By Justin Prince

We are living in very interesting times, with the rise of COVID-19 and the economic crisis we are all living through — something none of us have ever been through.


How do you thrive during these times? How do you use this as your “special moment”?


Martin Luther King Jr. once observed that


“Stars shine brightest on the darkest nights.”


There are at least two reasons why this is true. 


First, because it is a dark night. The dark night creates an opportunity for stars to really stand out. 


The second lesson we can learn is that the stars shine brighter. In other words, the stars “step up” their game. They shine even brighter.


We are living in a “dark night” for so many people. The uncertainty has created fear. Millions of people’s health has been infected by COVID-19. Entire populations have shut down due to “social distancing,” which has created record unemployment numbers. 


This “dark night” is calling on you to “shine brighter.” This is your moment to step up your game, serve at a higher level, and add even more value. 


Here are three suggestions for ways to “step it up” and shine a little brighter:


1. Limit your media. The news is not meant to inform you, it is meant to startle you. If you allow yourself to watch the news, you will not leave it feeling informed and empowered. Instead, you will leave feeling hopeless, fearful, overwhelmed, etc. 


2. Double down on personal development. Proactively pour positivity into your mind. The uninspired cannot inspire. To inspire you must be inspired. Read a good book (or good news from Nugent Magazine). Listen to a positive podcast. Surround yourself with a mentor (even virtually). Apply what you learn. 


3. Be public. People need to see your face and hear your voice. This is your moment to build lasting relationships. This is your moment to serve at a higher level, to add more value. Send a text message each day to a friend, or a vendor, or a client, or a partner, or a family member telling them how much you appreciate them. Check-in on people. Find out where you can serve. People need you right now. Do not be quiet and full of fear. Be public and share hope.


By Tiffany Peterson

I want you to think of someone who had a positive impact on your life. Maybe it was your grandmother? Or a high school teacher or sports coach? Perhaps a mentor who took you under their wing? 


Think about that person and what they did for you and how their influence on your life helped shape who or where you are today. 


When we study influence and how to grow it, there are a few common traits that we can identify in successfully influencing someone in a particular way. Whether you want to inspire your sales team to hit their goals, a personal relationship to thrive, your child to make good choices, or grow your client list, these traits will accentuate your ability to grow your influence. 


The core of influence has a lot to do with how someone feels in your presence or how they feel in your relationship. Do they feel valued and cared for? 


The most influential marketing strategy for any of us is the four-letter word − CARE. The heart of someone following your lead, buying from you, or listening to you, has everything to do with whether they feel seen, valued, and cared about by you. In essence, your people skills. No matter what you sell or who you do life with, you’re in the people business. And people have the same fundamental needs regarding respect, appreciation, and genuine concern. 


One of the foundational ways to grow your influence is to be the type of person and leader who focuses on investing in and caring about people. Sounds simple, right? It is – and it’s just as easily forgotten. Caring and feeling cared about are essential for any relationship to thrive. 


We can consciously better our people skills by intentionally asking more questions in our interactions. “Ask more and talk less” is a phrase I love to share in my sales training presentations. Feeling heard in any relationship is like oxygen to the relationship. Choose to ask more questions. Get curious. Focus on learning and listening to the client, friend, or human in front of you. Questions and intentional listening naturally build trust and trust leads to influence. Try that out this week – practice asking, listening, and allowing space for others to feel heard in your presence. 


And finally, one last thought to help you expand your influence in your relationships in this season: 


    “Be generous with your praise and stingy with your complaints.” − Joel Osteen 


When we think of those who have had the most positive influence in our lives, I’m confident we would say similar things: They believed in us. They cared for us. They invested in us. 


Be the type of person who chooses to speak kind words, praise, and endorsements of others. Build others up. Give. Show up to serve. 


Your influence upon the lives of others matters – choose to be an intentional, positive influence for good at home and at work. 

Doing so will be a blessing for you and for them. 


Happy summer, friends! 

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