Our total online audience is in the hundreds of thousands and growing rapidly. I’ve had several high profile industry colleagues make the observation that they’ve never seen such fierce long term loyalty in any online business audience like we have in ours.
Our Facebook group launched and quickly passed the 10,000 member mark while still adding dozens of new members daily. Clearly we are on to something.
We get daily email and emotional posts in our forums and on Facebook from people thanking us and our community for helping them out in some way with their online business. We have stacks and stacks of such letters and we dearly value each one of them. When we held our last live event, tickets went up for sale and sold out the same day because the people in our community can’t wait to hang out together again.
How did we get here?
There are several common sense answers to that question – things like working hard, serving your audience, earning trust every day, only promoting stuff that really works, being generous to a fault, over delivering, acting with integrity, being in it for the long haul, slow and steady growth etc. Those concepts should all make sense instinctively to all of us with ANY ambitions in business.
But here’s a “not so obvious” detail that has played a huge role in our success.
I’ve observed that very few online leaders pay proper attention to this “secret” factor – but it’s been key in my growth and success. It comes from a Biblical lesson found in Proverbs 15:22. That passage says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”
You may not realize it, but for the last few years I’ve had an “advisory board” that I’ve granted virtual “veto power” over all of my projects, promotions, content and biz decisions. The people on this “board” also come up with great ideas and partner with me on numerous projects.
In other words, my business never has been, nor will it ever become “The ‘Jim’ Show”.
You may have noticed that I only occasionally endorse any third party services or tools in my newsletter. There’s good reason for this. It certainly ISN’T because there’s a lack of people TRYING to get the attention of our audience. We are bombarded daily with new books, courses, tools etc. – dozens weekly try to “get on our stage” and they are willing to pay us a lot of money for the privilege! Before I’ll even consider endorsing a new course or tool to my audience though I insist that my review team go through it, review it, try to break it, test it out etc.
Most of what we test out and review just isn’t good enough and it gets VETOED by my team before I even see it.
That’s just one example of how I take a team approach to leadership. Ultimately, the responsibility falls on me to make great decisions on behalf of our audience, but I have plenty of sharp advisors who help me make solid choices.
In case you are wondering where these great advisors come from – they are the handpicked “best of the best” students who took our courses, read my books, and then did great things online with what they had learned. That’s the “litmus” test for access into leadership around here. If you succeed using one or more of our courses AND you also have a caring attitude toward helping others succeed, then you are a good potential candidate for leadership around here. Right now we have about 70 people total supporting or leading in some way in our community to varying degrees.
To wrap things up – the “big hidden secret” to leading well online is to NOT put your own opinions and ideas ahead of the best interests of your audience ever. The best way I’ve found to make sure I avoid that mistake is to give several trusted leaders in my audience VETO power over new ideas, projects, products or partnership I’m considering. I also encourage them to float me great ideas (and reward them handsomely for the winning ideas).
“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”