Record producer Jerry Wexler asked the top songwriter team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin to write a song worthy of Aretha Franklin.
He had only one suggestion—to feminize a phrase that kept rolling around in his head: “natural man”.
King and Goffin wrote (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman that night and added Wexler’s name to the credits just for the title inspiration.
It hit the Top 10 in 1967 and became a pop standard.
As Wexler tells it: “Isn’t it amazing what those kids gave me? The checks keep coming.”
OK, so the business of authority probably isn’t giving you Billboard Top 10 hits, but the principle is exactly the same. How can you start leveraging more along the lines of music royalties? You could:
- Write an evergreen book that you keep alive by promoting it whenever you speak or give an interview.
- Morph a piece of your intellectual content into a recurring service you sell—from SaaS to an assessment tool to a training delivered by others.
- Create a standalone virtual product—like a course or a download—that you can periodically reintroduce to your newest audience members.
- Swap a small portion of your fees for a cut in a client’s idea or business.
- Invent a patentable way to save time or money for an established niche.
- Certify and license others in your knowledge base (branding is key here), perhaps even building a franchise model.
The key is to think like a business owner, not just a subject matter expert: how can you find new ways to apply and monetize your wisdom?