Influence is Output

- November 7, 2012 2 MIN READ


Recently I watched this short video about Influencers. It was beautifully shot but it didn’t say very much. Just some very basic observations about people who have been influential in the past.

The opening line says something that I flat out disagree with. It says “An Influencer has a certain confidence that not many people have”.

Take a look at Kurt Cobain, John Candy, Michael Jackson and Princess Diana and you won’t see people who were supremely confident. You will see people who were perpetually tormented by their insecurities, plagued by self doubts and a lack of confidence.

Influence is not about confidence, influence is about output. You can lack confidence, you can have self doubts and you can secretly fear a imminent alien invasion BUT if you create amazing output you will gather influence.

Influencers are producers. Often when we see influential people, we know them by their prolific production value.

We see Seth Godin writing a book every year, we see The Beatles creating the worlds most valuable music catalogue in just 8 years, we see Jay-Z producing dozens of his own albums as well as other artists, we witness Steve Jobs driving innovation at Apple and creating game-changing products.

It is production that creates influence. It’s your ability to write and publish, record and duplicate, design and produce. It’s your ability to finish the job and put a completed product into the world.

The idea that Influencers are simply cool, hip or trendy is superficial. It overlooks the enormous amounts of energy that Influencers put into constantly reinventing their output.

It does not matter if you are confident or not. Produce something of value, create a product, publish a book, make a video, prototype a widget. If it’s excellent output, you will gain influence.

I’ve worked with dozens of people in creating something new. Most of the people I’ve worked with had self doubts to begin with, but we pushed to keep producing. Often the confidence came after the project was complete, but not before.

Confidence can only come AFTER you have done something. It may never come at all. Fear not, it doesn’t matter, keep producing and your influence will go through the roof.