Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

How to Influence People: The Most Overlooked Secret

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Leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less.
—John Maxwell

Anyone can be a leader. Sounds easy, but it’s not. True leadership is rare, because most people aren’t willing to do the one thing they need to grow their influence.

The most overlooked secret to influencing people

Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)

What do the world’s best leaders know that the rest of us don’t? How do you become an influencer without feeling like a sleazy salesman? The answer may surprise you.

People sometimes ask me how I’ve been able to do interviews with in-demand “celebrities” like Steven Pressfield and Chris Brogan. They wonder how to get guest posts published on Copyblogger or Zen Habits, some of the most popular blogs on the web.

They want to know the secret to building influence. How do you connect with important people and get your reputation to spread?

These people are the ones who ask about getting a NY Times best-selling author to endorse your book or want to know what it takes to interview the CEO of a major company

They want to know the answer to a simple question that confounds most of us. For years, I didn’t understand it myself. It’s this:

Why can’t I get more influence?

The secret to gaining influence

Some people don’t want you to know this. It’s a secret long held by the social elite, what builds dynasties and topples kingdoms. It’s the explanation for how even the humblest of beginnings can lead to the strongest successes.

This is important for you to hear, and it could be the answer to getting your book published or launching a successful business. It might even mean landing that connection that changes everything.

The secret to how to connect with influential people is simple: Ask them. Why do so many people neglect this practice? Why overlook something so obvious?

First, let’s set the record straight: I’m nobody special. I’m not a charismatic leader or persuasive speaker. I do not possess any innate gifts for winning people over.

A chubby misfit in high school, I learned to play guitar and to avoid getting beat up (sometimes). In other words, I’m no Dale Carnegie. Far from an “outlier,” I’m often unsure of myself and struggle with confidence issues.

Why share this? Because if I can do it, you can do it.

The new leadership

Bill Gates used to publish his email address. An important leader and CEO, he still made himself available to his followers.

When I heard about this, I decided to email an author I had always admired and see what might happen. I asked his advice, and a day later, he responded.

I was in awe.

A year later, that same author — a guy named Seth Godin — emailed me, offering to do an interview for my blog about his next book. When the book launched, he linked to me and sent more traffic than my little blog had ever seen.

After this experience, I had a thought that changed everything: If uber-blogger Seth Godin is this accessible, who else is?

If someone so influential and unreachable (in my mind) was just an email away, what would stop me from contacting anyone I wanted to meet?

That’s just what I did.

What followed was a chain of events that included one audacious pursuit after another. I discovered there were others like Seth who were making themselves available to “average Joes” like me.

This is the new leadership: accessibility. There are people out there, waiting to connect with those bold enough to ask.

You are your own worst enemy

Not too long ago, I saw a friend get a guest post published on Problogger, a popular blog about making money online. I was amazed, even a little jealous.

Although I had gotten into the habit of making big asks, this was one platform that was still “off limits” to me. Maybe some day, I thought. So I sent my friend a message, asking him how he got his piece published.

Do you know what his secret was? You guessed it: He asked.

He sent an email with an idea, they approved it, and then they published it. In fact, this was the second time he had done this.

So I did the same — and it worked like a charm.

We humans have a bad habit of talking ourselves out of greatness. (Click here to tweet that.) We doubt ourselves, thinking we don’t have what it takes. We give in to fear and sabotage ourselves before we even begin. We are our own worst enemy.

A few weeks ago, I encouraged a friend to email a leader he admired. He wouldn’t do it. He had already made up his mind. This person was just too busy to respond. After I all but forced my friend to do it, the person emailed him back immediately.

My friend couldn’t believe it, because he had already said “no” for him. Turns out, most people are this accessible. We just have to believe they want to hear from us.

How to win a friend

“Winning friends” was a phrase popularized by Dale Carnegie, and it’s one that bothers me. It sounds self-serving. Friendships aren’t won; they’re made, organically and honestly.

It wasn’t until I started reading Carnegie’s secrets in How to Win Friends and Influence People that I finally let my guard down. Here are a few of his methods:

  1. Show genuine interest in someone else.
  2. Remember people’s names.
  3. Listen.
  4. Sincerely make someone feel important.
  5. Smile.

Honesty and sincerity?! Man, what a jerk… ;)

Do you want to know the secret to getting influential people to do stuff for you? Put the idea of “getting influential people to do stuff for me” completely out of your mind. And instead, try to help people. Slay the dragon of insecurity and make bold, but humble, asks:

  • Invite someone to breakfast or coffee.
  • Ask for a few minutes to chat on the phone.
  • Listen, smile, and thank them.

