In the final throes of launching my book (just one more week!), I’ve been struck by how alone I don’t feel.
Even though I happen to be VA-less at the moment, I’ve never felt more surrounded by people actively helping me push forward. It’s taking a village—and it’s energizing, even to this confirmed soloist.
I now have more help than I ever imagined: a developmental editor, copy editor, proofreader, cover design specialist and book formatter along with my usual team of graphic designer and developer.
There’s a posse of advance readers scrolling through the book right now, helping to spread the word and a deeply appreciated set of authors who have read the book and given me terrific blurbs.
I’m telling you all this because one of the comments I hear over and over again is how challenging it is to be solo (it’s also the thing many of us love best, so there’s that).
The way out of the intrinsic loneliness that is anything solo is to build your Authority Circle—three inner circles of people that will help you expand your authority in ways that are impossible to do on your own (and yes, I talk about these in the book).
Your first circle is your rat pack—those roughly in your business space where you have a high level of resonance.
You may not work together directly, but you might feel inspired to team up professionally at some point (like Jonathan Stark and me on our podcast).
These are the friends you can rely on to give you their candid opinions (cheerleading or naysaying), suggest ideas for you, or just listen and respond as you ask for advice. They make introductions and do favors when asked, and you quickly and willingly do the same.
Your second circle is your apostles—the people preaching your message not because they get some advantage, but because they believe.
They might be a very early follower or one who has just converted to your point of view. They aren’t passive; they’re the opposite. They are sharing your published ideas with their audiences and perhaps even building on them. They aren’t blind followers but thoughtful people who want to help your ideas get heard.
And your third circle is tribal leaders—people who are leading tribes of their own and who resonate with your ideas.
They might have a small but dedicated following, or they could hold the keys to a large segment of your potential audience. They might align with you on just one aspect of your authority—like, say, a journalist or podcast host—because it’s an idea that appeals to their audience, and they see the value you bring. Every tribal leader is unique, so each must be handled as the precious resource they are.
It’s easy to see how all these circles combine into some major mojo for a big event like a book launch.
But building your Authority Circle is never about a single event—it’s about creating a virtual village, populated by your best people to make every member stronger.