WE NEED MORE INFLUENCERS
When I was in High School, my parents were in the middle of a stressful divorce during the holiday season. No tree, no gifts, no family. At sixteen, I was devastated.
During that time, my English teacher asked us to write a paper about the meaning of Christmas. I had nothing positive to say and resented an assignment that made me contemplate a dark holiday.
But a bright-red F was the last thing I needed. So I wrote the paper and summarized that Christmas sucked. The lonely were lonelier. It made the poor poorer by buying gifts they couldn’t afford. There was redeeming value for the hurting or distraught.
A few days later, my teacher stood in front of the class with a stack of papers.
She leaned back against the edge of her desk and said. “Everyone did well, but there was one paper that stood out. I want to read it to you.”
As she read the words, my face felt hot. I recognized the words. It was my paper.
My teacher explained how writing communicates a message, thought, or perspective that helps others understand people and the world.
She continued to say that the student had writing talent. The paper communicated a different perspective with emotion and clarity. She forever influenced my life with her generous feedback.
WHO’S A TRUE INFLUENCER?
If you Google “influencer,” you’ll find a lot of information connected to influential marketing. What a disappointment. Yes, as marketers, we inspire or guide people into action, but it’s so much more.
Some view influence as competence or sought-after leadership skill. A persuasive leader is an asset to any company—especially if they are in sales. Others care about the power of influence. Take, for example,
- News and Social Media
- Movies and Entertainment
I can honestly say some of these haven’t influenced me in a life-changing way.
But ordinary people have added value to my life throughout the years.
Consider parents, teachers, or mentors. What about pastors, volunteers, nurses, and missionaries?
Does their influence hold less value than the high-profile influencers? No.
Perhaps these unsung heroes hold higher honor because they serve without accolades or press.
Like my English teacher, they give to humanity because it’s the right thing to do.
Ordinary people who encourage others are unsung heroes of influence because they serve without accolades or press.
DO YOU BELIEVE YOU’RE AN INFLUENCER?
Everyone is an influencer. Yes, that includes you.
Let’s consider a few life scenarios.
- A young man kneels on one knee with a little box, a prepared speech, and a tiny shiny ring. Is he trying to influence or persuade?
- One young executive comes to an interview prepared to list why the company should hire them. Is that person trying to influence or persuade?
- Wives may not want to admit it, but they are great at persuading their husbands to do something –even if they’re watching football.
- A child knows what to do and how to ask grandma or grandpa for a cookie. Notice, they don’t ask mom.
- Puppies persuade and influence their Mr. or Mrs. Human. All they need to do is wag their tail by the back door, and humans jump to open it.
We all influence and persuade. The question is, do we influence for our gain or someone else’s? Is it positive or negative?
Influence isn’t manipulation; I believe it’s an opportunity to bring encouragement.
HOW TO RELEASE YOUR INFLUENTIAL POWER
There’s never been a better time to release your influence and bring a positive perspective to the world.
The Internet is a tool that allows ordinary people like you and me to have a voice and contribute to others’ well-being.
Here are five simple ways to influence others.
1. Have an abundance mindset and give freely.
2. Counteract any negative comments with a positive comment.
3. Show gratitude to those around you.
4. Keep your word when you commit.
5. Don’t gossip and believe the best of otheres.
PLANT SEEDS AND LET YOUR INFLUENCE CREATE CHANGE
It took over 30 years to begin my writing journey, but my teacher planted those writing seeds.
I lost so much that Christmas, but I received one gift when she called me a talented writer.
She believed in a troubled teenager.
Who could you influence this week?
It could be as easy as saying, “I believe in you.”
Your influential power is needed to encourage and inspire those who can’t do it for themselves. It is a matter of cultivating Resilience Today for a Better Tomorrow.
Digital Strategist and Certified Copywriter