
15- thinking of what you sell, what price sounds outrageous for you to charge right now?
The point of leverage is not what you provide, it’s who you provide it to.
Use the framework to get up the ladder, but be flexible on how you take the steps.
90 days is spent building a cluster, but selling & delivering is ongoing beyond that quarter.
Exclusivity can justify outrageous prices.
This was a great book club, and I really enjoyed it. Big thanks to Kathleen Celmins, Jonathan Logan, and Michael Riscica for talking with me every week for the first session.The second session of the Thought Leaders Practice Book Club was recorded here:
About The Author
Caelan Huntress is the father of 3 kids, and in his spare time serves as creative director of Stellar Platforms. He is also a writer, digital marketer, multimedia producer, and a retired superhero. He blogs about his adventures on https://caelanhuntress.com.
Breanne Dyck has quickly become one of the most highly regarded business and learning strategists in the online marketplace. She’s one of those experts that the “big names” go to when they want to get their business and their online courses to the next level. HerBeyond Satisfaction book launch this week has brought many of those big names out to talk about why her work is so transformative.
Over the past few years, she’s worked with lots of big-name influencers you’d probably recognize (Chris Guillebeau, Natalie Sisson, Tara Gentile to name a few) to help them create courses that aren’t just profitable, but actually change lives. And in this new book, she shows you how to do the same.
The Problem With Online Courses Today
The online course marketplace is getting crowded. Now that publishing is easy, there are many low-quality courses out there, diluting the effectiveness of online education.
Breanne’s Beyond Satisfaction book helps course creators aim higher than average, by designing the course around the transformation that happens to the student.
The Beyond Satisfaction book is not just about crafting a highly profitable online course, program or workshop, but also provides the strategy for how to create an online course withou having to settle for less-than-transformational results. It’s full of case studies, research and case studies about how you can create a course that truly gets results.
Stories of people who have cracked the code on leveraged products that are extraordinarily profitable … and incredibly transformative.
Stories like Tara Gentile. Tara had been offering her flagship group program for years, and it got solid results. But as time went on, Tara found that her customers were less and less willing to buy. They were getting jaded about online courses, and had put themselves on a course buying moratorium. They were afraid that if they did invest, they wouldn’t ever use it.
Despite all of this, Tara was able to adjust and adapt her program so that it’s now selling more easily than ever — and getting better results, too.
If you want to know more about how Tara did it (along with several other great case studies and success stories), you need to read Breanne’s new Beyond Satisfaction book.
Exclusive Interview with Breanne Dyck, author of the Beyond Satisfaction book
Who did you write this book for, specifically?
This book is for the online business owner who is tired of courses, workshops and programs that may look good on the outside, but fail to deliver customer results. Whether they’ve offered courses before or are preparing to offer their first one, they recognize that just “having a course” isn’t enough. Their customers — and their business — deserve better. If you are a course creator who wants to have a massive impact on your students’ lives, this book is your guide to doing that.
What is the most surprising thing about people who make online courses?
It never ceases to amaze me just how little most people think about what they’re actually creating. They’ll think about sales, they’ll think about marketing, they’ll think about what tech to use … but they won’t think about how people learn, and how that impacts what they end up creating. In fact, some are downright dismissive of the idea that there could be a better way to deliver training products and get their customers taking action. That blows my mind — if there was a chance that you could create better results for your students, and thereby your business, wouldn’t you want to take it?
What are your predictions for online education over the next 5 years?
The market is going to get more and more crowded, and as such, more and more jaded. We’re already seeing the start of this, and the results are that many course creators are finding it harder than ever to sell out the very same programs that used to “sell themselves.” So they’re looking for new revenue streams, and new ways to deliver their training: membership sites, masterminds, certification programs, intensives, and more. Plus, let’s not forget the impact of changing technology. The first business to capitalize on virtual and augmented reality in a way that is natural and authentic? Will have a gold mine on their hands.
Who do you really look up that is teaching online courses right now, and why?
The easy answer here is for me to say Tara Gentile, but I feel like that’s somewhat of a cop-out given that I’ve had a hand in crafting those learning experiences. But the people that I really am paying attention to, right now, are the ones who are experimenting with new forms of delivery other than the same old “8-week video course” as well as those who are actually looking to break out of the online-only world and do online/in-person hybrids. I can’t really give you names, because those products aren’t public yet, but be on the lookout for them. They’re coming.
When someone is just starting out with teaching online courses, what is the advice you always give them, that they don’t even think about until they hear it from you?
There’s two things, depending on where they’re at with their business. The first is that an online course shouldn’t be your first product. Unless or until you’ve worked with people one-on-one, you really shouldn’t be rushing into creating a leveraged product. After all, if you can’t find one or two people to sell to now, how on earth are you going to find ten, twenty or more that you can sell to as a group? For those who already have a service or product that they sell and are wanting to turn that into a more leveraged product / learning experience, you need to obey the 80/20 Rule of Curriculum. 80% of your participants’ time should be spent DOING the work, and only 20% consuming content. It’s really contrary to “common sense”, but the less content you include … the more likely your participants are to see success. Provided you’re giving them the right 20% content (and activities), that is!
I am an American expat living in New Zealand, and I have spent ten years running an online business while traveling the world with my young family. I'm a website designer, copywriter, and sales strategist who specializes in creating online courses and sales funnels for bestselling authors, business coaches, and professional public speakers.