What Role Does Ego Play in Becoming An Influencer?
Sales 101: speak with confidence.
Confidence is key to others believing in what you have to say. As an influencer, your status - and likely your livelihood - depends on others believing what you have to say. But which comes first?
You have to have confidence for people to believe in you, but you need people believing in you to gain confidence (or clout, for that matter). Ego, I think, is a very powerful player in any person's or brand's ability to influence an audience.
But the bravado to say, "This is the way to do it. If you disagree you're wrong" has to first come from actually doing the work and proving yourself, even if no one's paying attention to you while you're doing the work.
It seems that so many of today's influencers just show up in the spotlight one day. They came from nowhere, and now they're the center of attention, speaking with complete authority, like they know everything.
So, naturally, all of us wannabe influencers try to copy them. We begin to speak with complete authority. "I think this, ergo it's fact." That's just not how this works.
The typical trajectory looks more like this. Person has no idea what to do, so they just start (which is what you should do).
Person spends significant amount of time figuring out how to do something right - let's say 1-3 years.
Person figures out what to do, and starts doing that over and over and over in a cycle that they almost don't even have to think about. 1-3 years after that starts, the person becomes an influencer.
A person gets about 5 years worth of expertise - 10,000+ hours - before they typically become an influencer. At that point, they've more or less made it.
They can speak with confidence. Their ego actually lends a bit to their credibility. They've done it!
They know what's working, and where everyone will need to head over the next year or two. But they earned a right to that ego first (something they'll all be quick to remind you of).
Ego plays a very important role for an influencer, and that confidence helps you grow exponentially - after a point. You have to earn your ego. If you speak with complete assurance, but have nothing to show for it, that's just going to hurt you.
The danger in how this works, I believe, comes when you're in a situation similar to myself. I've learned a ton, but I've got a long way still to go. I've seen a decent amount of growth, but I'm nowhere near where I need to be. In other words, I've done just enough to instill some false confidence.
That's dangerous! It's important for me, and I'd imagine it's important for all of us, to be self-aware. We need to realize where exactly we stand, and keep our egos (my ego) in check. Besides, a little humility never hurt anyone, right?