These foundational truths and ingredients for success aren’t just for those who know they have a message. They’re for the everyday person who is looking for strength to keep going and wisdom to know where to focus. Everyone is called to make a difference and everyone faces challenges in embracing their calling. Leadership, influence, impact all go hand-in-hand

6 things Influencers worth following Have in Common

Michael Hyatt interviewed 20 different influencers and presented those sessions online as part of an Influence and Impact Summit.

They were asked about their success, their challenges, how they specifically grew their business or platform, and what they would pass along to a younger version of themselves or to the audience who was listening. I noticed common threads in what these authors, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and speakers chose to reveal, regardless of the questions posed.

Whatever you are trying to accomplish in life — parenting, ministry, marriage, being a good employee, managing a business, starting a blog, or growing a platform — the lessons learned are powerful and applicable. These are for the everyday person who is looking for strength to keep going and wisdom to know where to focus.

Let’s start with this foundational concept:

If the task seems daunting and you wonder if you have what it takes, you share the MOST common challenge of all those interviewed.

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1-They still encounter FEAR

This is the concept that surprised me the most. Somehow I imagined that once you attained a certain level of success, the fear would have dissipated. Or if it didn’t disappear, you would be able to conquer it.

After listening to one after another speak of it in the present tense instead of it being behind them, I realized this: Fear is never conquered; it is only caged. They have learned how to frame it, corral it, and push past it. Pretending like it’s not there is not a strategy any of them employed.

Many talked about leaning into it. A few even consider it a predictor of a breakthrough and an indicator that they’re on to something.

“Fear is natural, but go for your dreams anyway.”
~ Dave Ramsey

“The lie that fear tells you is you’re alone. Realize that we’re all afraid,
and the ones we call brave are just learning to do it anyway”

~ Jeff Goins

Jon Acuff said, “The number one thing holding people back is fear of criticism.” As I listened to him articulate the questions he has to overcome regularly, I thought he might have actually gotten into my head. I was amazed to hear he still has to overcome these thoughts:

“Who am I to do this?
What are people going to say?
What do I really have that’s worth sharing?”

The truth is as your ministry, business, or platform grows, so will the critics and the challenges. Everyone’s not going to love what you do. Do it anyway. Learn from the criticism if there’s something worth changing, but don’t give the critics the microphone in your head.

“Somebody else’s opinion about your value and your worth is not the final word.”
~ Andy Andrews

“Don’t take yourself too seriously.
You ask, ‘What will people think?’
The answer is ‘Not much.’
You’d be so disappointed if you knew
how little people think about you.”
~ John Maxwell

2-They know their WHY

This is another concept almost every single person spoke to. You have to know WHY you are doing what you have chosen to do. No exceptions.

Hard times will come and if you don’t know why you chose to place yourself in the middle of the hard, you’ll choose to press the escape hatch. People lose their way when they lose their why.

“If you do what you do only for the clapping,
then you give the audience
the power to tell you when to stop.
Because when they stop clapping,
that’s when you stop.
You have to have something bigger you are working for.”

~ Jon Acuff

That “bigger” something for most of these influencers is simply stewardship of talents and a message they believe matters to others. I was especially tuned into those I know are Christians:

“To bury your talent in the yard is not good stewardship.”
~ Michael Hyatt

“If you believe that your message is important enough to put out there, whether or not people follow you,
then you know it’s time to do it and to get it out there.”

~ Fawn Weaver

“Get a real grasp on the value you provide for others.”
~ Andy Andrews


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3-Their clarity follows ACTION

In the GOING, they learn more about HOW they should GO.

Just knowing the “Why” doesn’t necessarily lead to a clear roadmap of who, what, when, where, and how.

No one indicated they had it all figured out before they took the first step. Many of the bigger names talked about the meager beginnings and lack of knowledge when they started. But they spoke of learning “on the go,” pivoting as needed, and how forward progress facilitated the focusing process.

“For goodness sake do it, just go do it.”
~ Dave Ramsey

“What you have to share is more important than the perfection of presenting it.”
~ John Maxwell

They spoke of failures – many failures. But they all framed those failures in the context of what they learned from them. And many seemed to enjoy telling their “my bad” stories and laughing at themselves.

