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Kelly Roach: “Learn from others outside of your industry”

Learn from others outside of your industry. Often the best thought leadership comes because of synthesizing ideas from two unrelated worlds. If you never expose yourself or learn from others, you are limiting your own ability to generate new ideas. Also, create space in your life to think critically and generate your own new ideas about […]

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Learn from others outside of your industry. Often the best thought leadership comes because of synthesizing ideas from two unrelated worlds. If you never expose yourself or learn from others, you are limiting your own ability to generate new ideas.

Also, create space in your life to think critically and generate your own new ideas about how things should be done. Far too often we are so busy, that we leave no room for our own thinking and strategizing. You cannot build thought leadership if you do not clear your own mental clutter every now and then and give yourself room. This has happened to me with countless things in my life and business after clearing off space to just sit outside in my hammock and think.


As part of our series about how to become known as a thought leader in your industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing business strategist, Kelly Roach. She transforms overworked entrepreneurs into seven-figure CEOs, by teaching them how to leverage timeless business principles, employed by billion-dollar corporations, with the speed and agility of the most powerful online marketing strategies of today. Prior to starting her own company, Kelly spent years in corporate America, rising through the ranks of a Fortune 500 to become the youngest VP in the company. Kelly is not only a best-selling author but is also an ongoing television business expert.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Growing up just above the poverty line, in a family of 5, I decided early on that things would be different for me and my children. I worked hard growing up, scrubbing toilets to pay for dance lessons, and working multiple jobs in college. After graduation, I got an entry-level job in sales, for a Fortune 500 company. In eight years, I was promoted seven times to become the youngest VP in the company. I led my team through the recession of 08’-10’, without letting a single person go. In fact, we had record-breaking sales that year. As I was climbing the corporate ladder, I realized that I was making millions of dollars, working 60+ hours a week, for OTHER people. When I thought about what I wanted in terms of lifestyle, that was not it. So, I started my business on the side, while continuing to work my corporate job, and built that company for two years before quitting. I relied on lots of hard work, my sales skills, and an unstoppable mindset to help me build what is now a multimillion-dollar business coaching company with over 500 clients, across the globe.

Can you briefly share with our readers why you are an authority about the topic of thought leadership?

The online coaching industry is full of people teaching “get rich quick” strategies that do not work for most entrepreneurs. For years, I have gone against the grain, teaching real business principles, and getting an entire market to start thinking differently about what is required to build a business. While others are teaching that you can make millions with one funnel in a couple of hours a week, I am teaching the market to train for their business like an athlete trains for their sport. I have written three books that truly go against the grain of what is being taught and have started conversations about team building and selling online, that no one else in my industry is having. Those who have been in the game for a long time, sign up for my coaching programs when everything else out there does not work. It is how I’ve built my company to nearly eight-figures and how I plan to continue building my company to nine-figures and beyond.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

So, this technically happened just before I started my career, but was a defining moment for me. At the time, I was a Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader, and the year I joined, instead of doing their traditional swimsuit calendar, they decided to do a lingerie shoot instead. I knew that I wanted to build a career in business and that this shoot could do long-term damage to my career, so opted-out. The consequence? Missing out on an incredible trip to a tropical location, and all kinds of media and opportunities that came from the shoot (for the other girls). While I did not know exactly what my future career would look like, I knew that this was not a smart long-term play for me. That decision shaped how I made decisions for the rest of my career. I was able to handle the consequences and am now so thankful I made that choice, way back when!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I am not sure I would call this funny, but it was a true learning experience, for sure!

When you are just getting started in your business, you have this blind optimism and excitement, and you want things to happen overnight. I was still working full-time as a Fortune 500 executive when I started my business. I put so much work into my first big webinar and was so convinced it would go well that I took the next two business days off of work to do all of the consultations and registrations for everyone that I was sure was going to be registering as a result of my webinar. By that time, I had honed my sales skills and was ready to close some deals after the webinar wrapped.

Unfortunately, I did not have the audience or authority built up to where it needed to be at that point. So webinars probably weren’t the best format for me. I got absolutely zero sales from it, despite my extensive experience and success in sales. Clearly did not need those two days off.

The takeaway for me? You can work extremely hard on something and not see results. I put in hours and hours of practicing and running through the webinar — but my confidence and authority and credibility just were not there yet. Those things take time. You have got to be willing to play the long game and not see results right away.

Building a freedom-based multimillion-dollar company has taken us years. But we did it.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define what a ‘Thought Leader’ is. How is a thought leader different than a typical leader? How is a thought leader different than an influencer?

A thought leader is someone who innovates ideas. They do not just lead people down a path that has already been established like leaders do, they create an entirely new path and get people to follow them into the unknown. While thought leaders have influence, because they generate new ideas, they are using that influence to create conversations no one else is having, instead of simply using their influence to get people to believe something lots of others believe.

