How Much Influence Can You Actually Have?
Since releasing my write-up of last year's project to read 52 books in 52 weeks, I've had a dozen or so people tell me either that particular piece or my writing in general has been a positive influence in their day to day life, or has given them motivation to do x, y, and z. Relatively speaking I have very little influence and a rather small following. But there's a dozen people in whose lives I've made a difference because I read a few books.
How awesome is that?
My end goal in everything I do is to be a positive influence, to grow enough and become "famous" enough that the stuff I say and the way I act make a positive difference in people's lives. If this 20something writer tech startup marketer can influence a dozen people, what can you do?
Probably a lot more than you think.
The internet is a beautiful thing. I absolutely love it! And I love that social media is the current state of the internet. Every site you go to, everything you do online, is interacting with others in some capacity. Because of this, every single one of us has the opportunity to positively influence our friends, family, and even complete strangers.
What an opportunity!
The way we live, act, carry ourselves, etc. every day has an effect on the people we come in contact with. If you're a businessman, then the way you treat new people you meet and how you conduct business with old contacts has a direct impact on each of those people. You have the opportunity to show more love than is deserved. You have the chance to work a little harder to motivate someone who's struggling. You're in a position to make a difference.
If you work with people, you have an opportunity to influence them. If you use the internet - and I think this is absolutely gorgeous - you have the opportunity to influence hundreds, thousands, even millions more by what you present to them.
Sure, somebody's going to be the trolling jerk that says constantly trying to be a positive influence would either be fake, annoying, or could instead be used to negatively effect someone.
Every single person is telling a story. You are living a narrative. That's just part of living! But what kind of story are you telling? And how? Photo journalism has been a great way of telling stories and enriching the lives of millions of people. So has writing. So has simply living!
Tony Robbins is a great example. The famous motivational speaker has been the catalyst for hundreds of thousands of personal transformations where people make the most, and I mean the highest amount, of themselves.
I read a few books and told people about it. I wanted to share my experience, and I hoped that just one person would look at it and go "you know, I could do something like that. Let me start."
No fewer than a dozen friends and acquaintances have directly told me it's motivated or inspired them to pick up a book or start their own year-long project. I can only hope several more people have gone through that thought process who are just keeping it to themselves - which is what, honestly, most of us would do.
You're telling a story through everything you say and do each day, through everything you present to your social media platforms, and how you carry yourself around others. And people all over are paying attention, whether you realize it or not.
What kind of influence are you having? What kind of influence could you have? What story are you telling?