Influence isn’t something that you can measure with numbers.
I used to care about things like my Klout score, my Twitter followers, and my blog subscribers. One day twenty people would sign-up, the next day only three. And I’d wonder, “What did I do wrong on the three-subscriber day?”
But a funny thing often happened on those days. Those were the days when I got emails and comments that said:
Your post today changed my life.
I now have the courage to talk to my boss.
I will be a better father today.
When I get to work, I’m going to finally have that talk I’ve needed to have with one of my team members.
Thank you for being there and sharing your life with your friends/fans/followers!
Comments and emails like that are immeasurable.
How do you put a number on “changed my life?”
How do you quantify “courage to talk to my boss?”
What is the value of making one father better?
One changed life, one courageous employee standing up for his beliefs, one better father. The impact of those three things could reach beyond my wildest imagination.
The lie we’ve been told
At some point we were told that what others thought of our creation, our thoughts, our writing or singing was what mattered. Most of us bought into that lie.
That lie tells us that a negative critique is disapproval, that it makes what we created less valid or meaningful.
That lie tells us that a Retweet equals importance or impact.
That lie tells us that influence can be measured. Measured by follower count or some ridiculous algorithm.
That lie leads to FEAR.
FEAR of rejection,
FEAR of reaction,
FEAR of loss.
Followers gained means you are doing the right thing. Followers lost means you have been a bad boy or girl and need to get back with the program.
Live this way and you’ll never change the world. You’ll only be a sheep in the herd.
Influencers don’t get with the program. They define the program.
One person mentoring one hurting child who lives in abject poverty with an abusive stepfather and a drunk mother…and watches him end up graduating from college with honors…that person has influence. (As an aside, mentoring for impact is not exclusive to poor children with abusive parents. The rich, white kid who goes to private school and drives a BMW to school every day needs a mentor just as much as anyone)
Influence one person today. Don’t buy into the lie saying that is not enough.
You can truly change the world by changing one life.
I believe in you.
This community here believes in you.
I look forward to hearing your story.
And to those who wrote those notes to me and left those comments…my heart smiles because of you.
Who can you influence today?