Can you talk to our readers a bit about the benefits of becoming a thought leader. Why do you think it is worthwhile to invest resources and energy into this?

Being that every market is incredibly saturated with such a low barrier to entry, being a thought leader really allows you to stand out amidst a sea of “more of the same”. Building your thought leadership goes a long way to creating life-long clients and followers. When you consistently share the same thing everyone else is sharing, sure, you’ll make sales. When you start an entirely new conversation in the market, and enroll others to follow you, you create people who are fully bought-in to your new vision, and ready to hitch themselves to you for the long-haul.

Let’s talk about business opportunities specifically. Can you share a few examples of how thought leadership can help a business grow or create lucrative opportunities?

Absolutely. When I created my signature Live Launch Method no one was doing anything like it at the time. It truly bucked the system so to speak and went against everything that was being taught at the time. Because it was such a novel idea, it piqued people’s interest. Once they saw the power of the approach, they were fully bought in. It quite literally added millions of dollars to the company’s bottom line and built in a group of believers who were completely sold on this new idea. When someone feels like they are part of something new, something bigger than themselves — which is what thought leadership does — then they are willing to go to the ends of the earth with the person who opened their eyes. That is not only good for business, but it’s an incredible gift to be able to provide such a huge transformation for people.

Ok. Now that we have that behind us, we’d love to hear your thoughts about how to eventually become a thought leader. Can you share 5 strategies that a person should implement to become known as a thought leader in their industry. Please tell us a story or example (ideally from your own experience) for each.

Look for the gap in your market. Instead of modeling what you see everyone else doing, look for what no one else is doing, then get creative about solving that problem. That is how The Live Launch Method was born. I had tried everything else out there and nothing worked. I took what I knew from my corporate life about sales and I created something new. It is radically changed the course of my business.

Start a podcast. Your thought leadership will not make an impact if you do not get it out there. Starting a podcast not only helped me carve out a space in the market, it helped me cultivate my own thought leadership. As I saw trends happening and people responding to what I was teaching, I was able to solidify my thought leadership even further. Action breeds clarity.

Write books. There are few things that will force you to think critically like writing a book, and there are few things that will solidify your thought leadership like a book can. Right now, I am working on a book designed to truly change the conversation around marketing online. There is great power in publishing books.

Learn from others outside of your industry. Often the best thought leadership comes because of synthesizing ideas from two unrelated worlds. If you never expose yourself or learn from others, you are limiting your own ability to generate new ideas.

Create space in your life to think critically and generate your own new ideas about how things should be done. Far too often we are so busy, that we leave no room for our own thinking and strategizing. You cannot build thought leadership if you do not clear your own mental clutter every now and then and give yourself room. This has happened to me with countless things in my life and business after clearing off space to just sit outside in my hammock and think.

In your opinion, who is an example of someone who has that has done a fantastic job as a thought leader? Which specific things have impressed you about that person? What lessons can we learn from this person’s approach.

Jay Abraham. He can synthesize timeless business principles and strategies across industries, platforms, and time. He consistently uses real-world case studies and examples to demonstrate how in meaningful ways, allowing everyday people to grasp otherwise complex concepts.

I have seen some discussion that the term “thought leader” is trite, overused, and should be avoided. What is your feeling about this?

I think we overuse lots of terms, turning them into casual buzzwords. However, I do not think that means we shouldn’t use them at all, I think that means we should embody them more fully. Instead of not calling yourself a thought leader, show the world by your actions that you are a thought leader.

What advice would you give to other leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

Set aside time every week to think, strategize, and read. You must create a mental space for inspiration and innovation. And, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to see more entrepreneurs leveraging their earnings to give back. Last year I moved my coaching company to a 1:1 giving model. For every new client, we add to one of our coaching programs, we donate to the foundation I started, that has three core focuses for philanthropy. I believe that if people are equipped to find financial freedom for themselves, that they can leverage that freedom to make a huge impact on the world. So, as I coach entrepreneurs, my hope is that more of them will adopt this model and leave a legacy that goes far beyond making lots of money.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Be the best that you can be in everything that you do.” It is a quote I’ve lived by my whole life, and it has served me very, very well. It has helped me, and it has allowed me to help many, many other people. It sounds simple, but if you wake up every day and live this quote out, you become absolutely unstoppable!

How can our readers follow you online?

You can connect with me inside my free Facebook group: The Tribe of Unstoppables where my team and I go live with highly valuable weekly trainings on everything from social selling to messaging, to packaging and pricing you online offers. You can also check out my podcast, The Unstoppable Entrepreneur Show, wherever you listen to podcasts! I have got 5 years of weekly episodes available for binging!

You can also follow me on:

Instagram — @kellyroachofficial

TikTok — @kellyroachofficial

Twitter — @kellyroachlive

Thank you so much for your insights. This was very insightful and meaningful.

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