Why does persuasion always flow from authority? And what does authority flow from? That’s what we’re going to cover in today’s episode.
All right, everybody. One of the biggest things I hear from people trying to sell online, trying to build a list, trying to grow their business is I don’t have any authority, or I’m not an authority. Why would people buy from me if I’m not an authority? How do I build authority? Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Well, that’s what I’m going to cover today. So if you’ve ever seen the movie, catch me, if you can, it’s the story of and in the book, of course, Frank Abignail, who is a 16-year-old kid who was able to con his way into many things.
One particular thing was pretending to be an airline pilot, so he could fly free all around the world. So how he was able to do this was he went to, I believe it was at an airport or a section of the airport where there was a secretary for the Pan-American airlines. And he asked the secretary, says, you know, I’d like to speak with somebody in the purchasing department, and the secretary says, okay, and goes and gets the clerk. So the clerk comes out and says, how can I help you? Now? Frank says, my name is John Black. I’m a copilot with the company, meaning Pan-American Airlines. And we’re based out of San Francisco. I’ve been with the company for seven years, and I’ve never had something like this come up before. And the clerk says, well, what’s the problem? And Frank says, well, we flew in yesterday, and we’re going out today. Yesterday, I sent my uniform to my hotel to have it dry cleaned. Now the hotel and the cleaner said they can’t find it. And I have to be on a flight in four hours. So the clerk says, well, don’t you have a spare uniform?
And Frank says, well, yeah, I do. But it’s back home in San Francisco, but I’d never get it in time for my flight. So the clerk says, hold on, hold on. A few minutes later, he comes out, and he says, my supervisor says, you need to go down to the Well-Built Uniform Company on Fifth Avenue. They’re our supplier. I’ll call them, let them know you’re on your way. And so Frank goes down to the Well-Built Uniform Company on Fifth Avenue, and he gets a free, or maybe he bought it. I don’t know, but he obtains a Pan American Airline pilot uniform.
And so he takes that uniform, and there was a, I don’t know if they still do it, but there was this sort of courtesy between airlines, where if you were a pilot of another airline and you needed to get somewhere they would give you, it was like a professional courtesy. They’d let you sit in the cockpit and get a free ride to another city. And he never went on a Pan-American. I don’t believe he went on a Pan American flight because that would risk him getting caught because, you know, the pilots would know each other. So he went on any other airline other than Pan American. And he was able to do that simply by walking into an airport, going up to, you know, a terminal or, or another airline and saying, Hey, can I catch a leg to so-and-so, and he’d be wearing his uniform. And that’s how he was able to con his way into free flights.
And just so you understand, Pan-Am estimates ages of 16 and 18. Frank was able to fly more than a million miles for free. He boarded more than 250 commercial airlines and traveled to 26 countries around the world. And he, I mean, he did this all for free. And what he did was by obtaining that uniform, it gave him authority, and he, obviously, this is unethical, and he abused that authority to get free flights. But the point remains that the only reason he was able to pull it off is because he gained instant authority by having that uniform. So what does this mean for you?
So what it means is that persuasion, the ability to persuade, always flows from authority and authority, always flows from education, because let’s think about it. What are the only two ways you can get an airline pilot uniform? Either one, you, you spend tens of thousands of dollars. You go to flight school, airline school, or pilot school. You get your pilot’s license. You work your way up, get your commercial pilot’s license, and you become an airline pilot, or you do something shady, and you con your way into it. And you steal one. Okay?
Just like if you go and you get a lab coat, and you walk into a hospital, I guarantee you, nobody will question that you’re a doctor. And what are the only two ways to get a lab coat? You either go to schools again, spend tens, probably hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn how to be a doctor in eight, or how many ever, ten years in college and medical school, and you become a doctor, or you go obtain or steal or buy or whatever, a doctor’s uniform.
