How to Grow Your Circle of Influence
How do you grow your circle of influence and become more influential around the colleagues and friends that you currently have in your life right now? Because if we’re honest about it, having influence is big, right? Influence allows you to have more income, it allows you to have more impact; it allows you to have a better life.
We are all seeking some kind of influence in the world. It helps us feel like we have a purpose, meaning and a reason to be or do what we do. But we’re not always clear on where influence really comes from and how to look at it. So I have a unique perspective of seeing influence in three specific ways that are all tied to one concept: a house.
Now, I don’t know where you live. Maybe you live in a house, but here’s the thing. Most houses have an interior and exterior. Almost all of them do, right? So the idea is that I want you to think about influence like this house that I’m going to conjure up for you:
Imagine you walk up to a house, and you see the exterior of it. It’s got manicured grass, the bushes are shaped like elephants… I don’t know. The door looks beautiful, the paint’s great. This exterior, it makes you want to enter. It makes you want to come and be around this environment and see this place and feel the inside, because most of the time, places that have a nice interior, they mirror it on the outside with a great exterior. And by exterior, what I mean is, are you inviting? Do you have a smile? Are you presentable? Because in the world we live in, let’s be honest, the way you look matters. Not that it always has to matter, but the way that you hold yourself and carry yourself shows others how you hold your self-respect and self-esteem.
Sometimes people may have a kind of a look like, I’m trying to be put together, but we usually can see through a lot of that. And if the exterior is rusty and has uncut grass and looks a little funky, because you don’t have joy exuding from you, what happens is you miss out on the opportunity to even have an influence on somebody. But here’s the cool thing: If you have a great exterior and people enjoy what they’re seeing, they want to step in, they get to experience the interior. And the interior for us is the heart of who you are.
The interior is the confidence you have, it’s the joy you have, it’s what you exude. It’s the, do people come to your house and want to stay and hang around? Do they walk in and see the carpets are clean, the floors are mopped, everything sparkles and it smells good because the candles are lit, and it’s beautiful, and there’s beautiful food, and they get to have drinks, and they get to laugh and enjoy the space, and it feels great and it feels inviting? If your interior is inviting, people want to hang out, and not only that, they want to bring other people around it. They want to bring their friends and say, “Hey, this place is great. There’s a party going on at so-and-so’s house. You’ve got to come check it out.” And so they bring more people, and guess what, the influence grows.
Here’s the beautiful thing: the longer they stay, the more conversations you have and the more you get an opportunity to influence somebody. If it’s business, you want to make sales. You better make them want to be around you for a while if you want to be able to have a great relationship. No matter what it is you’re trying to influence, you need time to influence, and it happens with being settled inside.
Now, if you walk into a house and it’s cluttered and things are everywhere, everything’s strewn about and it smells like fish and it’s just gross, you don’t want to hang out there. And let’s be honest, there are some people in this world that have a great exterior, but the interior’s not so great. They’re not the greatest people at heart. And the way that you look at this interior is, are you confident? Are you clean? Are you organized? Are you stressful to be around? Are you not stressful to be around? The interior of who you are shows up in the same way it does in a house. Like, if the bedroom’s clean and organized, people want to come and hang out. If the living room looks nice, they want to be around. But that is a matter of how confident, how calm, how cool, how collected, how communicative you are. And when that’s dialed in, it’s great.
There’s a third piece that nobody thinks about. The third piece is, where is that house located? What property have you taken up? What I mean by that is, where’s this house at? What city is it in? Because some cities people love to visit for vacation, but other cities people avoid like the plague, right? So how does the city the house is placed in matter? Well, here’s what matters: If the real estate you take up is in a space of your dreams, people want to be around that. They want to be around somebody who has this great exterior and great interior, doing great things in the world.
I don’t care how great your interior and exterior is, if you’re not in a great place in life and you’re not in a good position, if you’re not chasing your dreams, then people don’t want to take up real estate in that place. They don’t want to hang out at that house. They don’t want to go to that city. But if you get real estate in an amazing area, there are also neighbors who also have great exteriors and interiors, and you have an influence on not only the people around you and the place you’re at but the people who come and visit you.
So are you taking up real estate and placing that home in a space where the world gets to see it? Because yes, it’s dream real estate, but are you going out, meeting people, networking and showing off who you are? Are you taking your heart and your message and putting it into the world so people can see it? Are you getting the opportunity to showcase your exterior, to get them to experience your interior, so you can have influence to make anything happen, so you can actually take up real estate in your dreams?
This article was published in August 2020 and has been updated. Photo by @crystalmariesing/Twenty20