Know how many people it takes to move someone’s talent, business, or idea forward? One. Yes, you read that correctly. It starts with one enthusiastic fan or friend.
That one fan will make it a point to tell others. It helps if this person is a key influencer, has connections, and/or knows how to use social media effectively. Yes, one person can effect change.
The ripple effect
One thing you may not know about me is that I left home at 16 and almost didn’t graduate. My history teacher knew about my unstable home life and that I packed up and was planning to hop a Greyhound bus and head out.
His family actually took me in that night (His daughter, the “initiator” of this story, was a good friend.). I stayed with them for most of my senior year. My math teacher then heard that I was thinking of dropping out and that I decided not to go to college. He told me I was too smart NOT to go (Yes, I had a high GPA, despite my circumstances and working the late shift at McDonald’s.).
He and the track coach took me to their alma mater, Wagner College, where they introduced me to their fraternity brother, who was the head of financial aid. I was not only accepted on the spot, I was given a full ride (scholarship + financial aid).
I wish I could tell these four people how many kids I’ve helped because they helped me. The number is in the thousands. Yes, Mr. Pizarola, I did the math.
This funny leadership video illustrates the power of the ripple effect. It’s very short and describes the importance of the “first follower.” You need just one person to believe in you, your talent, your cause, or your idea and then this can happen:
How does this work?
Imagine if you go to a show, you hear a band online, or you go to someone’s talk or workshop. If you really love what you heard, post or tweet about it!
If you know the person, post or tweet about it beforehand! Share the person’s posts but don’t do a quick Facebook or Twitter share. Make sure you include the original post or tweet and add something personal like: “My friend Jane is a great speaker! You won’t want to miss this!”
It works way better to have people create a buzz for you than if you try to create one yourself. Does this mean you shouldn’t promote? No. It just means that you need to start paying it forward and promote people so that they will want to help you as well.
The moral of the story: It only takes one person to set the wheels in motion to impact change. Keep the faith! Look for angels – or be one!
If you’d like to help other “at-risk kids” like me, the Kidz in Biz entrepreneurship camp I’m helping with starts on 6/20. Click here for more info!
How about you? Who has stepped up and made a difference in your life? Feel free to leave a comment below!
Dori Staehle, MBA lives in the Raleigh, NC area and is the Chief Encouragement Officer and Rhythm Maker at Rock the Next Stage. She is a Musician on a Mission: To help people rise up and rock the next stage of their talent, business, and their life. She’s also an inspirational speaker, podcast host, percussionist, therapeutic drumming facilitator, and best-selling author of Find Your Divine Rhythm: A Creative’s Success Formula. To contact Dori, click here.