Photo by Shaun Menary

“Who’s coming with me?” Jerry Maguire

It’s easy to discount how much influence we can have on the people around us. That is until we remember how many of our friends and family are following the things we do and say each and every day. With the advent of social media, it has never been easier to let our circle know what we care about and why it matters to us. In addition, connecting with and following people that we admire requires only a digital click. It’s this beautiful feedback loop that can propel society forward if harnessed correctly.

That’s where you come in.

Start by asking yourself, “Do I want to lead or follow?” (remembering that neither answer is wrong.) This is an important question for two reasons. First, it helps you determine the role you want to play. For some of us, we prefer to be led and look to others to guide us. Particularly if we’re operating in an environment that we’re not familiar with. Then there are those of us who enjoy being in a leadership position and get excited by carving out the path for others to follow. Understanding what role you want to play, at least initially, will help guide you in becoming an influencer for greater good.

Now, this may sound a bit daunting or more than you signed up for when you started reading this article. The good news is, it’s really easy to be an influencer. It can be ingrained into your everyday life. At work, at home, on your social media feed, etc. You have more power than ever to leverage your infinite potential and help shake the world out of its collective funk. Still intimidated? Start small. Here are some tips:

  1. Find some Impact Investing related hashtags (#esg / #impinv ) and start using them when you post tweets to your followers.
  2. Create a Google ‘saved search’ with keywords like “impact investing” or “sustainability” to get a daily dose of shareable articles related to the field of IWI.
  3. Talk to the HR person at your job and ask them to include socially responsible investments in the company retirement plan.
  4. Participate on and other social sites that help catalyze change. In fact, a lot of sites that send out petitions about big companies ask you if you’re invested in that company’s stock. This is really awesome because it will help remind you that if you’re not a fan of their business practices, you certainly don’t want to support that company by buying their stock. Vote with your dollars!

One of great things about doing of all this is that you’re gonna feel good! Becoming part of the solution, even in small steps, can meaningfully increase your happiness and add a whole new dimension to your everyday life. We all want to have faith in the future, and to believe the best is yet to come. Given the mountain of challenges our world is facing (climate change, extreme poverty, etc), we need the extra boost to help overcome these unnecessary evils. Become an influencer. Inspire those around you. Inspire yourself!

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