That’s what I do; that’s all I do. In other words: make a friend.

The real secret to winning friends and influencing people is this: Anyone can do it. You just have to ask.

Why you’re not an influencer yet

So why aren’t you doing this? Why aren’t you connecting with influential people? If you’re anything like I was, you’ve probably succumbed to one of the following temptations:

  • You’re scared to ask.
  • You’ve already said “no” for someone else.
  • You’ve bypassed winning friends and tried to immediately influence people. In other words, you’re trying to use people.
  • You don’t listen.
  • You talk about yourself too much.
  • You think it’s all about you.

I believe you have something to say. I believe you’ve sabotaged yourself one too many times. I believe the world needs your voice and dream, and it’s time act.

Will you be bold and start making some asks? If you’re ready to begin, see how I make friends.

Further reading

What’s your secret for influencing people? Share your own story of making a connection or of self-sabotage in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. Check out my new book, The In-Between. To get exclusive updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

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  • J. Kelly Cross

    Jeff – Before having read this incredibly insightful blog, I was advising a co-worker on how best to gain permission from an author to do a presentation on a very popular, widely circulated text. My advice … you guessed it – JUST ASK HIM! Thanks for confirming my wild assertion that even the biggest of wheels enjoy a bit of notoriety from their followers. Your blogs are spot on – thanks for the inspiration! 

  • http://profiles.google.com/lisasmith93 Lisa Smith

    Why is it all the cool artists live in Tennessee? So nice to meet you!! I’m now off to make my list of 5 people I’d love to connect with and take some steps toward the dream.

    Pancakes is awesome. Writing about life always connects with peeps.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Lisa!

  • http://profiles.google.com/lisasmith93 Lisa Smith

    Sorry can’t get my profile to load grrrrrr lisasmith93 on twitter :)

  • Markus Watson

    I’m the pastor of a small church in San Diego.  Last year I decided I wanted to get Ken Blanchard, author of the book “Lead Like Jesus,” to preach the opening sermon based on that book.  I knew Ken lived in San Diego, so we wouldn’t have to pay travel expenses.

    I e-mailed the CEO of the Lead Like Jesus organization, briefly shared my story, and asked if she thought Ken would be willing to speak.  She loved my story and immediately said she’d get to work on getting Ken for our church.

    It took about 8 months of e-mails and gentle check-ins to see how things were coming, but late last fall I got confirmation that Ken would be speaking at our church in February, 2012!  And he did!!  And it was an amazing talk he gave!

    In fact, if you want to hear it, here’s the link:  http://northminstersandiego.com/2012/02/19/sermon-lead-like-jesus/

  • Markus Watson

    I’m the pastor of a small church in San Diego.  Last year I decided I wanted to get Ken Blanchard, author of the book “Lead Like Jesus,” to preach the opening sermon based on that book.  I knew Ken lived in San Diego, so we wouldn’t have to pay travel expenses.

    I e-mailed the CEO of the Lead Like Jesus organization, briefly shared my story, and asked if she thought Ken would be willing to speak.  She loved my story and immediately said she’d get to work on getting Ken for our church.

    It took about 8 months of e-mails and gentle check-ins to see how things were coming, but late last fall I got confirmation that Ken would be speaking at our church in February, 2012!  And he did!!  And it was an amazing talk he gave!

    In fact, if you want to hear it, here’s the link:  http://northminstersandiego.com/2012/02/19/sermon-lead-like-jesus/

  • http://twitter.com/observerph AteMyx

    Truly love this post, thanks! I’m happy to listen more than to talk so making friends means more people who can share the burden of talking for me. You really nailed this topic for me.  I remembered when I was a kid I wrote to the Princes of different monarchies and to the different embassies. I asked. And I received tons of mail because of that. Friends.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraLamereblog Laura Lamere

    Hi Seth – I write a blog for parents of creative kids – would you be interested in writing a guest post about learning to play the guitar and what that meant to you? Were your parents supportive? (Phew, deep breath – that wasn’t so bad! :)) Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/LauraLamereblog Laura Lamere

    OK, so here goes: “Would you write a guest post for my blog about learning to play the guitar? My blog is for parents of creative kids – musicians mostly – and you mentioned that you taught yourself to play. I’m wondering if your parents were supportive; I’m wondering how playing the guitar made you feel during your high school days of angst. Thanks for considering it!” Phew, that wasn’t so bad!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kshitij.gondhalekar Kshitij Gondhalekar

    Here I was thinking of the crouching tiger, but you just showed me the hidden dragon. Thanks a million Jeff!! Also, I just bought your book, and I’m beginning to learn how easy some things are. Here’s the High-five :D :D

  • http://katharinetrauger.wordpress.com/ Katharine Trauger

    New, here, and reading this post first, I wonder:
    If I’ve already figured they would say yes, then they in fact DID say yes, then they said no — what would your advice be?
    Try, try again?
    Sighs.

