So you want to speak on a specific topic you think will really help people, but right now you feel like no one needs your influence. Or you’re afraid of the backlash you’ll receive from it, so you’re hesitating on putting it out to the world…
…This will help you get over that and see that you’ve got a gift to give.
Here’s what you’ll get out of today’s video:
00:37 | Two words that saved me when I broke a ping pong table
03:19 | Your perfect opportunity to influence people & the easiest way to get someone to do what you want them to do
04:51 | What my client, Michelle, taught me about how being your true self influences others
05:27 | The response you’ll get when you share your honest experiences, feelings, and insights (what memes already do so well)
07:33 | Why you NOT sharing your message could keep someone from being the next Oprah or Elon Musk
09:18 | My challenge to you for that message you’ve been putting off
09:46 | Resources to help you get your message to catch on
All good things,
Why people need your influence more than you think
Years ago when I was a kid, two words changed my life.
I was standing exiled in my driveway when our handyman came out, stood next to me, and lit up a cigarette. Those words spilled out from his lips with the smoke.
Looking back, it was clear he had no idea what to say to keep me, this random little girl, from crying.
And while I definitely didn’t respond (otherwise I would have bawled), it helped.
Here’s the backstory:
My parents had just gotten us a ping pong table, and after a few times of using it they decided it could use a light above it. So they called this handyman up to install it.
He showed up, put up the light fixture, and we put the table back in place.
I went about playing while they went to work on another project.
And while they were upstairs, the light bulb went out. It was a quick fix in my mind, so I—being the size of a shrimp—hopped on the table and went to screw it back in.
But then the table sunk in. And I felt all the heat of embarrassment of what was about to come, rush to my face.
I had to admit what happened to my parents. And as I expected, there was so much yelling at me for doing what I genuinely thought was the right thing to do!
So, I was exiled outside so they didn’t get any angrier.
Honestly, the table was fine and only required a quick fix, but I lost interest in playing ping pong (you know, now that I associated it with my parents screaming at me).
On that day, I felt like no one was in my corner. What was the point of trying to be helpful if was always wrong and punished for my efforts at the end of the day?
(And yes, I still disagree with how my parents handled the situation and make them feel bad about it whenever it comes up 😉
But what sticks out to me most out of that entire memory were those two words: shit happens.
The handyman could have remained uncomfortable and silent because it wasn’t his place to get involved. But instead, he chose to say something despite his own cluelessness on whether or not it would help.
And his easy energy helped me get through the situation. Even if I didn’t show it.
And it definitely helped me brush off my mistakes as an adult.
So if you feel ineffective with your words, or like you’ve never made an impact in someone’s life, I promise you that’s not the case.
Some people just aren’t able to tell you what you’ve done for them.
If you’re hesitating on sharing a message right now, here are 3 good reasons you have to.
1. People follow what they can see
This is a great lesson that Jonah Berger writes about in his book, Contagious. He talks about observability (and it’s actually the reason that anti-drug campaigns inspire more drug use than not!).
Do you ever see videos of a crowd surrounding a fight, yet no one steps in to help? Deep down everyone’s thinking, “Someone should do something!” but they’re also thinking, “someone else will take care of it”.
Instead, people see people cheering, so they cheer too.
But if someone stepped in to break it up, you’d see more people stepping in to do the same.
And at the core of it, no one really knows what to do. We all assume everyone else has it figured out, so we let the “adult” step in.
But when you’re in a room full of adults and no one’s doing anything, you have the perfect opportunity to influence the entire room to do better.
People need to be shown how to act or respond because that makes it easy for us to copy.
It’s a domino effect, and you get to be the catalyst, or you become pushed over like everyone else.
2. People need your permission
If we keep our thoughts to ourselves, we become isolated and think we’re the only ones who feel that way.
When you let your own guard down and share your honest thoughts and experiences, here’s what you’ll get:
“I thought I was the only one! Thank you for sharing this—you’ve made me feel so much better!”
Your words can literally release someone from years of guilt and shame over something that was never a big deal in the first place.
Just like the cool and calm “shit happens” mentality.
But that won’t happen if you keep your thoughts to yourself.
This happened at a conference I attended once. The speaker asked, “What’s one seemingly unrelated thing you need to change in your daily life to help you finish your project?”
I know you know that awkward feeling I felt… I shouldn’t share my answer…I’m going to embarrass myself and it’s really not important anyway.
But I got past my own mental block and took the mic and said, “I need to stop falling asleep with makeup on and instead wash my face at night.”
So irrelevant. And I was certain I was the only one.
To my surprise, there was an instant wave of relatability across the entire room.
Later on, a woman in her late 60s came up to me and said, “Lauren, you have no idea how much shame I carried around my whole life because I didn’t wash my face! I feel so much better that you shared that!”
(She later became an amazing client of mine.)
What you openly share reminds people that they’re human and they’re not punishable for having a weird habit.
You gain their trust, their friendship, and help them heal.
(That’s also why people bond so well over memes. They’re hilarious because they’re honest and normalize what we often feel isolated about.)
3. You may be the only person someone feels comfortable learning from
Imagine being in a classroom with a teacher you’re too intimidated to ask questions to.
You’d miss out on precious information and clarity, and your grades would suffer because you didn’t feel comfortable speaking up.
That’s often what life is like for most of us.
It took me a ton of effort to get past that fear myself, and there are still times I’m too scared to ask.
So imagine what your influence could do for someone else.
What could you help someone learn? What could you open someone up to if you created a space for them to ask “dumb questions” without feeling embarrassed?
At one job I worked, I barely knew enough about my role or the industry to get by. But for some reason, there was a new guy who would always come to me when he had a question.
I didn’t get it, but I always did my best to get him an answer.
And later when I left he admitted to me that I was the only one he felt comfortable enough to ask his am-I-supposed-to-know-this questions to.
If you keep your influence to yourself. If you don’t get your knowledge out there in your own way. Then someone’s missing out on their calling to become the next Oprah or Elon Musk.
Because no one else’s messaging is landing for them right now. But yours might.
Start speaking up — someone needs your influence right now.
That video you were hesitating on making. That conversation you were stalling on having. Go do it. And come back and tell me about what good comes from it, and how much lighter you feel, and how much you helped someone.
Because someone somewhere needs your influence right now. They are silently asking for you to intervene so they can free themselves. So speak up, lovingly, and trust that it’s doing good.
If you’ve been thinking about building an influence but don’t know where to start, my personal branding photography experience includes personal brand consulting to help you share your story & make it visible. That or my personal brand consulting will help you connect the dots on all the questions that are keeping you from getting your message out to the people who need it right now.
All good things,
P.S. Want to start making an influence right now? You can do that by planning your headshots. I have a free guide you can get on how to build your personal brand with your headshots. Get that here.