Your Innate Power of Influence – What’s Your Magic Wand?

Within you, you have a massive amount of influence.


Realize that this is coming from a guy who will call B.S. on anything that doesn’t ring 100% true.

I’d rather take a Mike Tyson uppercut to the face than be one of those jackasses who tells you whatever you want to hear just to garner favor. I mean it. I’d eat through a straw for a month before I did that to someone.

That being said, you’re probably short-changing yourself in life. God knows I have at times.

You may not know it yet, but there’s something about you and your life experiences that is completely unique. No one in the history of our species has walked in your shoes.

So let me ask you a tough question.

What exactly are you doing with your uniqueness?

Welcome To My Confessional

Hey, I’m not casting dispersions. I’m not up here on some holier-than-thou soapbox preaching down to you. There are already enough people who like to do that sort of thing to make you feel small. I’m not one of them.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it up to here with authority figures who pretend to be perfect and have all the answers.

And when I say, “up to here”, you’ll have to trust that I’m holding my hand up really, really high.

Those people don’t have the answers. In fact, I have found that the more authoritative and infallible someone paints themselves to be, the less they should be trusted.

All the genuine authorities I’ve ever known in my life have been humble, transparent, and flawed – just like you and me.


Digression Complete. Moving On.

The point is… I’d be willing to wager the cocktail of your choice that you’re probably discounting the most powerful part of who you are.

I’m as guilty of this crime as anyone on earth.

Just like many people… maybe just like you – I was one of those who boxed up all of the things that made me interesting and shoved them into storage in order to pursue responsibility or adulthood or whatever you want to call it. I wasted more years of my life than I care to admit.

But I do admit it. And so should you.

Eventually I realized that I didn’t have to keep living that way. You don’t either.

You (and I) have muted, silenced, ignored, and neglected whatever it is that makes us special and interesting in exchange for what “they” think is right or responsible.

Seriously – who the hell are “they” anyway?

How about we start blowing “them” off and begin doing the things that we’ve always known we were built to do?


A Disclaimer

I’m not saying you should quit your job this morning to pursue being a free-style poet or anything like that.

But I am saying that piece by piece, day by day, you should start to re-claim pieces of those things that were a part of your soul at one time. You remember those things, don’t you?

They were those things that woke you up in the middle of the night – not because they caused you anxiety, but because you could not possibly wait any longer to dive head first into them.

Maybe you’ll never win a Pulitzer or an Oscar or a Grammy. Then again, maybe you will. But what an amazing thing it would be if something you did today had even the tiniest influence on someone who eventually did find themselves in the limelight and in the process made a difference in the world.

And that, my friends, is the meaning of the word Legacy.


Tiny Contributions – Enormous Impact

Think about it. If you were responsible for 1/1,000th of the cure for a debilitating disease, or the answer to fixing poverty… wouldn’t that have been a life worth living?

What if the whole sum of your existence here on earth was that you had an influence on someone who someday did something that benefited society as a whole?

Wouldn’t that be enough?


Spotlights or Significance

And at the end of the day, that’s really the measure of a life, isn’t it? When your number has been called and your time has come – the only thing that any of us really wants is to have mattered. To have contributed.

If that’s the case, do you really care if you’re the celebrity? Or is it enough to have been a part of something that benefits everyone everywhere – even if only in the smallest way?

The world is full of Bieber-esque attention whores. How will they be remembered in 100 years? Hell, how will they be remembered in 10 years? Barely. If at all.

I’m here to tell you that you can impact the people who matter. And you can be remembered forever… simply by being you and giving the world those things that have been innately gifted to you.


One Man’s Trash

One of the great unfortunate truths about our species is that we tend to completely discount our own personal experiences as common, boring, or uninteresting. But they’re not.

As an example: I have an old college friend who is now a CEO of a financial firm. He employs an entire sales force under him – including an experienced sales manager.

Last year, we went to a college football game together and as a throw-away comment, I mentioned what I considered to be something everyone in sales already knew about: Magic wand questions.

The magic wand question is a way to get your prospect to open up and explore a topic in a way they’ve never considered before. For example, “John, if you could wave a magic wand and create the perfect distribution system for your product… what would that look like?”

In my mind, it was nothing special. To me it was a topic covered in Sales 101 on the first day, during orientation, right after telling the students where the restrooms were. To me, magic wand questions were as basic as tying my shoes. But guess what?

It wasn’t basic to him. And when he went back to his office and shared the idea with his sales manager, it wasn’t basic to him either. They were both excited about it, they put it to use, and it helped their salespeople.

I underestimated the value of what I knew. Something that I considered to be basic and insignificant made someone else’s world a little better. How cool is that? And how eye opening is it?

Just imagine the number of things that you know (and discount) that could make a difference to someone else.


There’s No Shame In being A Supporting Player

You don’t have to be an Einstein, or an Edison, or a Da Vinci to change the world. What if you played even a small part in inspiring change?

While there aren’t many press conferences or award shows held for people who do that sort of thing, does that make the contribution any less amazing?

Let the shallow end of the gene pool fist fight over attention. Think about what you can do right now – today – to make a difference for a someone who could make a difference for everyone.


I Don’t have The Answers – You Do

Don’t leave your uniqueness inside a box in some dark, damp storage room. Dust it off and put it to use.