  • Pmpolis

    Great words. Really. It gives me hope that out there are normal, non-manipulative people.

    I’m in a situation where I feel forced to be quiet. Have you ever been with people so insecure to let you get a word out because it doesn’t match what they think? Have you ever been around someone who likes to make you sound like you are saying things you aren’t? Is there any hope in working with these people, or should I just realize who is in front of me and their self-serving objectives and the end? I feel really stuck….mainly because I feel like I have to find a way to wk with these people, and I can’t just cut bait and run for mental sanity and safety’s sake like I want to.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Amy

  • rebecca downey

    You are absolutely spot on about having the guts to “just ask!”  I can tell by some of the articles that you have written, that you are authentic and real and while I agree that asking someone for something will increase your chances for success, I’m betting that the way you come across to other people probably doesn’t hurt either.  If we are fearful of asking someone for something, we are not completely geniune, or we are hiding something about ourselves, and in some way inauthenic.  Be real, be authentic, and don’t try to impress, and people will see you and they will say yes.

  • Cynthia Harris

    Thanks for this boost of confidence.   Give you dog a rub on the belly for me…I know dogs like that :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/wade.balsdon Wade Balsdon

    Hi Jeff, interesting post. I recently subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading. Rest assure that I will gladly give you some feedback on it. 

  • http://twitter.com/CopyByTom Tom Southern

    Jeff, you hit on an
    important point and another “hidden” reason leaders are
    born: Fearlessness.

    Fearlessness comes
    through ignorance. Ignorance of not knowing.

    Ignorance is bliss
    because it sets people free to do what they don’t know they can’t do.

    Youth allows such
    freedom to blossom.

    But, and I’m not just
    saying this because I’m not young any more (at least to anyone under
    50), Youth doesn’t have a monopoly on fearlessness.

    Anyone can be blessed.

    Such fearlessness as
    this breeds leaders because they don’t know that it might not be
    possible to do what they want to do, or say, or think, or whatever
    intent they have.

    You just did it!

    You just asked.

    You just thought “Why
    not?”

    You enjoyed
    fearlessness.

    You are blessed.

    And teacher, thank-you
    for showing me: Just do it. Just ask it. Just think it. Because …
    hey! why not?

    We can all do this. We
    can all pretend we don’t know what endless possibilities might beset
    us (or not) and see what doors open to us. Doors we didn’t even
    realise existed.

    We can all be leaders.
    Leaders of tribes.

    Leaders of our own
    possibilities.

  • Debbie Petras

    I totally agree with your assessment!  So often people sit on the sidelines because of fear.  What is the worst they can say if you ask?  NO.

    I reached out to Chris Brogan on twitter years ago and asked a question.  It progressed to a phone call and my husband and I spoke with him about a project.  Chris put us in touch with a consultant friend of his who was of such help to us at the time.

    I’ve ‘met’ many wonderful people through blogging and social media.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      wow!

  • http://ramonbnuezjr.com/about-2 Ramon B. Nuez Jr.

    Jeff, I just listened to your podcast interview — “How to Become a Professional at Your Craft.”

    Thank-you. It was a wonderful interview. Which lead me to this post. Thank-you again :-)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks, Ramon!

  • http://twitter.com/TeenMogul Teen Mogul

    Whats worked for me is offering something of value. If its something that interest them you will have their upmost attention. 

    I would like to offer something of value to you as well. http://McaMogulTeam.tumblr.com 

  • Lok

    so simple and true

  • Justindye

    Great post. Thanks for the honesty!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks, Justin!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pj.albers Paula Joanne Albers

    Jeff,

    Your articles always seem to come at a time when I need them most. Asking is hard; being brave is hard; getting one’s self “out there” is even harder.

    Thank you for the facts, simple, yet elusive truths, and support of all that you know we are capable of. 

    I value and always look forward to…  your candor – thank you.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Paula!

