When I left the corporate suite at Thomas Nelson I planned to write and speak full time. And that’s exactly what I did at first. One year in fact I gave over 40 keynotes. It felt great! It also felt totally, utterly, completely exhausting.
I had come to the realization that, even as an executive in a major corporation, ultimately all of us are freelancers. Some just have more customers than others. And the more customers you have the better chance you have at thriving in uncertain times.
That’s why I started really focusing on building my platform. But here’s the reality: It wasn’t long before I discovered things didn’t scale.
Remove the Ceiling
I can only update my blog so many times in a week. I can only write so many chapters in a book. I can only be in so many cities to speak. Every time I went to Oklahoma City, Las Vegas, or Duluth, that meant I couldn’t be in New York, San Diego, or Dallas.
It also meant I couldn’t be at home.
I was building my platform, but I was building it the old way, and it had more built-in limitations and costs than I imagined at the beginning.
No matter how much I worked, there weren’t enough hours in the day to get the kind of results I wanted—at least not without sacrificing the relationships and priorities that made it all worth while in the first place. I didn’t want to postpone another date with Gail or miss another birthday party with my grandkids.
I think most of us who are building their platform hit the same sort of wall. There’s a ceiling over our efforts. We have limited time, resources, energy, ideas, and creativity.
What if you could remove the ceiling?
Get More with Less
In 2012, about 80 percent of my income came from public speaking and book royalties. The other 20 percent came from nontraditional media other information products.
It was working, but I knew it could work better. I knew I needed to shift my model, because I wasn’t leveraging that was possible with developments in new media.
So last year I got very deliberate about maximizing this new media. Along with that move, I determined to burn the boats.
I cut the number of speaking engagements and put my next book project on hold. Instead, I started producing new media products. And guess what?
My business exploded.
I could hardly believe it, but by the end of 2013 my revenue had grown by nearly 250 percent, and the income breakdown completely flipped. About 70 percent came from information products and nontraditional media. Just 30 percent came from speaking and book royalties.
Harness the Power of Leverage
I more than doubled my overall business, even though I reduced by half my primary source of revenue from the prior year. That’s the power of leverage.
Building a platform is essential in the new economy. But if you try building it the traditional way, you’ll be limited by your capacity to produce and perform. You can only do so much and be in so many places.
Beyond that, the traditional model has other limitations we haven’t mentioned yet, such as being subject to the whims of promoters, publishers, and producers who couldn’t care less about your platform (or income).
The good news is that there are so many new ways today of building your platform: not only blogs and social media, but webinars, membership sites, online courses, podcasts, and more.
For a full breakdown of where my revenue is actually coming from today and how you can leverage the same tools and strategies, click here to access my free video series, The Platform Revolution.
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