In essence, their collective voice affirmed:
You must be clear about your purpose, but don’t be surprised if you’re left perplexed about the implementation.
Do it anyway. Take the next step. Try something.

4-They SERVE their audience

Many of those interviewed are owners of businesses worth six, seven, and eight figures. They employ teams of people and have a following in the millions. Every single one of them gave the same building strategy: Help others succeed. Without fail, they talked of thinking about their clientele instead of themselves:

  • “Will this best serve my client?
  • How can I add value for this customer?
  • What does this person need most?”

“Earnings are a byproduct of serving your audience.”
~ Pat Flynn

“The greatest leaders are determined to use influence to help others.”
~ Lysa Terkeurst

“Don’t chase success. Instead, decide to make a difference, and success will find you.”
~ Jon Gordon

They didn’t build multi-million dollar businesses by focusing on building the business. The focused on the people they were called to serve and adding value to their lives. They spent time understanding the problem better than others and asking the right questions.

In doing so, they learned to serve.
In serving, they earned the right to add value.
And as they added value to others’ lives, their business and their following grew.

5-They are faithful in the SMALL things

No one started out with a silver spoon or inherited a platform. And many indicated they wouldn’t have known what to do with success if it had come earlier than it did. They learned to be stewards of the small audience, tiny platform, and meager earnings first.

“You’ve got to be excellent in the ordinary.”
~ Dave Ramsey

“Focus on the root instead of the fruit.”
~ Jon Gordon

John Maxwell said if you won’t give three people your full attention and your best, then you don’t deserve to influence 300 or 3,000 and then made this profound statement: “If you don’t love where you are, you’re not going to love where you’re going.”

Patience was lauded often. You can’t measure results that you haven’t given time to show up. And while you’re practicing patience, you still must be consistent. You can’t be everywhere and dabbling in everything, but you do have to show up regularly in the place you’ve chosen. Figure out what to focus on and then be consistent with it.

“Consistency will give you a compounding that nothing else will.”
~ John Maxwell

“Discipline is doing something you don’t necessarily want to do to get a result you would like to have.”
~ Andy Andrews

And through the consistency, these influencers became disciplined. And once they were disciplined, they were ready to be given more.

6-They keep on going with GRIT

Jon Gordan said, “Grit is the single biggest factor and predictor of success.”

You have to keep moving forward and persevere despite rejection, adversity, and challenges. There’s just no other option if you want to get to the other side.

Andy Andrews’ New York Times bestseller “The Traveler’s Gift” was rejected 51 times before Thomas Nelson agreed to publish it. And they accepted it only after the third try. Michael Hyatt was the CEO of Thomas Nelson at the time and tells how it was actually his wife Gail who convinced him to look at it.

  • Michael Hyatt’s own bestseller was turned down 30 times before it was published.
  • Gone with the Wind was rejected 38 times.
  • Louisa May Alcott was told to stick to teaching.
  • “You don’t have a grasp of the English language.” ~ words spoken to Rudyard Kipling as he tried to get The Jungle Book published.

And that’s just the short list. Google famous rejections. The bottom line is this: Don’t give up.

“The only difference between me and all the other writers who had a dream 21 years ago is that I didn’t give up.”
~ Lysa Terkeurst

You are an Influencer whether you know it or not

Whether you think you are an influencer or not does not matter. Unless you are living in an igloo in Antarctica, you have a circle of influence, a message to impart, and a community to impact. The only question is whether you will persevere through the fear and silence the questions in your head that doubt your calling.

The Christians who were interviewed recognized how each of these foundations aligned with Biblical principles. But even those who aren’t professing believers believed in them as solid core business concepts. I find that fascinating and inspiring.

One more thing: They all believe there’s still room at the table. No one spoke of a full playing field and many looked straight into the camera and said, “The world needs YOUR message, YOUR brand of beautiful, YOUR gifts and talents.”

The ones with the most success are the ones calling loudest, “Join us in helping others.”

