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How To Influence The Industry You’re In

How To Influence The Industry You’re In

Anyone who desires to have a career that transcends a typical 9 to 5, more than likely desires to add value not only to their organization but also to their industry itself. But just how do you begin to influence an industry that has been around for years, that you’re new to, or trying to reposition your brand in?  I can remember being new to my career and new to my organization where my tenure, age, and experience seemed to be 15 – 20 years junior to everyone else’s. I would often times wake up thinking and enter meetings wondering, how will I be able to influence others today?

Whether your industry is small and easy to navigate or overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start, here are 5 of the best ways you can learn to influence and benefit your industry:

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Identify what type of influence you want to have

Influence pic

    Leadership expert, John Maxwell, is famously quoted for stating that “Leadership is Influence–Nothing more, Nothing Less.”  So if influence is all about leadership, who are you leading?  What problem would you like to solve in your industry? What key message do you feel like is important for your industry peers to know about? And even more importantly, how can you add value to those you would like to impact?  Your influence will consistently grow the more you serve and add value to others at all levels, not just other influencers.

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    Establish yourself as a credible expert 

    Speaker giving presentation in lecture hall at university. Participants listening to lecture and making notes. Copy space for brand on white screen.
      Credible Expert

      Many people only take a semi-proactive approach to their career by at most attending industry conferences, local trainings, and online webinars. However if you really want to take your industry by storm don’t just attend the conferences,

      • Answer the call for speakers and submit a proposal to speak.
      • Start publishing articles in your industry’s publications, write white papers, and guest blog on reputable blogs.
      • Become a published author to get your message out to the masses.
      • Leverage resources where your peers and other key influencers are such as LinkedIn
      • Collaborate with other business and key influencers to make a bigger impact together

      No matter which route you take, whether you do some or all of the above, the only way you can tremendously influence others is through establishing your credibility!

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      Identify future trends and talk about what’s next

      Male sneakers on the asphalt road with yellow line and title Future. Step into the future.
        Identify Future Trends!

        The easiest thing for anyone to do is to talk about what’s wrong. Any expert can go in depth about problem number 1, 2, 3, or 4. Historical context is always great but I also remember hearing previous bosses say to the team, “don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution.” However, industry leaders create significant influence not just by studying the past, but by linking it to the right pro-active solutions. Pro-active solutions that can lead to disruptive innovation and change how an entire industry goes to business, like the invention and rapid growth of social media (no pressure). When looking to gain more influence in your industry be sure to answer questions for your peers like, what do they need to be preparing for? What’s changing in the near future? etc.

        Be Different

        Brand new color pencils right out of the box for school supplies.
          Be Different!

          Not only are others looking for pro-active solutions to age-old problems, they are also looking for innovative and unique perspectives that transform how they go to business – but being different can be tricky. For some it comes naturally in which most often that person is always comfortable in a healthy debate that challenges thought processes. For others, pushing the envelope and causing any level of discomfort brings heightened anxiety. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, influencing your industry tremendously doesn’t happen by sharing and repeating what others already know. It happens by someone like you sharing not only what they don’t know, but also what they need to hear! Where are you willing to show up and push the envelope?  In order for others to think differently, we have to challenge ourselves to show up differently.

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          Start where you are

          Young people working in the office
            Start where you are!

            Before you can influence an industry, make sure you are able to influence those that are closest to you first. What would your direct reports, peers, and boss say about you now? Would they consider you an influencer on your team? How about in the wider company? The desire to influence your industry is great, just make you are known for adding value and serving those in your own backyard first. The more you influence and serve those closest to you the easier it will be to assimilate into larger circles of influence!

            If you’re not sure where to start or how to expound upon your existing influence, start with #5 above, exactly where you are. The message you wish to share and multiply across your industry will first be developed in the trenches of the ones your work along side with the closest.

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            Last Updated on November 5, 2020

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on Small Tasks

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

            If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

            You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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            2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

            When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

            Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

            3. Upgrade Yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a Friend

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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            If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

            Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

            6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

            7. Read a Book (or Blog)

            The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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            8. Have a Quick Nap

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

            Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

              One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

              9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

              10. Find Some Competition

              When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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              11. Go Exercise

              Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

              If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

              12. Take a Few Vacation Days

              If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

              More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

              Reference

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