Seth Godin is the man.
Seriously. Every time this guy puts something out, it casts things in a whole new light. And his latest book, Linchpin, is no exception.
In Linchpin, Godin focuses on what it takes to become indispensable. Godin’s view is that you need to put your heart and soul into whatever you do, and that passion will make you a Linchpin, a unique asset that cannot be replaced.
I agree with Seth. Passion is important. But it isn’t the only ingredient in becoming indispensible. Here are three additional methods that people have used to become linchpins – successful to the point that they make $50,000 in a single week or even $5,000 per hour.
Method #1: Be A Connector
Several years ago, I was talking to a good friend of mine who worked in venture capital. We were discussing various investment opportunities and I suddenly remembered that I had another contact who was in the process of starting a company. On a whim, I decided to put them in touch. I sent out an e-mail introduction and let them take it from there.
A year later, I got an excited call from my friend. “Vik, remember how you put me in touch with Jim? Turns out we’re going to invest in his company! We’ve been talking for several months now and things have been going great. Thanks so much for connecting us!”
Having a great network is invaluable, but sharing it is what makes you indispensible. Whenever you’re meeting people, think about how you can leverage your network for their benefit. You could make introductions to potential clients or business partners, or at the minimum, let them know that they are free to ask at some point in the future. If you establish yourself as a consistent source of good contacts, people will stay in touch with you and help you out whenever you need it.
Method #2: Be An Influencer
Influencers are indispensable simply because they have an audience that trusts them. Once you’ve built trust, you can easily convince your audience to buy your products. Gain influence, and the money will take care of itself.
Here are some examples of how people have established themselves as influencers:
Ramit Sethi: A blogger-turned-author-turned-entrepreneur, Ramit started writing at iwillteachyoutoberich.com in 2004. At the time, the blog was nothing but a hobby; a tool to teach people about personal finance in a fun and interesting way. Within a few years of consistent high-quality writing, Ramit was getting more than 100,000 unique visitors per month to his site. Young people loved his easygoing, humorous approach for teaching a subject that’s traditionally pretty boring. This led to the publication of a best-selling book, and the creation of his own line of personal finance products. Even though Ramit is young, he has successfully established himself as an influential figure in the competitive world of personal finance advice.
Deepak Chopra: For a long time, Deepak Chopra was a successful but relatively unknown medical doctor. In 1985, Chopra met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a leader in the transcendental meditation movement, who invited him to study Ayurveda. Chopra suddenly realized that there was a golden opportunity to combine traditional western medicine with the preventative healing methods in South Asian tradition. In 1987, he wrote his first book, “Creating Health,” which was a top seller and established Chopra as an authority in the new “preventative healthcare” area. Since then, Chopra has written more than 20 books, opened up hundreds of clinics and Ayurvedic Centers, and of course, made tens of millions of dollars.
Steven Covey: In 1989, Covey wrote a bestseller called “the seven habits of highly effective people.” This was not the first book in the self-help genre. However, Covey distinguished himself by coining a new term: the idea of an abundance mentality. The idea here was that optimistic, effective people believe that there are enough resources to share with others, rather than hording it all to themselves. This was a unique approach and contrasted sharply with the more traditional mentality of maximizing personal gain. Covey was successful at being an influencer because he defined a whole new area of expertise, and instantly became a leading authority.
Brian Clark: In 2005, Brian Clark was already a successful entrepreneur. He had generated substantial profits by scaling offline businesses using the power of the internet. The problem was that no one knew about it. To fix this, he started Copyblogger, a content hub for information on how to grow your business using online tools. Today, the site has more than 120,000 subscribers and has spawned three seven-figure businesses. Clark has also been mentioned in numerous blogs and books, enhancing his authority even further.
Method #3: Be A Specialist
It’s much easier to demand lots of money if you are a specialist…but you have to specialize in the right field. Here are two things to consider when narrowing down a speciality.
Something that no one else can do:
One day in college, the elevators stopped working in my building. A few hours later, the elevator repairman stopped by to fix the problem. I was walking by, and we ended up getting into a conversation.
Turns out he makes around $150 per hour.
I was pretty surprised at first. But then I realized that it actually made a lot of sense. Elevator repair is a very specialized job. There are only a few professionals in each city, so this guy just goes from building to building…and he mints money along the way.
Something that has business value:
My parent’s next door neighbor is currently a Vice President of Engineering at Apple. Although he’s been out of school for more than 25 years, he’s still incredibly talented at understanding and designing the latest high-end technologies. This depth of knowledge and specialization is what makes him indispensible to the company.
Another great example is Neil Patel, an entrepreneur who made his fortune by establishing himself as an SEO specialist back when the industry was just starting to evolve. Everyone wanted traffic from Google, but not many people knew what it took to get there. By finding a few big-name clients and getting testimonials, Neil quickly established himself as an invaluable resource when it came to developing a user base online.
Are you indispensable? If not, how do you plan to get there?