  • http://www.caitlinmuir.com Caitlin Muir

    I was reading one of Tim Ferrisses books last night and he was saying the same thing. Reach out and connect with someone who you think is inaccessible. The only real hurdle is a mental one. 

    You can’t get a yes without asking a question!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Well said, Caitlin!

  • Sue Wang

    I got here via your recent post on how to connect w/influential people. Aha. Thanks for sharing how you did it, and your authenticity, as always. I am game to ask anyone. As you said, internally we need to be ready (or confident), know what we need help with. Sue Wang, @Connect2Self

  • http://twitter.com/ashleebush ashlee bush

    This was just what I needed to hear!  The title intrigued me because I read How to Win Friends in college.  I’ve applied them throughout my career, but as I am forging through the internet and getting a handle on blogging, I’ve been having a hard time figuring out how I can reach others in the same field as me — and you  hit a nail on the head; the simplicity was right before me!  Thanks so much for the reminder and how to apply it via the internet.  I’ve been a follower of yours for a while, so it’s so cool to see  how much you’ve grown!  Thanks for all the great content.

  • http://twitter.com/Sweetincome1 William Mathieson

    Hi Jeff, 

    Another wonderful post! Thanks again for sharing :-)

    William

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennyboltprice Jenny Bolt Price

    so practical and wise.  we make it so hard by making up all the NOs in our lives.  and all around us, are other willing leaders, ready to walk us right down the road to our greatness.  thank you JEFF for modeling this in both directions, and for being one of the Influencers that listens and responds to the growing writers/speakers/etc

  • http://twitter.com/CopyByTom Tom Southern

    Good points Jeff. Perhaps the main reason people don’t ask people they position as influential in their lives, is that they don’t know that they *can* ask. In other words, they don’t know if it’s protocol, or if it’s the “done thing” to do.

    This isn’t always due to fear, or feeling unworthy, it’s down to not wanting to intrude, and about respecting people’s time and privacy. 

    However, it’s not until you do ask that you realise that, actually, it is okay to ask, that it is often expected, and can also make the person being asked feel accepted, and recognised. Not always of course, but if they’re real, it does often have this affect.

    It’s also about asking when you’re in the right position to ask. For example, if you asked your favourite author to read your novel and you’d not written it yet, you’d probably feel foolish, and not look too good to that author. Better to ask him or her for advice on what to do when you’re not happy with how a character’s working out, or how to describe something. 

    Asking the right question at the right time is what counts, and gets the best, most generous, answer.

    What it comes down to is knowing where you are in your journey to your goal, what it is you want to know (and why) before you ask, that makes your asking valuable.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I think you’re right.

  • Sara Robison

    Jeff, Thanks for posting this. I needed to know that I was on the right path, and I am.  I’ve selected several individuals that I have gained inspiration from and asked them to tell their story anonymously to help inspire other people.  I’ll keep asking; I’d like to know people’s stories, and share them to inspire others. Thank you for your willingness to post, just how it is. As a new blogger, I appreciate you!

  • prophetsandpopstars

    Jeff, thanks for writing this über practical post! 
    As always, I appreciate all you do. 

  • semika

    Yes,u need to ask someone if u want things to work.we all know that its not that easy but still we need to do.but i also would like to know that what should be the way to ask,i mean to say how or in what way should we approach them coz that is the key.thankyou..

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Great point.

  • Ali

    Thank you for this article! You described exactly the hesitations I have currently… it’s nice to find a very relatable post that is also informative. I find it very interesting that so many people are accessible, and I’m definitely not going to be hesitating to ask something of someone in the future! Thanks again for the valuable tips! Just one question: How do you best suggest finding valid email addresses? I know a lot of the ones that are out there now are fake.

    ~Ali

  • Naveen Patil

    Hi Jeff, This is the first time I am reading your post and I have already become fan of yours. Thanks for sharing the ideas for great impacts by simple things.

  • Michelle

    I too, assume others will say no more often than yes. Next time I want to ask someone to help me in some way, I’ll ask!
    Thanks for this informative and encouraging post!

  • Janet Denton

    Making friends/associations can be one of lifes most challenging challenges on a daily basis. It means the other person is more important than you.

  • Ashley Varner

    I love this! One day I saw Seth Barnes (big deal in my mind) at a restaurant and as he was leaving I stopped him to let him know what I thought of him and his organization, Adventures in Missions. It was raining that day and he politely asked if we could move under the awning to talk, as he was getting soaked! Haha! But, it was just so cool that he was willing on a Sunday afternoon to stop and talk to me!