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More information on Grace Goals

Grace Goals is a unique blend of Bible study and actionable goal-setting content. It includes:

  • Comprehensive 48-page workbook with 5 mini workshops
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Do you want to make real change this year? Here’s a little of what I learned about goal setting and planning. Go beyond New Year resolutions. This is real change by God’s power. Combine Bible study with grace goals and the result is revolutionary change. Take your own personal spiritual retreat with the mini-workshops, printables, and optional private accountability group.

With Grace Goals, you will…

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> Develop a doable, personal plan for change
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> Receive encouragement in the Facebook group (optional!)

Do you want to make real change this year? Here’s a little of what I learned about goal setting and planning. Go beyond New Year resolutions. This is real change by God’s power. Combine Bible study with grace goals and the result is revolutionary change. Take your own personal spiritual retreat with the mini-workshops, printables, and optional private accountability group.

Fear is never conquered; it is only caged.Click To Tweet
Learn from the criticism, but don’t give the critics the microphone in your head.Click To Tweet
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Christi6 things Influencers worth following Have in Common

Comments 35

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  1. Ruthie Gray

    Popped over from your newsletter because I needed MORE from my Tex! (You are “my Tex”, you know.) You do encourage and inspire so well. I so appreciated your personal words to me in CBB this week. Sometimes you wonder what the heck it is you are even doing. But God keeps working as I keep going, and moms keep searching and hanging onto wisdom. The Fb MTO group keeps growing and learning and flourishing and I know I’m where I need to be. Just figuring out stronger verbs, I guess.

    You are a blessing to many, my friend. But especially to me. Love you! :)

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      Ahhhhh. What sweet words to start my weekend. You are a master at this encouraging thing.

      I know all the feelings you describe so well. Hey, it’s like we’re the same person :)

      I loved hearing from all these people and they inspired me to go forth and inspire, so thanks for letting me know I accomplished my mission on at least one day :)

      Keep swimming. Keep stepping. Keep planting those seeds of hope, sister warrior. We need your brand of life! {{{hugs}}}

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  2. hollythewoo

    Thank you for sharing this with us at Grace & Truth link-up. It is so encouraging to hear the commonalities with so many we follow as we seek to move through these things ourselves. Have a great day!

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  3. Lisa Appelo

    What a great summary of Michael Hyatt’s summit. I’m pinning this for future use! I’m glad I read this because you picked up some things I didn’t pick up. My biggest takeaway was that each one was about service. And you could even tell that in their presentations. All of them came across not only humble, but wiling to share their hard-earned lessons with others. It was an excellent summit.

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  4. Lisa notes...

    Sometimes we forget that even WE are influencers because our realm seems so tiny compared to these big-time influencers. But God does want to use anybody and everybody wherever we are. Thanks for the reminder too that even those biggies still have fear! We’re all still human.

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      You are so right about us forgetting to look at who is right in front of us that we have been given to influence. I think the enemy loves to mess with our definition of “big” :-) Thanks for being here!

  5. Kathy

    Excellent post with solid tips! I know when I’ve done projects that had influence, each of these points seemed to arise organically, from passion for the project, and especially since it was born from a call from’s as if God gives us the seeds needed to make our purpose bloom! The grit really spoke to me..I’ve had to pull up my bootstraps with getting my purpose off the ground. Good tips to remember when I hear God’s call once again!
    Visiting from #tellhisstory ..I liked your glad I visited!

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  6. loisflowers

    Christi, these are all great quotes, but the one that speaks the most to me, right now, is this: “If you believe that your message is important enough to put out there, whether or not people follow you, then you know it’s time to do it and to get it out there.” 
I don’t know who Fawn Weaver is, but I needed to read her words today. I didn’t find out about the influence and impact Summit until it was too late to watch it, so I appreciate your recap. :-)

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      I loved that quote also! And I too didn’t know anything about her until those interviews. She started the Happy Wives Club with a simple website that basically said “Join me if you’re a happy wife.” Love stories of people who had no idea what they were doing in the beginning! THAT is something I can relate to.

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  7. sparkle808

    Thank you for such a timely article. I feel the Lord leading me to do something
    I’ve never done before. I want to take a leap of faith and this has given me the courage to take one more step in the process.. Thank you for being obedient to Gods leading; I love this “cheerio trail” of encouragement. You are a blessing!!

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