Serial entrepreneur Joshua B. Lee spent a decade growing businesses in the online advertising industry before realizing it was time to effect greater change. As the co-founder of StandOut Authority, Lee coaches entrepreneurs to lead with powerful impact and authenticity.

A Desire for Impact

As a young kid, I remember solving problems for my friends. They couldn't get candy, so my parents took me up to Costco, and at school, I'd sell the candy to them. They were happy. I was happy.

Fast forward to today, where I still follow that basic entrepreneurial instinct: see a problem, find a solution, and rally allies (in the case of the candy, my parents) to help. Now, I just do it on a larger scale for entrepreneurs who want to make a difference.

1. Take off your mask.

Thought leader Jesse Elder says, "When you are being the 'you' that you feel you should, that's true authenticity."

Like many, I focused on the money early on. I came to realize later, however, that the money would find me if I just focused on my vision and the improvements I wanted to make in the industry. Chasing money can place you everywhere on the map, and yet further away from your true vision and calling. Being unabashedly authentic with what you're trying to do, and about whom you're hoping to affect, melts away that confusion. You are more able to take on opportunities that align with your vision. This leads to strong connections with the right audience--the audience you intended.

Why is this so important? Bottom line: If you are being authentic with a potential client, you will know by the end of that conversation if they are a right fit or not. This weeds out thousands of issues from the get-go that could've been avoided, had you just been more forthcoming, more 'you.' If I'd been more authentic and powerful in my authority earlier on, my message would have been stronger. The industry as a whole would've been stronger for it, too.

2. Overcome limited beliefs.

Imagine back to when you were a kid, and you saw a puddle. As a kid, you wouldn't think to walk around it. You'd jump right in. Kids don't even hesitate to make such a drastic change to their environment. As adults, we do. We think that the straightest path through is too messy or a risk. And that's where the limited belief comes in. It makes things harder or holds us back.

In business, I had a limited belief that my message wasn't compelling enough, or my background wasn't strong enough. I had a desire to reach more people, which meant I couldn't hide behind the curtain of my beliefs anymore. I had to stand up and powerfully be myself, in order to stand out.

3. Adopt a peer or mentor group.

My true tipping point was joining Yanik Silver's MasterMind group, Maverick1000. Watching these amazing individuals do business in a way that positively affected the world made a dramatic impact on my current views. The Mavericks believe that a thousand entrepreneurs connecting in bold, new ways can co-create a worldwide multiplier impact.

The thought is, if you're not leaving a legacy, why bother? Having a peer group to stand side-by-side with, and reach out to for advice, helps you build that legacy. They hold you up to a higher standard and hold you accountable. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a mastermind group that's dedicated to your success as much as they are to their own. Having mentors like this has allowed me to expand into realities and business ventures that I never knew existed. It's helping me affect more lives in meaningful ways.

Published on: Jan 16, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.