  • http://www.tabulyogang.info/ tabulyogang

    wow, that three letter word a-s-k! It sounds so simple. Now I just have to get pass that fear and ask.

  • http://rakesh.tembhurne.com/ Rakesh Tembhurne

    Jeff, you are right. Sometimes we are our own enemy that keep thinking why we cannot do something… Thanks for the lovely article.

  • Kelci

    This is so encouraging. I just thought of multiple people off the bat that I want to contact and never dreamed of talking to! I guess we get so overawed that we forget their human too. :)

    • Suvesh

      the same is the problem with me. will try to be better from now.

  • http://leadbychoice.wordpress.com/ Kimunya Mugo

    Jeff, you inspire me. It is because of men like you that I got the courage to step out and start writing my story. To begin to be the change that I want to see in the world. I am taking a further step and send you an email…

  • http://storiesmadepowerful.com/ Arlen Miller

    That’s wonderful, Jeff. That’s exactly what I found. I’m a new no-name blogger with a fire burning inside. I attended Wordcamp Columbus earlier this month. I asked two of the presenters, including the keynote speaker whether they would do an interview. They both said yes. So absolutely exciting. Very, very exciting. It is such a golden privilege to stand on the shoulders of giants. Exhilarating!

  • jay_em

    Thanks! Much appreciated advise on how to build up contacts and make friends. Keep it up,Jeff!

  • Iza

    Hi :)
    That’s my first comment on your blog. Great article by the way :)
    I’m from Poland, hi :), and I’m writing stories since I was kid. I won some competitions but now I’ve stuck. I feel like I can’t write anything worth read by other, nothing that can be published so I choose some of blogs your kind to learn from great writers, as you are :)
    And what I’m about… As I read your article I rememberd that I was writing to some ppl, some known ppl, but they never answered… Maybe that’s the reason that I can’t believe in words you wrote above. It’s just my experience.
    But thanks for great stuff you’re sharring :)
    Iza

    • Victoria Vorel

      Dear Iza, just tell you to keep trying. I’m from Chile, I wrote my first and only book 4 years ago and published on line, never promoted it. Some days ago I decided to do something about it. I sent a friend request and a message on FB to a best seller author, and he not only accepted my request, he was on line and chatted with me, he gave me some very good advice. So, please keep trying. Blessings.

      • Iza

        Thank you for the replay :)
        I’ll try . Beside that I decided to start designing ebooks for ppl just like me and help them promote their books. I want connect beautiful desing and promotion.
        Thank you once more Victoria :)

        • Victoria Vorel

          You are very welcome my dear

  • elbertavonshlorf

    Sorry Jeff. Leadership is not about having influence, but having power, unless you consider “influence” the power to hire and fire. That is seriously influential. The smartest people in my organization are those closest to the customer, not those who have inherited leadership roles either via being in the same country club as the boss’ wife or being in the right place at the right time when an acquisition was made, or who have relationships with major vendors through their elite schools and so forth.

    In the real world, where people don’t just leave blurbs on the back covers of each other’s books, you can’t “just ask” someone in a high position of authority to do you a favor. That’s considered INSUBORDINATION and it has nothing to do with fear. In the real world, communication such as that must be approved. And it’s never approved. In fact, just asking for the right to communicate with those at the highest levels is likely to bring suspicion.

    People are obsessed with celebrity and cults of personality. The idea that having Seth Godin or some other “known” individual endorse or introduce your work doesn’t mean anyone should attach any importance to that over ideas that come from an unknown. It’s the art, the idea, the work that should stand or fall on its own. If my post has power and influence, it should be because it’s good. I’m nobody, and I don’t care to be anybody. I let my writing speak for itself. I hope I’ve done that and that your readers can gain something from it. Peace.

    • Cee

      You’re missing the forest for the trees, my friend. You can debate the true meaning of words or ideas, you can imply Jeff or the rest of us aren’t living in “the real world” that you seem to live in, but it all misses the point: do not let fear hold you back. Go for it as best you can. Don’t seek to influence, just be good to people.

      But hey, you go on having fun living in the “real world.”

  • Vivienne

    Jeff,

    thank you for this article, it felt like a friend putting an arm around my shoulder and saying ‘go on, you can do it’.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You totally can!

  • Anthony Tolson

    Sorry, you broke or own rule because this was hardly about influence and more about yourself. There’s way more to influencing individuals than what or saying.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Sorry, Anthony, but you missed the point.

