Are You an Influential Person or Just Easily Influenced?

November 4, 2015

Shirley Chisholm (shown above)
The First Black African American Woman to Make a Bid for President in 1972

Have you ever wondered why people mock your actions, and/or ideas? It can really be annoying, because you’re not seeking any attention. All you’re doing is being who you are, believing in what you believe in, and more than likely good at just being you. Many would just say haters are going to hate. That’s the simple explanation. And while that may be true, when you get to the root of why people imitate others it all makes sense. You are an inspiration. People see themselves in you. The things you say and/or the things you do whether positive or negative, are influential.

Travis Bradberry, a contributor for FORBES magazine listed 9 Habits of Profoundly Influential People. Most of which I felt were speaking directly of me. Check them out below, and find out if you, yourself might have a heavy influence on others.

1. They think for themselves

Influential people aren’t buffeted by the latest trend or by public opinion. They form their opinions carefully, based on the facts. They’re more than willing to change their mind when the facts support it, but they aren’t influenced by what other people think, only by what they know.

2. They are graciously disruptive

Influential people are never satisfied with the status quo. They’re the ones who constantly ask, “What if?” and “Why not?” They’re not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, and they don’t disrupt things for the sake of being disruptive; they do it to make things better.

3. They inspire conversation

When influential people speak, conversations spread like ripples in a pond. And those ripples are multidirectional; influencers inspire everyone around them to explore new ideas and think differently about their work.

4. They leverage their networks

Influential people know how to make lasting connections. Not only do they know a lot of people, they get to know their connections’ connections. More importantly, they add value to everyone in their network. They share advice and know how, and they make connections between people who should get to know each other.

5. They focus only on what really matters

Influential people aren’t distracted by trivialities. They’re able to cut through the static and clutter, focus on what matters, and point it out to everyone else. They speak only when they have something important to say, and they never bore people with idle banter.

6. They welcome disagreement

Influential people do not react emotionally and defensively to dissenting opinions—they welcome them. They’re humble enough to know that they don’t know everything and that someone else might see something they missed. And if that person is right, they embrace the idea wholeheartedly because they care more about the end result than being right.

7. They are proactive

Influential people don’t wait for things like new ideas and new technologies to find them; they seek those things out. These early adopters always want to anticipate what’s next. They’re influential because they see what’s coming, and they see what’s coming because they intentionally look for it. Then they spread the word.

8. They respond rather than react

If someone criticizes an influential person for making a mistake, or if someone else makes a critical mistake, influential people don’t react immediately and emotionally. They wait. They think. And then they deliver an appropriate response. Influential people know how important relationships are, and they won’t let an emotional overreaction harm theirs. They also know that emotions are contagious, and overreacting has a negative influence on everyone around them.

9. They believe

Influential people always expect the best. They believe in their own power to achieve their dreams, and they believe others share that same power. They believe that nothing is out of reach, and that belief inspires those around them to stretch for their own goals. They firmly believe that one person can change the world.


We were all put on this earth to help one another. Therefore, never let a copycat bring you down. Instead, embrace your influence and help those who inspire to become better. It was once said, they can take what they want, but no matter what, they can never be you. You are original.