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Aaron Johnson: Finding your influence

Several years ago, my organization was in search of a key leader. We appointed a search team and commissioned them to find the right person for t he job. After several months of searching, they reported they had found what we were looking for.

Before taking another step, I made an appointment to meet him and his family. We picked a suitable time and location for a friendly visit, just to get to know each other. The visit went well and we eventually brought him onto our team. What I remember best about that night was the visit I had with his son who was about 10 years old.

While sitting at a restaurant table in Birmingham, I asked his son the same thing I ask everyone regardless of age. “What do you want to do when you grow up?” He looked up at me for the first time.

He had been transfixed on his phone until this moment. With one eye closed and a skewed smirk he said, “I want to be a YouTube star.” That was a new term for me, though I knew about YouTube.

The next question seemed perfectly logical to me. I asked, “What do you want to do in your videos?”

Once again, he looked up at me with a face that resembled Popeye and said, “Fishing!”

Then he shook his head like I must be the dumbest person on the planet. It was like every person on earth should have automatically known that all 10-year-old kids wanted to be YouTube famous for fishing.

Since then, I have learned a lot about being famous on social media. Just this week I was notified by someone who keep score on such things, that I was a rising influencer! Wow!
Now the question is, “what is an influencer?”

An “influencer” is someone who has a following on social media large enough that advertisers will actually pay them to put ads on their social media platform. I think.

So here I am, a rising influencer who has no clue what that really means.

Author and motivational speaker John Maxwell defines leadership as influence. With that as a working definition one might see that those having a social media footprint influencing others are thereby actually leaders.

I firmly believe that we all have a circle of influence.

It may be as small as our spouse, but in that tiny circle we have influence. It would be easy to neglect the smaller circles of influence in the pursuit of the larger circles of influence.

The trouble is the smaller circles are the most important ones. Those small circles called wife, husband, son, daughter, parents, all have more lasting influence on us that those large circles noticed by faceless algorithms on a computer somewhere in a cloud.

I don’t understand the cloud, either.

Here is my point; small circles are more valuable than all the big circles combined.
What real profit do you have if you have 1 million followers but lose those closest to you?

Success is rarely enjoyed alone.

I have never made a penny from my writing. And that is exactly what it is worth too!

Really, I had to say it before you did.

The point of my writing is indeed to influence the reader. But I have no book to sell, no talent to market, no profit to make in all these words. Yet each week I try to write.

I write not for profit, but for encouragement. It thrills me to see someone figure out their purpose in life, then enjoy the benefit of doing what he or she was created to do.

I mean it really thrills me! And when we are fully engaged in our purpose, and walking in our gifting, we have influence.

So, to all my fellow influencers out there; seize this day! Just be the best you there ever was and in doing so, you will find your influence.

Aaron Johnson is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News. He is pastor of Christ Redeemer Church in Guntersville.

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