If you are a businessman, entrepreneur or just someone who likes to continuously learn throughout their lives you most likely take some of your learning from other people, through other people or with other people.
These “other people” are often what we call our influencers. People who influence the way we do things in our lives.
Whether they influence the way we eat, exercise, style our homes or do business the people we choose to follow, listen to, watch, read from, work with or under or look up to are the people we choose to let influence us.
As children, we had little or no control over who influenced our lives as mostly it was parents, grandparents and other family members and who they chose to have around us. But as we grow up we start to have more of a say or a choice over who these “influencers” are.
It is also worth remembering influencers can be both good and bad.
If you look back on your teenage years you will be able to remember times where you were following some fashion of another, listening to or experimenting with different genres of music, doing things just because our friends were doing them, both good and bad?
How many of us can say we tried things we wish we had not just because our friends were doing it?
Smoking, drinking, sexual relationships etc the list can go on and on.
And the younger generation or younger people will often be told that some people are “bad influences” on them. You’ve maybe heard this from your parents, family members or partners, and you have maybe even made statements such as this to your own children or family members. In our younger years, we hear more about people being a bad influence rather than being good or positive in our lives.
You see who we choose to surround ourselves with at any stage in life can and will influence us. If you have children or younger family members it is worth remembering this and trying to point out the positives when it comes to influencers too. You too will have influence over other peoples lives too whether you like it or not.
So now we have a better idea about influencers lets look at this term in a sense of us growing personally and growing our business.
Influencers in Business
As adults and adults who have decided that we want to make our own path in life or business rather than being caught in the 9 till 5 wheel or trading our time for money as most people do. Where do we look for inspiration, for ideas, for guidance and learning opportunities? From other people, people who have gone before us on a similar journey, people who have greater knowledge than our own.
So, when we talk about influencers we talk about multiple people. It would be no use simply following just one person, listening to just one person, copying just one person, speaking to just one person.
If we chose to do this, we would probably just end up a diluted version of them! And at the end of the day, no one person has all the answers.
Instead, we should take influence from many people in many ways. Yes, there will be people who you resonate with more than others and that is fine. If certain people strike a chord with you in one aspect of your life you may want to give them a little more of your time or listen a little more to what they have to say.
But who and what influences you should never come from just one source? You need many points of view, you need many people who will give advice, make you ponder or question yourself and your belief system.
The more you learn the more you can assess various parts of your life, see the changes that you want to make, be the changes at times, map out your own path to success.
You may read, listen or watch several people talk on the same subject for many hours and you will no doubt learn a lot from each person but what you must do or will naturally do is take the information that you have learned and think about it, dissect it, question it and test it out. You see they all have knowledge on the subject but no one person has “all of the” knowledge. No one person knows everything and there will be many varying points of views or thought processes on how each person views a subject.
Your job is to take all the information and decide what you need, what sits right with you, what works for you, find your own point of view on the subject you are learning about.
Start Wide then Go Deep When Learning
What do I mean when I say stat start wide then go deep?
This simply means that at first, especially if you are learning about a new subject you should allow your influences and knowledge to come from a wide field or range of people. Then, as you start to gain more knowledge yourself you can start narrowing things down to what you really want to know or learn more about. You may then narrow down who you gain your knowledge from or take influence from.
Maybe this is because certain people resonate more with you than others and you will continue to follow and learn from them or that a part or section of a new subject grabs your attention more and you want to delve deeper into gaining knowledge in this area, you would simply follow on from here in your learning and whoever can best pass on this knowledge.
Well Known Influencers in Business
In business or in the field of success many people are influenced by or at least want to know what some of the bigger names and successful people in this world have to say.
Many people can be influenced in one way or another by some of the greats or those who provide what we call a staple knowledge base.
People such as Jim Rohn, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Robert Kiyosaki along with some of the newer age business influencers such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, Jack Ma and Elon Musk. All of these people are worth listening to and easily accessible via Audible, YouTube, Social Media and the good old physical book.
These people are all successful in their own definition of the word and have shared that knowledge using various methods. All you need to do is look them up online to learn more about them and where you can find out how to learn from them.
Personal Influencers are those people we know on a more personal level. These can be people we are close to or even those who are merely acquaintances at the moment, but you can change that, maybe you can turn those acquaintances into mentors or influencers. Many people who are successful are only glad to share some of their knowledge with others.
Maybe your partner influences you by supporting you or by helping to keep you grounded and focused on your goals and they are often the people we like to share our wins and accomplishments with too.
It could also be a parent or older relative who has their own business or business experience that you admire and strive to be more like.
Have a think about who you know, who you look up to or admire and would like to learn from. Find a way to spend some more time with these people. Invite them for dinner, meet for a drink or join them on a walk or at the gym. Be frank with them and tell them you would like them to help you reach your goals or give you some guidance.
Remember they don’t all have to influence you in a business sense, maybe you would like them to help you get into shape or follow a healthier lifestyle as this also helps you stay sharp in business and deal with any stress that comes along during your journey to a successful life.
Becoming an Influencer
As I stated earlier, you too will influence others throughout your own life. Especially as you start to change your life and strive for better and become successful. Just as you notice how other people are where you want to be whether in a business, health or success sense other people will start noticing the same about you. YOU may now be starting to influence others. Your friends, your children, your partner, colleagues, other business people.
If you share things on social media, strangers may be influenced by you. In fact, the internet has really come alive with influencers and they are followed, admired, looked up to and loved by complete strangers.
Online influencers are now making big bucks when they do it right. They influence what people buy, how they think, how they look, our homes, our hobbies and interests. They may also become paying clients or students of these influencers and in business, if you can collaborate with an influencer with a large community of followers to share or endorse your business you could see a huge surge in your business, your profits or both.
Likewise, if one of these influencers gives negative comments or feedback about you or your business it could leave you really feeling the effects for a while.
The lesson here is to be careful of what you say and do when in company, online, in business and even down the pub as you never know who may be listening or watching you. Always be mindful, especially around those you love as they more than others will be affected by what you do, both in positive and negative ways.
I hope this article gives you a better insight into influencers, how to find yours, how to use these people to improve your own life and how you can influence others. Remember influencers can be both good and bad so choose who you spend your time with care and remember you do not need to spend time with them personally for them to have an effect on you and your life.
So who does influence you and your business? Do you already know and seek out their work and advice actively to apply it to your life and your business?
It may be worth sitting down and thinking about this. List who’s work you have read, who’s advice you have taken and who has really struck a chord with you. Then you may want to think about reading more of their work or learning what makes them tick in business and in life.
Who else would be interested in learning more about? Seek them out, read their stuff, see if they too might be able to positively influence you and what you do.
I love an audiobook as I can listen while doing other non-work-related tasks like housework and shopping. I start to learn about people in this way and then if they get my attention I will look to find out more about them and what they do and see if there is anything I can learn from them.
We hope this post has given you something to think about in terms of who influences you and who you may influence and that it also puts a new perspective on the word influencer.