My sincere apologies, but I have NO idea to whom I should attribute this quote that I found on Twitter last week:
If you have to tell people you are influential, you are not.
I love that quote. A lot. In fact, I hope Twitter adds a button that allows me to auto-Tweet that quote everytime I need it. And sadly, I need it a lot, because everyday there are countless people who are trying to “tell” me how important and influential they are.
I mean, honestly, I don’t need to hear about all your speaking gigs (most of which are volunteer but are being billed as mega-paid keynotes)…And then you meet someone doing it right: We had the pleasure to welcome Chris Guillebeau on the High Velocity Radio Show today. Now, here is a guy who has achieved a lot: published author, cool speaking gigs, entrepreneurial success, wildly successful blog, and world traveler. He lives the life many people want.
But to listen to him on the show today? You heard a very humble, pleasant, normal guy (just like you and me) who was more interested in serving and helping others than talking about all his accomplishments. It was a breath of fresh air. [CLICK HERE to listen to his interview.]
To be honest, I actually find it fascinating to observe these two dichotomies on the social web. Don’t tell anyone, but I enjoy watching people act as if they are all-important, someone to whom I should pay all kinds of attention. It is kind of entertaining…
Perhaps this makes me a bad man…
I suppose, then, that is why I get such pleasure at observing people like Chris Guillebeau. He strikes me as the kind of guy I would model myself after should I ever achieve his kind of success. Humble, honest, forthright, and someone with a service mentality.
[I hope you kick my butt if I ever act otherwise...]
But the main point of this post isn’t to talk bad about people who self-promote, or to talk positive about people like Chris Guillebeau….the goal here is to tell you that actions make you influential. Not your words or tweets.
People who serve, people who help others, people who share the cool things that others are doing…those are the actions that make you influential.
I remember watching a presentation by Chris Brogan. Someone was asking him about how it was possible to engage and build community with a twitter following of 150K+ followers. Brogan said having a large following allows me to shine a brighter light on the good works of others.
The comment hit me like a mack truck.
And that’s why people like Chris Brogan are, in fact, influential. Because he doesn’t just say it. He does it.
We asked Chris Guillebeau on the show how someone can write a book. His answer? Simply….”just start writing.”
Actions, in other words, are the keys to being influential. Doing. Executing. Delivering. Shipping. Not talking about it. Doing it. And do it enough and do it consistently, people will notice, people will start talking about it, people will start sharing with others…
…and that’s when you achieve influence. The marketplace decides who has influence. Not you.
So, honestly, it is simple. If you want to achieve influence, start doing the things that influential people do. Serve others. Help others. Care about others. And whatever you do, don’t just WISH you were influential, BE influential. The minute you simply focus on helping others, instead of caring about being influential, will be the moment you start to be influential.
Agree? Disagree? What do you think?