We Are All Influencers

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Influencers are everywhere today.  Every celebrity is an influencer. Some cats and dogs are influencers that make a lot of money.  As influencers, athletes can change the trajectory of a team. Crazy Grandmas and every teenager with a camera is an influencer.  Every person in marketing knows that snagging a big influencer is the key to success for any consumer product. 

A follower sent me a message…

Dear Mr. Moran, your recent post changed my life. I was desperate for a change and with just a few simple words you were able to motivate me to change jobs and examine my relationships. I suspect when you write your posts you don’t know the affect your message can have on people. Keep up the good work.

It was not the first time I received a “life changing” note. I am proud to be an Influencer on LinkedIn and know that because of that, my views may get more attention than others but when it comes to life changing, I am not sure I can bear that burden. My intent is not to change lives. The messages in nearly all of my posts are: Take control of your own career; enjoy your work; and stop doing stupid stuff.  For life changing advice my inclination is to direct people to more heavenly sources. But the email reminded me that we are all influencers and we need to own that responsibility.

We are all influencers as a time and a situation intersect to hit a nerve.

Consider this:

  • You don’t have to be an author, a leader or Richard Branson to be an influencer. Every manager and colleague is an influencer and so are you. You may never know who you might be influencing but you are through word and deed. Has someone ever told you, “You had a big impact on my life”?
  • You never know who will influence you. It could be a teacher, friend or someone you met on the beach or on an airplane. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes and can hit you with influence when you least expect it. Have you ever told someone, “You will never know the impact you had on my life”?
  • Like your mother said, “he or she is a bad influence on you.” Not all influencers are positive and it is incumbent on you to glean from the good and bad. Take influencers with caution. You can make your own decisions whether it is about the four-hour work or how to trade in Bitcoin.

Here is my response to the email:

I appreciate and am honored by the fact that my post may have changed your life.  I suspect there were many factors that helped you make decisions and that I was only one small sliver of your decisions. I hope you are on the right track for you and that you find inspiration in lots of places, and maybe a few influencers as you go through life.

Choose your influencers carefully. My own go-to influencer is Paul Newman. He was cool, brave, had a sense of humor and always managed to do the right thing. Find your Paul Newman and ask yourself, “what would he or she do?”

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