It has become quite apparently lately to me which is truly a winner in this battle and all of us already know this, but I want to share with you my personal testimony as to why it is and always will be true.
Influence is most definitely what matters most. There seems to be this premature obsession with gaining popularity or numbers to reach what you “think” are your goals, but with time I like to believe that all of us realize what a true and admirable goal can really be.
Let me first tell you my story of victory of influence over numbers.
A Little Background…
First off, I’m a photographer and video specialist – at work they call me a multimedia specialist, but I find that title to be rather humorous and a little vague.
I don’t do flash or animations or anything crazy in HTML 5, so Im pretty much a video guy that does photography too. After becoming a part of the corporate beast I have begun to realize how stale the environment can become. It can be creatively draining. Inspiration must really be found through your own means.
I found myself taking walks outside when I can, even if its to the top of the parking ramp. Even in the middle of winter. I live in Wisconsin. Temperatures can range from -40 F in the winter to 105 F in summer.
Its not always like that, but you get the idea. Plus we get snow. Its honestly a breathe of fresh air to see all these seasons coming and going every few months.
What I began to do is constrict my creativity to my iPhone 4 and the apps within. I would examine whatever was most inspiring to me in those moments outside. I didn’t have to go very far to bend my mind.
The sky is an ever changing landscape that is at the same time always familiar. Sunsets, sunrises, snow fall and clouds all create a sense of emotion.
I began to capture that and reflect on the days. It was simple and most of all effective. It wasn’t long before I found out that it wasn’t only effective for me, but those that decided to follow me as well when I posted on my Instagram and Facebook (soon to be exclusively on Pressgram).
Influence is Dynamic
It has been astounding how every week people reach out to me both publicly and privately to thank me for inspiring them.
Whether it was the words I said or the images I created, they were enlightened somehow. I think the most interesting part was when I would run into people physically on the street or when running errands. They would tell me:
I don’t click like or comment, but I love your work man. It’s refreshing to see that on Facebook in my feed. Keep it up.
I always knew people, especially my mother, appreciated my work, but this small community of followers began to really rely on me for some influence in their days of the week.
Messages that I get are either short and sweet or long and meaningful, but they all have the common heart beating behind them. They all count on me to keep going and keep creating images and captions to motivate all of us to keep moving forward, do great things, become better people and most of all help others do exactly the same thing.
The Numbers Game
So when it comes to numbers, I don’t apply to everyone. I am not popular by any means, but there is small tribe that does and that is what really counts.
That is the greatest feeling in the world. Sure its nice to have numbers for advertising strength so you can cover your overhead costs and such, but it comes down to it, what is your true purpose?
Where do we become defined?
I think many of us define who or what we are in our beginnings, but in time we evolve into what we were meant to be. We are meant to be an influence on others.
When you get to that point, the numbers don’t matter anymore. What matters is the positive effect you have on others.
How I Try to be an Influence
Here are some ways in which I try to be an incredible and positive influence:
- Be yourself. That doesn’t mean you can disrespect others though. Understand your oppositions.
- Change the status quo. Just because things seem great the way they are doesn’t mean it shouldn’t change or become better. Become a voice that matters.
- Have some heart. You need to be passionate about what you do. If you aren’t why do you do it? If that’s your situation do some searching.
- Be willing to commit. I’ll be honest. It’s not easy to always be positive when people oppose what you do or could care less. You have to never give up.
- Help others. This is the most practical way to be an influence. It benefits everyone. We learn to communicate. We make things happen. We all celebrate.
- Immerse yourself in positive influence. You can’t run around with an empty glass. You get pretty darn thirsty. You are what you eat. You become what you hear, see, read, and surround yourself with. 90% of the time your environment effects your character. I love to read and hear about leadership. Whether its a podcast, video, book, blog post, or conference I want others to refill my glass so I can keep striving to be all that I can.
How do you strive to be an influence to others? What is your story?