    • Victoria Vorel

      Dear Anthony, I’m a 61 years old chilean woman, english is not my native language, nonetheless what I understood is that Jeff is talking from his experience, which I consider is a very generous and honest way to share the knowledge and success he has accomplished. Please, I beg you to read it again with open mind and focus on what he wants to communicate to us. Warm regards from the beautiful city of Villarrica, Chile.

  • http://www.sarahdizney.com/ Sarah Noel

    Jeff,

    I love this! I’m so grateful I “found” you a couple weeks ago. I can relate to you in a lot of ways. In this particular article, what stood out to me, was the “bypassing ‘winning friends’ and going straight to trying to influence people” part. I do that. I’m not proud to admit it, but I know I do. I’m not naturally outgoing or social. I’m not great at “making friends” and especially when I have something business-related in mind, I’m “all business.” I believe I probably need to shift that thinking if I’m to succeed IN my business… which is writing.

    The funny thing is, I KNOW when I do it. I can TELL when I talk to someone, send a letter, or email, offering my copywriting services… I FEEL like I’m trying to sell them, and ultimately use them (gosh, I hate how that sounds). Even though I fully believe I CAN help them. I need to shift my focus to making a friend, and not getting someone to pay me for a service. Paying me for a service will come much easier and more naturally if I’ve reached out and made a friend first.

    Thanks for giving me something to think about. :)

    Sarah

  • OTIM IVAN PETER

    Hi Jeff!
    Am so lucky to have come across this piece of insightful message. Thanks for sharing and I believe I won’t remain the same if I follow the directive.

  • Doug Moore

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Jeff. Connecting with others is about being a go-giver. Seeing what we have to offer of ourselves. This is difficult for some personalities that think they don’t know enough and are intimidated by others. Keep up the good work!

  • Sissy

    I know well the meanig of having friends- or not. I used to live in 11 different countries and every time I had to move the biggest issue for me was not packing and relocating, it was friends… Friends to loose, to keep and to find new ones… I learned from all this that you only need to talk to one ‘s heart and you win him or her for a life time. No matter where in the world you are, this friend is there not to be influenced by you or influence you, but just to contribute to your heart beating and to your brain working…. Really, Jeff, winning friends is just up to your honesty, emotional intelligence and smile.
    Thanks for reminding me… I ll keep on following your inspiring sharings.

  • http://www.positivelydreaming.com/ Sarah

    What an amazing post. I especially like the reminder at the end that before you ask for help, you have to put in the time and effort to be the type of person people WANT to help. This is such an important reminder not only for writers, bloggers and career people, but for anyone who wants to live a satisfying and meaningful life. I cannot get enough of this blog.

  • Meghan Boggess

    I agree so much with this. Over the summer I got in touch with my friend’s grandfather– a former senior military official– for a story I was writing. In that case, I knew it was all about my connections. But it got me thinking that if this guy, as important as he is, was willing to take so much time to help me, maybe other people would as well. It turns out I was right– when I was writing a story this fall on ethanol for a local Missouri newspaper, I contacted a few scientists at a national laboratory and ended up interviewing them that same week. So my secret is your secret– I always remember that it can never hurt to ask.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Excellent, Meghan. Way to put yourself out there!

  • http://www.mebrower.com Michael Brower

    Lots of good in your writing Jeff. Appreciate the insight! Thanks! However my reason for commenting has to do with the experience with your site.

    Thank you for respectfully introducing me to your pop-up email subscription tool – at the end, and set in the lower right. Brilliant!

  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    Excellent blog post Jeff. The ability to think about other people’s needs or interests is very commendable. It is something that I have been doing more and it works. Dale Carnegie’s book is really awesome. Thank you for sharing this blog post.

  • angel

    Wow! I was surprised by the simplicity of the secret. Reminds me that even the Bible says. “Ask and it will be given.” Thank you for this post.

  • Hello

    Hello there. I think I know the REAL secret to be influential. First, abandon bad things like masturbation, then, struggle to be as good as possible, you’ll get the power of influence, or as it’s called, personal magnetism.

  • Ev

    Hi Jeff!
    Excellent post! It’s true that people like to help each other. I love it when people ask me for a favour or some advice! That’s what I try to remind myself – if this person I admire is really as benevolent and wonderful as I think, they will be glad to help (up to a certain point, of course). And in return, I always try to let them know that I’m there for them if there’s ever anything I can do. A big thank you is always in order as well!

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