Want To Influence? Choose Yourself

Recently, Dale Denham put out his annual list of the top 18online influencers in the Promotional Products industry.  He clearly spent a great deal of time on the list and did a terrific job of explaining his choices.  I was sincerely honored to be on the list.
Something struck me as I thought about this list.  Many experts, including Seth Godin, have been telling us for years that, in today’s economy, we don’t have to be chosen.  We can choose ourselves.  We have the tools.  There is no one we need permission from to make a difference. 
We just need to make the choice…and take consistent action.  Dale’s list is a great example of this.
Danny Rosin not only chose himself (by starting a company), he decided to make a difference by helping to create Band Together (check thatout here).  He puts himself out there by speaking on social and by mastering multiple social formats.  Danny doesn’t wait for someone to give him permission (right Danny?).  He acts.
Mark and Catherine Graham couldn’t find an order management software they loved, so they created their own.  In doing so, they created the OWN social network!  How cool is that?
And what about the curator of this list?  No one gave Dale Denham the go-ahead to create this list.  He just created it.  He put himself out there for scrutiny, disdain, discussion and praise.  He chose to influence us, by showing us who the influencers are (as he sees them) in the promotional industry.   
I could go on and on.
Now the irony is, any of us that were “chosen” to be on this list feel pretty good about it today.  I suppose that’s okay.  It’s human nature.  But if you are not on the list, don’t feel bad.  You have some options.
1.     Work harder to increase your content, engagement and hustle.  I am sure Klout and Dale will notice.
2.     Create your own list. 
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