As I have been reading through the posts in the forums, I saw that many of the posts deal with emulating how leaders in this industry do things, whether that be their system, their style of advertising, how they act, etc. I have found that trying to be someone you are not, or trying to do something you really hate all for the sake of a dollar is a non-starter. Even if you get good at it, you will eventually stop doing it because you loathe it. For example, I am not much of a talker. I tend to be way better at explaining something in writing, or especially just showing them (as I do when I demonstrate a technique in my dog training classes), than I am at actually talking to someone.
I spent much of my college years in a field that, while it was vastly interesting, was not what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life. I had someone behind me telling me I should do things their way because it was the correct way. And while it was correct for them, it was not correct for me. The result? I ended up giving up on that field (genetics) and becoming a dog trainer, anyway. Many of the people I work with say I have a knack for it, and I have customers calling me the "female dog whisperer".
You have to be yourself. You can refine your "brand" by observing what other people do, or how they act, but unless you let the essential "you-ness" shine out, you will never be really convincing - just an imitation. I think that is what the leaders in this industry are really trying to say. That if you don't develop yourself, your sense of self-worth and self respect, your own style (what makes you you), then no amount of training or learning or props or gimmicks will get you the results you want. It was by developing my own style of teaching and connecting with pet parents that led them to ask me about the classes I teach (I very rarely have to "sell" a class in the traditional sense, and only with a dog where it's painfully obvious he/she needs it). They have to want it. And so do you.
There is a saying "Fake it 'til you make it". I think it means you should get yourself into the mindset of a "winner" and "leader", kind of the way an actor/actress prepares for a role. Decide who you want to be (and that should be based on who you are as a person - study yourself, first ). Develop yourself, and grow into it.
This stuff takes time, so give yourself a break. Don't try to do it all overnight because it doesn't often work that way. That's where the learning and reading comes in. Read what's out there, study it, digest it, and then see how it applies to you. Take what you need from it to grow and become the person you know you can be. Then you will start to see results that will blow your mind.