Daniel Priestley was an entrepreneur who was making $10m a year at the age of 21. At The Best You Expo, he talked about the key skills an entrepreneur needs
After selling his business in his twenties, Daniel Priestley decided to look for a new venture and fresh opportunities. Having had a company involved in training, and also witnessed how Silicon Valley supported young coding talent through its growth accelerator schemes, he realised that the same model could take established businesspeople further, too. That’s when he devised a powerful concept: The Key Person of Influence.
“I had a fundamental belief that the future of technology was not about the 22-year-olds who could code, but about people who had industry experience and insights. I wanted to take their ideas and scale them globally.
“A Key Person of Influence is someone who takes deep insights about what they do and who is placed in an entrepreneur growth accelerator environment.
“Our nine-month growth accelerator was for people with at least 15 years in their industry, already earning six figures. In five years, we became a global business.”
The scheme has seen his clients move from zero to making tens of millions of dollars. “Clients have become best-selling authors, multi-award winners, very influential people. We’ve worked with celebrities and with really large brands, like KPMG and Tesla Motors.”
There are five soft skills to becoming a Key Person of Influence.
1. The first is pitching. “Pitching is your ability to answer the question, what do you do?,” he said. “What are you up to at the moment? What’s got your attention? How do you spend your time? The way you answer is either going to end in an opportunity or people politely nodding and smiling, and then telling you what they do. You have to be able to craft a pitch.
“You aim your pitch at the desired portion of the market. A personal trainer is just one of millions. But a personal trainer to executives who helps them stay fit no matter when or where is a pitch. Just so with the lawyer, who now announces: “I’m a lawyer and an author of two books focused on intellectual property law.
“I built my law firm around protecting entrepreneurial businesses, brands and ideas.
“I’ve launched my second book called Intellectual Property Revolution, designed to help every business understand how to achieve the most value from their intellectual property.”
The pitch has focus and identifies a niche. It makes a skill clearly useful to others in a particular market, and by doing so creates opportunities.
2. The second soft skill is having the ability to make published content. “Books are a valuable way to demonstrate that you’re an authority, you’re an expert,” says Priestley. “People search the internet to find the authority on a theme – and that’s where they find your book.” Even though only a very small percentage of people will read the book, the book opens up a huge amount of opportunities for radio, television, media and events.
“You also repurpose your written content into blogs, articles and reports that can be found by potential customers all over the world,” he added.
“Published content enhances your stall as the owner of a niche idea. People will come to you for that.”
3. The third ability is to create products from your skills.
“The people who know how to take deep level insights, not surface insights, deep hard-won insights and turn them into methodologies and then products, those people are going to make a fortune,” says Priestley. “You need a suite of at least four products that bring in people, clients, readers and new connections.
4. The fourth soft skill is profile building. “You are who Google says you are,” Priestley explains.
“If somebody Googles your name and not much comes up, people go, oh, there’s not much special. If a lot of positive things come up, it reaffirms their belief that you’re a good person to be doing business with.”
One client, a chiropractor who rebranded herself as the Posture Doctor, created posture correction products, shoes, a foldout device to fit in a handbag to correct posture. Over two million people watched her posture correction videos in 18 months and she now speaks at conferences all over the world. “She is having a great time as the world’s posture doctor,” Priestley adds.
“She’s having a bigger impact in the world than she ever dreamed that she could possibly have.”
5. The fifth skill is the ability to create partnerships. “Somebody woke up today with the one thing your business needs,” Priestley says. “Whether it’s a database of 100,000 names whom you could really sell to, or any sort of connection, making partnerships will broaden your opportunities.”
He goes on: “The real trick is not creating stuff yourself, the real trick is creating enough that you have the cornerstone of a good partnership deal and those first four give you enough of a cornerstone, because Key People of Influence, they grow their business through partnerships.
“They have one piece of the puzzle that is their piece of the puzzle and then they just partner with every other piece of the puzzle.”
And those, applied to a strategy for growth, are the central ingredients to make a business fly and become a Key Person of Influence.