And so what this means is if you’re going to build authority in your space, in your niche, there are only two ways to do it. You either lie, which of course, that’s the easiest way. If you say I’ve made $10 million and you didn’t really make it, or I’ve won all these bodybuilding competitions, or I’ve got a hole in one 17 times buy my golf course. Sure. Of course, if you lie, you will have that authority. But let me tell you, I mean, I don’t need to go through the reasons why you shouldn’t lie. Somebody will find you out, it’ll ruin your career, and you know what it’s wrong, you know? So I’m not going to waste any more time arguing the ethics because I think anybody listening to this podcast, I would hope, you would ever do something like that.
But the point is, there’s only one more option. And that is to educate yourself. The only way to get authority in your space is to educate yourself is to invest in your education and learn things you need to learn to have that authority. Okay?
So if I go out and I say, let me give you just an example, right? Let’s say that, and I’m going way back early in my career.
I remember I had a student that said to me, well, you know Dan, you know, I’m pretty good at running Facebook ads. I think I can get people results. You know, I’ve done it for my own business, and I want to help other businesses. And, you know, I just don’t have any authority. Righ?. And I said, well, that’s because you don’t have the education to have the authority. So he goes through my, and this was a course I sold, you know, years ago. So he goes to some of my course, he learns. And one of the things I said, in that course, it’s like, listen, if you’re not confident in your abilities, go out and get confident in your abilities, work with someone, work with a friend, work with somebody for free. Make sure that you are able to get the result, educate yourself, invest in your education experiment, do the things required to do the thing. And once you can obtain a result by getting educated, that gives you the ability to show off that result. And there’s your authority.
And so to give you an example, when I first started years ago, I had an agency. And the reason I had an agency is because I had a bar. I had a bar that I had to learn Facebook ads to grow that bar, to get business for that bar. And I successfully grew it. And then I sold it for a nice profit, but when I was done with that, I was like, well, I got to create a new business. Right? So I decided to start a marketing company. And I had only worked with myself. I never worked with anybody else. So I started helping out my friends that owned local businesses.
And I thought, well, I want to make sure it’s not a fluke. I want to learn the different things that can happen in this situation. I went out, and I did the thing, and I did it for free, and I mastered it. And then, I don’t think anybody’s mastered anything, but you get what I’m saying. I got good enough at it to where I felt I could charge. And so, you know, by doing that, I was able to get results for people, whether they paid me or not was irrelevant, I got those, the results. And then I showed off those results. And then I charged for those results. And as well, I went out, and I got the education I needed. I read books, sales books that, you know, books on copy. And so the point here is when you’re thinking of starting a business, you get in this infinite loop of inaction where you say, well, I’m not confident in what I do, but which means I’m not confident enough to invest in how to sell what I do.
And you just get stuck in this never-ending loop, and you never take any action. Because if you did, you could break that cycle. I invested in education for myself before I was confident in the product because I knew that if I invested in learning how to sell it and learning how to market it, it would help me understand how to make it great, better. And it would also encourage me to get good at it.
You know, if you own a marketing company, you’re going to be better a year from now than you are today. And you’re going to be better three years from now. If you own a weight loss company, you’re a personal trainer. You know, you’re going to be a lot better in a year or two or three than you are today because you’re going to learn more. You’re going to work with clients. You’re going to between the education to get your personal training certificate and working with clients. You’re going to get better and better and better.
But imagine if nobody took action because they weren’t that great yet. You have to be willing to do the thing. And you have to be willing to invest in learning how to do the thing. You know, an airline pilot that’s been flying for 30 years is going to be most likely a better pilot than somebody who’s taking their very first commercial flight straight out of flight school. But that person that invested in flight school, when they first invested, they didn’t know how to fly.
So don’t get stuck in the infinite loop of inaction because you say, well, I don’t have authority, or maybe you are good at the thing. Maybe you are good at the thing, but nobody knows it. And you’re like, well, you know, I can’t do this. I can’t do that cause I don’t have authority. Building authority comes from educating yourself on the things required to build authority. And so don’t use that as an excuse to remain in a constant state of inaction.
I hope this was helpful. And I’ll see you all in the next episode.