How To Grow Your Influence

I woke up this morning, with the sound of the alarm still blaring in my head. It coincided with the jabs in my head. My body ached like I got run over by a train. And my brain, though not clogged, couldn’t seem to process much.

It’ll probably be the reason why I didn’t feel like writing this morning.

But as I rummaged in my mind what mattered most: writing now or writing later, I concluded it mattered more that I wrestle the voice of indiscipline and crank out some words.

I managed to bang these out:

Strange as it is, we all expect (writers and creatives, I mean) that one day we would land the big break. We hope, even though we choose to not admit it to ourselves, that we’ll break even, and sell huge like Wole Soyinka or Stephen King someday. Just someday.

We hope that the life of our dream will come on a platter of gold. It’ll be shoved in our faces like we’d expected, steaming hot and reeking of the best aroma of success we’d always fantasized about. We hate toothfairies and santa claus and those terse details of life that stupefy children. Because we know they’re fakes.

But we fail to see that the life we see before us, the one where we wait for permission, seek first to be applauded or acclaimed, expect to be shoved into the open, or be approved before we start, is just the same as those of the tooth-fairy and santa claus and the terse details children yell about. They’re mere fantasies. An utopian affair that festers in the mind of megalomaniacs.

And fantasies, beautiful as they are, take only thoughts to start up. Getting them into reality, however, takes guts!



And lots of guts.

        What Guts Is

In the movie, Just Wright, Queen Latifah said to the Net basketball player, Scott Mckenzie, “I ain’t got work. Cos work is for rich people (people who don’t like to get dirty). All I have is guts!” (Emphasis mine).

And with that, she pulled through training the injured basketball star, and got contracted to be a Nets basketball Athletic trainer.

She had guts.

Guts, obstinate guts, never-be-let-down-by-a-thousand-hitches guts, pushes work beyond the line and takes it to the enemy front, slams it down and says, “there you are. Let’s get this game on.” Let’s push this limit. The when-one-door-is-closed-kick-down-another-and-step-in kind of guts is what I’m referring to.

      Gut’s Hall of Fame

It took guts for Jack Robinson, the only black in an all-white baseball team, to wade through the tides of racism and insults. But he got the brand 42 to stick in baseball.

It took guts for Thomas Hunter, who later invented gonzo Journalism, to ignore all rejections he’d got from his bosses to be a writer. And he sure became a successful writer.

It took guts for Matthew Reilly to self-publish his first book, Contest, after many rejections. And then got a gazillion copies sold later on.

It took guts for MLK to not stick his mouth where he was expected to but speak up against the ‘patience that had his people patient with what was less than freedom’. And his dream of segregation-free country came to be, right?

It takes guts, lotsa gut, to fight through the wall that stares you in the face and get your writerly dream on the way!

      How To Grow Your Influence

If you want to grow your influence, have guts. Guts. And lots of guts. Guts to try something new. Something different. Daring the status quo and kicking, yes, the trite and common. Fail and decide to try again. Keep kicking at the rocks till they become malleable.

Not saying you should get over-creative as to do what gets people turned off as against turning them on. For example, here is how creativity can kill your business.

Your influence grows as you dare the unexpected, take small steps most are scared of taking. It could be as little as stepping out of bed early. That’s the first step to making a difference.

When you don’t just talk the talk but I’ve walked the talk, people are challenged to follow you. You don’t start out originally to get them to do that. You just wanted to be different.

A million and one times, I’ve told myself I couldn’t do a thing. But by taking just one small step, I find I’m doing what I’d said I couldn’t. And I’ve got thumbed up for it. Few thumbs up actually, but it’s not actually what keeps me going (though writers do need the affirmation). It’s the need to write, write, and create something beautiful that keeps me going.

It’s the need to get my message written, not caring who approves of it, but wishing, somehow, it would impact positively on lives and get them to living their dream.

That’s what influence is all about. Catching on to living your own dream, employing guts to push down boundaries, and encouraging others to do the same.

It takes:

•Kicking the idea of starting tomorrow to start today.
•Getting up early to write everyday.
•Crafting your stories and throwing them out for criticisms and feedbacks.
•Refusing to back out because you got rejected ‘twenty times already’.
•Pitching your writing pieces to possible clients in spite of rejections.
•Ignoring that crap about ‘not knowing journalism’ and crafting the best writings of your life.

It takes a decision to deride what has derided your writerly dream, and sparing nothing till you get past that finish line to shouting VICTORY!

Guts is all about confidence. But gutsier than that, in a way.

Guts is killing the sodding voice in your head, the uncertainty that tangles your decision, and getting your feet out into the game. You become vulnerable, yes. Maybe not strong enough, just yet, to fight back when you’re beaten down.

But you return to the ring. Try again. Fall. Write again. Pitch your work to more clients again. Write. Market to clients. Publish on your blog or other websites or magazines or newspapers. Keep learning. Keep improving.

Fail. Fail. Fail. But keep getting gutsier and gutsier. Kicking holes through boundaries and pushing down limits.

By the dumps, all that takes guts!

*Image Credit: Mind Essence

What can guts do for you today? Share your comments below.


Hi. I’m Yusuff Busayo, a chronic writer and a fanatic book-lover. Here, I share kick-butt insights to help you write, create and make impact. Check out what I offer on my about page. Or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.

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