How many times have you heard from the experts, gurus and other self-proclaimed success stories that you need to position yourself as an authority to become a successful blogger or entrepreneur?

The Authority Lie: How To Be A Successful Blogger & Entrepreneur | Peppercorn Creative website design firm and blog & business mentor in Vancouver BC

Like if you were to suddenly harness the energy of the universe and take a couple short-cuts on “get rich quick” train, you’ll somehow manifest a 100,000 income in 30 days, grow a loyal following of a bajillion mini-babes, be invited to speak at conferences, and show up on the cover of industry magazines and become all famous and shit….

If you become “an authority”, you can lead the masses to their golden pie in the sky.

Mmmmmmmmm… pie.

I hear from mentorship clients all the time about how they want to become a leader in their niche; They want to be an authority. In fact it’s come up so often recently that I want to take a moment to tell you something that’s going to blow your g.d. mind.

Are you ready? …


Leadership is not about becoming an authority.


I call this The Authority Lie. Or myth. Or bullshit: The idea that you have to become an authority to be a successful leader.

Or successful, full stop.

Leadership is about trust. Collaboration. Teamwork. Compassion. Empowerment. And building something together.

Authority is about the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

You do not need to become an authority to become a leader in your industry. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

By convincing you that you need to be an authority, the “experts” are creating a hostile, competitive and unhappy generation of bloggers and solopreneurs.

Does this sound familiar:

  • No matter how many posts you publish or tweets or Facebook updates or emails you send out, you aren’t finding the clients you want to work with.
  • No matter how loud you preach, you just aren’t getting traffic to your site.
  • No matter how many hours you invest in your content, it isn’t creating opportunities.
  • No matter what you do, you can’t make enough money to leave the “real” job.
  • No matter how much time you lose in social media or how available you are (you’ve totally broken your work/life balance boundaries), your blog or business simply isn’t growing like you want it to.

…All these effects that stem from the need to be an authority (aka the hustle) lead to feeling overwhelmed, stuck, frustrated, angry, resentful, disappointed, confused and generally shitty.

So Let me say this:

Leadership is about empowerment; Authority is about control. And while you can control yourself and how you behave, you can’t control others.

Authority is about control; #Leadership is about empowerment. Be a leader. #SmallBiz #Blogging Click To Tweet

Control: A Weapon of Mass Distraction.


Whether you want to stand out from the masses, gain speaking invites, capture high caliber clients and brand partners or you want the lucrative product deal to come to you, it isn’t through authority that these opportunities develop.

We all have something to offer that’s unique. But if you’re busy trying to exert your authority – aka control – you distract yourself from what you really have to offer: You. In all your valuable fabulousness.

And you distract your potential readers, clients or brand partners with a lot of noise that muddies the way they hear your message.

After all, if you can’t see what you really have to offer them, how will they?

Instead of getting down in the trenches and offering real value for your readers and clients to empower them, you waste your time relentlessly trying to get them to get above them, shouting:

  • Check out my latest blog post!
  • Visit my website for this new deal!
  • I’m the greatest – who wants to do XYZ for free? Or exposure? I can give you exposure! Do this for me! Do that for me! Me me me me me!

And it suddenly becomes all about you, not about them.

It’s the equivalent of showing up to a party, meeting new people and only talking about yourself. And then asking the poor souls who made the regrettable decision to walk up and say hi to you, for the shirt off their backs. That ain’t cool, dudes.

I’m all for tooting your own horn; if you don’t, who will? That’s how you get your amazingly helpful and worthy content out there. But when that’s all you do – when you try to establish yourself as an authority – you’re deploying a weapon of mass distraction that obscures the truly valuable work you do.

And that limits your success, and prevents your readers, clients and brand partners from realizing you’re the perfect fit for them. They miss the message.


My Message, My Self.


In sharing your self + your message in a way that speaks to your target audience, you start to make it about them, instead of about you.

You stop trying to control them.

You stop trying to be an authority.

You start to empower them.

You start to become a leader.

Think of all the great leaders in history. They never intended to become authorities – they never meant for it to be about them. At the risk of over-simplifying their generous work, they saw a problem and stepped up to create a solution. They understood who they were serving, what that group wanted and did everything they could to give it to them.

A leader is only as successful as those whom she leads. So when you get super clear about what you have to offer, for whom, and you do it, we all thrive.


To be a successful blogger or entrepreneur you don’t need to become an authority.


To be a truly successful blogger or entrepreneur, you simply need to:

  1. Understand who you’re selling to / writing for
  2. Understand what they want
  3. Give it to them

My lovely friends, If you want to start a movement or rise to the top of an already existing one, you have to get specific.

Get in there.

Get dirty.

Do the hard work.

Put in the hours.

Hone your message and how you deliver it.

Nurture a reputation for yourself and develop your skills and talents.

And in time you’ll stand out from the masses, gain those professional invites, capture high caliber clients and brand partners and the lucrative product deals will come to you. You’ll find success!

Do this right, and you’ll have emails and phone calls pouring in. You won’t be able to keep up!


Are you a leader? An authority? What’s been instrumental in your success? What have you struggled with? What else would you add to the conversation? Leave a comment below or please shoot me an email and tell me! I wanna hear from you.

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2 Comments on The Authority Lie: How To Be A Successful Blogger & Entrepreneur

  1. Karen
    August 2, 2016 at 11:59 am (11 months ago)

    Even though you’ve already told me this before in a previous session, I really enjoyed reading this post and the words resonated with me. It made change my way of thinking and believe that yes, I can eventually achieve clarity and become a leader in the industry.

  2. Graham @ Reverse The Crush
    August 3, 2016 at 3:47 pm (11 months ago)

    Excellent post!
    There’s a lot of great advice here and I fully agree with the 3 points on what it takes to be a successful blogger. Though I can relate to some of your earlier points about things that sound familiar. It’s difficult in the beginning to know what’s the right product/service to offer. It’s also a challenge to find the right combination to offer based off individual skills, because everyone is unique. That said, I see you offer a mentorship program that could be worth taking a look at. By the way, I really like the layout and design of this site. Great job. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Graham @ Reverse The Crush recently posted…Blog Statistics | Reverse The Crush | July 2016My Profile