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We read and reviewed the 15 best investment and money books (according to the experts) so you don’t have to! After completing that personal goal, I started reading more ‘good reads.’ This week’s book review was inspired by a recommendation from a listener, Key Person of Influence.

Key Person of Influence: The Five-Step Method to become one of the most highly valued and highly paid people in your industry is an international best-selling book by Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington and Daniel Priestley. The book gives an overview of how to become more visible, valuable, and connected with the Key Person of Influence Method. The KPI Method consists of the 5 Ps – Pitch, Publish, Products, Profile, and Partnerships. – learn more at the KeyPersonOfInfluence.com

Key Takeaways

  • Your best thinking from five years ago is your baggage today. … If I was starting completely fresh, in a world where anything is possible, what would I love to be doing?
  • Today the world expects you to be trained, they expect you to educate yourself constantly and to bring something new to the table.
  • Until you are a Key Person of Influence in the industry you love, your full-time job is to become one.

The inner circle is rich with good opportunities shared between a small number of people. The outer circle is full of many people fighting over the poor opportunities. If you are in the top 10-percent, you can expect to be sharing in 80-percent of the wealth. If you aren’t you will be fighting it out with the other 90-percent of people for the remaining 20-percent of the wealth.

Pitch

Powerful pitching is the ability to clearly communicate your message in a way that encourages people to support and contribute to your projects.

Why should people listen to you? If you followed from the beginning, you know our “pitch” has taken three forms:

  • Original: Get your Paychecks up and Balances down!
  • Revised: We help working professionals make money, save money, and get out of debt.
  • Present: We help millennials make money, save money, get out of debt, and build wealth.

In the future your most valuable asset will be the number of people who know you, like you, and trust you. In the future, you will be defined by your unique take on things, your story, and your ability to innovate.

With experience, wisdom, and focus, we have learned what we want the PB Family to take from the business side of Paychecks & Balances, LLC. The pitch that has remained consistent through all iterations of our evolution of branding is we want to have “fun along the way.”

Publish

Published books, blogs, articles, and reports tell the world that you are an authority in your field. Very few people can attract the right team and see a project through to completion. A published book says that you have put enough thought into this idea to have written an entire book on the topic. The book has no power until it is finished.

Marcus published his first paperback in 2016. He has published two more books since then (an eBook and a Second Edition of “Debt Free or Die Trying” available on Kindle and paperback). His latest, How I Buried Myself $30,000 in Debt and Dug My Way Out, reached #1 on Amazon in Personal Budgeting and #4 in Personal Money Management in the Kindle Store.

Related: The Best African American Financial Advice Books

KPI is heavy on publishing to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. In fact, they recommend you have a micro-niche within your niche.

You can’t be a KPI at “all sorts of things.” You have to pick something that you are going to become known for and you need to start promoting it and turning away anything that isn’t. It all looks very attractive when you see someone succeeding… But their thing might not be your thing.

For instance, if Paychecks & Balances is a Career and Personal Finance business (macro niche), then our micro-niches are HR and Debt Management (specifically, credit cards). It’s a big world out there and it’s easy to get lost in the sea of all the topics you could cover. You can battle with sharks in the ocean, or you can choose to be a big fish in a small pond.

You need to build a brand, develop your own intellectual property, accumulate stories, and claim a leadership role within your niche. Unless you have been keenly interested in something for at least seven years, forget trying to be a success story in that field anytime soon.

There is no right or wrong decision. The key is to make informed decisions about how you’re going to run your business, brand, or both.

Products

A KPI has an elegant business model backing them up. They have an ecosystem of products and services that all fit nicely with their brand. It’s best to link your products to the classic highly-valued payoffs – more money, more time, better quality of life.

A great takeaway from the book is to focus on an “ecosystem” of products, rather than any one product. In this instance, rather than trying to make it rich from one product, you develop a group of products and services that your customers benefit from. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you get paid as long as you are getting paid. Additionally, this diversification of serviecs and products multiplies your potential revenue streams while meeting the needs of your clients.

Products and services don’t make money, product and service ecosystems do. Your business will really take off when you have a mix of products and services that all work together to maximize the value exchange in every customer relationship.

Currently, Paychecks & Balances ecosystem includes:

The key to overnight success if the first 10 years. Fortunately, we’ve been in the game for nearly 20 years. This has allowed us to accumulate a wealth of experience and networking. The above is just an example of how we’ve turned this into an ecosystem of products.

Most people have become so used to not committing to things that when the time comes for them to act, they just don’t do anything. Without a commitment, humans use up too much brain energy on assessment of the idea, the timing and trying to predict an unpredictable future.

“An “ideal time” is not a goal. When was the last tie you actually arrived at the perfect time and place with all the money you needed? It’s a fairytale.”

Don’t underestimate what you bring to the table today or what you can start planning to bring to the table tomorrow. The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is today.

Profile

We’ve established our profile across several platforms. For our fans, we have an email list with exclusive benefits and a Facebook group where they can actively continue conversations with like-minded individuals who are looking to better themselves through work, money, and life.

One of the fastest and most powerful ways to become a KPI quickly is to speak to groups, either at live events or through the media. No one is born with speaking skills. The insider secret is that every great pitcher, speaker, or media personality has had training.

Over the years, we have spoken on national news outlets (here, here, and here), including speaking opportunities with partners like Google and The Association of Government Accountants, among others.

Partnerships

You cant expect things to change if you’re not willing to get out of your comfort zone. You need to surround yourself with fresh ideas, insightful people, and inspiring places. You need to be apart of a peer group that holds you a higher standard. Just as you have worked hard in the last five years to create your pieces of the puzzle, someone else has worked just as hard and is hiding the missing piece that you need.

Partnerships is an area we’ve tried to proactively improve on in recent years. We’ve been in our career fields for almost 15 years and podcasting for nearly six of those. That translates into 150+ podcasts and 100+ guests, subject matter experts, and points of contact from our network. And, those are just the forward-facing numbers.

Often people will communicate inadvertently that they want the whole deal to be easy for them and difficult for me. Partnership: The ability to structure and maintain strategic relationships that benefit everyone involved.

Related: 35 Voices in Personal Finance You Should Follow

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes that most people have no idea about. The outcomes of hard work always look easy to the person that doesn’t have to do it.

Highly Valued and Highly Paid

We all like to imagine people buying something just because they like it, but in reality, people are more likely to buy things that solve problems. Marketing is the crucial step between a great idea and a thriving business.

I really enjoyed Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley. It was a good validation of all the hard work we’ve put into Paychecks & Balances, LLC. It was also a nice slap in the face/kick in the a** of all the work we have left to do.

Technology is really only valuable in the hands of someone who has a powerful message. It’s not social media or a pretty webpage that makes people rich. It’s their message. Social media just makes people louder. A bad singer becomes a louder bad singer with a microphone in their hand. I know several KPIs who make over six figures profit from their subscriber groups and their subscribers love them for it.

If you’re an entrepreneur, own a small business, or just want a good plan for improvement, this is a great book to read to get motivated to improve with an easy-to-follow five-step plan.

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