11 Traits That EVERY Icon Uses to Their Advantage

What makes an Icon … Iconic? 

Many things, some of which are quite ephemeral. Deep, deep inside they have bold dreams. Audacious goals. They don’t want normalcy or complacency for themselves. Their inner knowing cries for world-changing, legacy-building, impact. 

Icons commit to digging into their inner genius and letting go of everything that’s holding them back. Then they harness their greatness to lead a revolution. Icons behave like they deserve every accolade, dollar, and award, celebrating their extraordinariness alongside their followers. 

Sounds lofty, right? And it is. But it’s also more accessible than you might realize. Although all Icons must have innate charisma, vision, and courage, they must also carefully cultivate traits to support those natural gifts. 

I’ve identified 11 of those traits, characteristics that help Icons lead their world-changing revolutions. Some take hard work, others come naturally, but ALL are present in enduring, modern Icons. And to elevate your own standing to the level of an Icon, you can cultivate them in yourself.

1. Icons have significant, audacious goals

I’m not talking about wealth goals or prestige, here; I’m talking about true ambition. Legendary producer Shonda Rhimes has said, “I used to say, jokingly, but not really joking at all, ‘I want to take over the world through television.’” Now THAT is an Iconic goal.

2. Icons are extreme pioneers

This can mean bringing innovation to the world in the form of new inventions (like Steve Jobs did), but it can also mean transforming an industry or idea. Basketball luminary Michael Jordan completely transformed his entire sport, elevating the NBA and every professional player in his wake. He was an extreme pioneer, without a doubt.

3. Icons create a category of one

People playing at this level have no competition. They pay no attention to the people around them. They don’t look backward or sideways. They only look forward. They create a unique and innovative pathway with their gift. Walt Disney did this every day of his legendary career, and it served his legacy well!

4. Icons have a unique point of view

No Icon is a follower. They all have unique and boundary-pushing ideas that set them apart from the crowd. Think of Deepak Chopra, who believes that meditation can reverse the aging process. He has put forth that philosophy for decades, and it has reinforced his Iconic status.

5. Icons have brave, polarizing opinions

When Elon Musk declared, “We don’t want to be one of those single-planet species; we want to be a multi-planet species,” he wasn’t worried about what people might think. He was sharing his individual and incendiary viewpoint without fear. All Icons do this.

6. Icons are producers, bringing ideas into action

Exactly zero Icons are “all talk, no action.” Putting things into motion is part of the deal. Rihanna did this with the launch of Fenty Beauty: Instead of complaining that big cosmetics companies didn’t offer enough shades of foundation for women of color, she made her own. And WILD success followed.

7. Icons' personal brands are inexorably attached to their business

Every Icon has got a legend, a history, a narrative that’s built into their persona that goes much deeper than a typical brand story. Think of Coco Chanel; the woman herself is almost mythical in standing, and her ideas and presence are still embedded in the brand to this day.

8. Icons have multiple streams of income

No one whose brand is truly Iconic has a single wealth-generating strategy in play. Icons know that their ideas and impact should be spread through multiple avenues. Paris Hilton illustrates this beautifully, as someone who leverages TV, retail, music, books, investments, and brand partnerships to grow her empire.

9. Icons have supreme magnetism

People treat Icons differently. They treat them with reverence and awe. They listen more carefully and emulate more fervently. This is tied to their charisma, allure, and undeniable personal magnetism. No one exemplifies this better than Oprah Winfrey. She is mesmerizing and awe-inspiring whether she’s in person on or-screen.

10. Icons have devoted, evangelical fans

Social media followers aren’t enough. Book sales aren’t enough. I’m talking about hordes of people who would travel to great lengths and spend huge amounts of money to hear you speak or see you perform. Chip and Joanna Gaines have this one nailed since their fans come to Waco, Texas, from as far away as New Zealand to visit them at The Silos.

11. Icons have created what I call a Disruptive Legacy

This means they shaped the world, creating extraordinary change that will last well beyond their lifetime. As humble as she can appear, Marie Kondo fits the bill here since her Konmari method will impact how people design their homes and live their lives for decades to come.

Building an Iconic Empire for yourself

If you read through these traits and realized you’ve got all of them, you’re ready for the next step! It’s time to commercialize your Iconic presence and start landing legacy-making deals. I’ll show you how in my masterclass, BEYOND INFLUENCE, where you’ll learn how to play in the big leagues … where you belong.

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