Time magazine just released its latest issue, declaring the hundred most influential people in America. It’s easy to disagree with half the names on the list, but the concept of defining who is influential is an interesting one. Are you an influencer?
Many of us impact others by our actions. Even in small ways. If we are taking up a table at a popular restaurant it means someone else can’t. In bigger ways, our actions can influence what others say, think, do, or feel. We can make a difference in the lives of others, sometimes to many others, in a major way.
But we confuse popularity with influence or likeability with importance. Often, we give too much credit to others. We think if the music of a group is enjoyable we will also adopt its political views, but that puts you in the unenviable position of making political statements based on someone or something irrelevant. Same is true in other areas of life. Let’s say you like your neighbor and respect them. Its one thing to inquire on gardening tips -- it’s another to seek them out for financial advice (unless they are a financial planners).
I love the Mets but if any of the players open their mouths to discuss non-baseball matters I tune them out. We need to listen to qualified people comment on what they know, but too often we let famous people and celebrities shape our views on matters that go way beyond acting, singing, dancing, and sports.
The biggest influencers are those who can influence those in power -- or is it those in power who have the most influence? How do you compare influencers in different industries or areas of life? How do you judge an influencer?
Take Beyonce. Is she really one of the top 100 out of a nation of 320 million? She was at the height of her fame three to five years ago and even then, did she influence other musical artists? I don’t think so. Did she revolutionize her industry in terms of her concerts, DVDs, videos, etc.? I don’t think so. Look, I like her energy, voice, and body like millions of others do, but she is not an influencer like others are.
All lists have holes in them. They are filled with bias and favoritism. The lists have flimsy standards that fail to fortify who should or shouldn’t be on them. I think the list-makers want us to debate over their lists, to build up controversy. They also want to get attention for their list so it’s no surprise that those who get on the list will highlight their feature on social media. Some have huge platforms that reach tens of millions of people.
I’m surprised the top 100 influencers didn’t consist of Web sites, businesses, and governments, for these things are what influence us. It’s not a question of which individuals inform or inspire us, it’s about which powerful conglomerate yields power over the masses, from Amazon and Congress to Twitter, Google, Facebook and Netflix.
Everyone’s influence peaks and then retreats, giving way to the next new thing or person. One day, perhaps in just a few years, not one person on this year’s list will make a new list of influencers. And then that list will give way to a new one.
Influence in fleeting and subjective. Anyone can have it, but few get it, fewer hold onto it, and only a tiny amount use it purposefully.
BOOK EXCERPT: GETTING EVERYTHING YOU CAN OUT OF ALL YOU’VE GOT: 21 WAYS YOU CAN OUT-THINK, OUT-PERFORM, AND OUT-EARN THE COMPETITION
by Jay Abraham
Remember, focus attention on the fact that where you begin has nothing to do with where you end up.
You can’t make the best decisions, pursue the best strategy, or focus on a big goal until you first recognize and evaluate all the options, opportunities, and business intelligence you have available to you. What you could be doing better, differently, more effectively, and more profitably. And what you know, but don’t act upon.
Whatever you're doing, however you're doing it, and wherever you're doing it, you can and must find continually better ways to maximize your results. But maximizing and creating breakthroughs means more than simply getting the most profit, highest performance, and greatest productivity and effectiveness out of an action, opportunity, or investment. It also means achieving maximum results with a minimum of time, effort, expense, and risk- something few people practice or even think about. Think: highest and best use of your time, money, and effort. Highest and best. Always highest and best!
It’s a success template that keeps your mind’s eye on the breakthrough ball at all times.
- Always discover what the hidden opportunity is in every situation
- One of your breakthrough goals is to always make you, your business, or your product special, unique, and more advantageous in your client’s eyes.
- A breakthrough’s purpose is to help you or your business maximize personal or organizational leverage in every commitment of action, investment, time, effort, opportunity, or energy you make.
- Employ as many success practices of others outside your field or industry by adopting or adapting their philosophies and methods to your business situation.
Then focus on what that person’s real need in dealing with you is. What results are they truly after? What’s the impact your action, product, service, or function has on their career, job, future, well being, etc.? How have you impacted their quality of life in the past? What has it meant in terms of their business or personal success? How much more could you do to improve your impact on that result? Think about their hopes, dreams, fears, interests, families, goals, and dependency or trust in you.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014
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