A Mindmap Guide to Being a Well Paid Thought Leader


If you want to work on your own terms and be a creative free-agent its highly likely you've thought about being a Thought Leader. Being a thought leader now has never been more possible thanks to social media and the internet. As we can already see smart people are becoming notable authorities on their own terms and are living up to public scrutiny that the Internet has to offer. 

If doing work you love, with people you like, the way you want to work, being a thought leader may just be the thing for you. If so, are you clear on what a thought leader is?

What is a thought leader and what does it have to do with art?

When you think of the term “thought leader” what comes to mind. There are a lot of definitions out there that could get you confused on the real meaning. The best definition I found was on Forbes.com

A Thought Leader is an individual who is recognised and one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialisation, resulting in its being the go-to individual for said expertise.

Yes, being a thought leader is about being the best at something. Being brilliant! But brilliance in a vacuum does not exist. Your brilliance as a thought leader has to affect others and deliver value to the market. (click this to tweet) I talk about treating your work like art – a philosophy to doing your best work. This marries well with being a thought leader. However in the context of work, or your art, being a thought leader has to result in financial reward. Therefore this definition is the one I’ll go with as the one to attain:

A Thought Leader is an individual that significantly profits from being recognised as such.

If you are going to expended a whole lot of energy to be the best you can be in a certain field you want to get paid well to be so.  

How To Run A Profitable Thought Leader Business

Being a thought leader requires  intention and dedication.  You have to be smart enough to do more than regurgitate a lot of information. It requires a well thought out interpretation, perspective and conceptualisation around your niche.  And most importantly it requires a business mindset.  Adding a business framework to your passion is the key to being “an individual who profits” from being a thought leader.

To help you with this I’ve pulled together a free mind map to print and peruse on how to run a thought leader business – I think you’ll love this. (Click this to Tweet) Enjoy and please share.

Thanks to Peter Cook who runs a thought leadership training program for many of the ideas contained in this mind map.

What are your thoughts on running a profitable thought leadership practice? I’d love to know. If you liked this article please share. This helps a lot.

I'm a big fan of connecting. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat - feel free to drop me an email at karl [at] worklikeanartist.com or on Twitter at @krohde