This isn’t your typical formulaic blog post. I have no answers for you today. You have the answers to this one.

But I do have something to ask of you:

1: That you don’t let your uniqueness go to waste.

2: That you answer a couple question for me… and for your own good.

What’s your magic wand?

What are the things that you’re really good at that you’ve put aside?

It’s time you dusted them off and put them to use for yourself and everyone else in the world.


Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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Your Innate Power of Influence – What’s Your Magic Wand?

About Gary Korisko

Gary is a battle-tested sales and marketing pro, copywriter, coach, and business strategist who teaches how to create worthwhile work on Reboot Authentic. Connect with Gary on Google+ and Twitter.

19 Replies

  1. Yeah, baby! Preach it, Gary! I love this. You and I are completely on the same wavelength about the unique gifts that we all bring to the world. One of my gifts – and also a high-priority value of mine – is about community. Creating it, participating in it, and maintaining it. Sometimes I lose sight of that and try to be someone I’m not and then you know what happens? I feel like an un-gifted loser. I’m not practicing my gift or honoring my values. Thanks for reminding me how important this stuff is, Gary!

    1. Hey Bobbi. Thanks for that.

      I think we all bring something unique to the table. Even though we’ve all experienced similar things, each of us has a unique angle and set of takeaways from them. And we can use those unique angles to deliver something meaningful to others in a new and different way.

      But I know I’m preaching to the choir with you, Bobbi. You get it 🙂

  2. It is not the size of the wand, it is the magic that is in it…

    I agree with you and also disagree with you. Perhaps it is just a different way of looking at it. I agree that we all have a variety of gifts that have been put in us with different combinations and then honed by different experiences.

    Where I disagree is that many people have the same gifts and experiences you have had though not in the same combinations. You are less unique than you think. This is where you can help others. People don’t want to hear your story…unless it is a lot like theirs and they can use your story to help themselves. That is where the magic lies. Our ability to share our story and help others out. This is what AA is based on and translates over to almost everything else.

    1. Michael – I think we’re mostly on the same page, but expressing it differently.

      We’ve all had common experiences – like going to highschool, experiencing heartbreak, or being broke at one time or another in our lives.

      But that’s not sameness… it’s commonality. And commonality is a vital textbook component of building rapport. So to that end, you’re right… we need to demonstrate commonality.

      However… if you and I went to the movie theater and saw a movie together, it’s likely we’d walk out with very different takeaways from the movie we saw. I’m not talking about general takeaways like, “It was good”, or “I didn’t like it.” I mean deeper emotional and intellectual takeaways.

      That takeaway might be influenced by age, where you grew up geographically, your take on religion or politics, who your parents were, your past work experiences – millions of tiny factors that make you who you are.

      So while millions of people go to the movies, they each have a different takeaway and angle on what they see.

      That’s why there are so many books on sales, or marketing, or “how to (anything).” There’s not a whole bunch of new information to write about, but a skilled teacher can present that same information in ways that resonate better with certain people.

      So from a 30,000 foot view, sure – we all have high level things in common. But none of us has the same cumulative experiences. Therefore we’ve developed different skills, specialized knowledge, and talents along the way from those common general experiences.

      Good points – and an interesting take, Michael. Thanks.

  3. So interesting to be reading this now. After doing all kinds of things in my career over many years, for the last few I’ve been writing for a living, something I was always told I was good at, and something I’ve seriously enjoyed since I was in something like the 5th grade. But I thought, “I can’t make money from that, writers are poor, and I don’t want to be poor.” I did work in a creative agency setting writing for pay for a couple of years, but that wasn’t the answer for me either — way too confining. So to answer one of the questions above, that’s one thing I’m good at that I put aside for way too long. And even though I get paid to write for clients now as a solopreneur, and do lots of writing on my own for myself, I think about how skilled at my craft I’d be by now if I’d pursued writing since first falling in love with it in the 5th grade instead of letting my limiting beliefs around it keep me from taking the craft more seriously until a few years ago.

    It’s so true what Bobbi says in the comments here, when you’re trying to be something you’re not, you’re not practicing your gifts or honoring your values. Which makes it much more challenging to get “in the flow” and do truly extraordinary work.

    Thanks for an insightful and inspiring post. : )

    1. Hi Kimberly!

      I think we’ve all done it to a degree… which is why I thought this post would connect with you all so much. The key is realizing you’ve done it and then doing something about it. And you clearly have.

      Thanks for speaking up. I hope we see you back here soon!

      1. You will! Now that I’ve found your blog and subscribed to your updates, I have a feeling I’ll be ’round these here parts often. : )

        1. Fantastic! I’m glad to hear that, Kimberly.

  4. evanhadkins

    I’m not sure what you mean by my magic wand. I don’t have any one question that I ask necessarily.

    My quest is probably the reverse of many. I had the privelege of working on myself and now have the need to make money. This is the reverse to the usual I think.

    My treasure: authenticity leads to lasting satisfaction. (Authenticity means knowing both yourself and your situation. Satisfaction is grounded not just a high.)

    So far, for me, I have made a significant difference to some people. And I’m still poor (in western terms – I have enough to eat and shelter (for now) clothing and so on).

    If I was to put my approach as a standard question it might be: If you had a magic wand what would be doing that would leave feeling better for having done it (even if tired) rather than drained and depleted?

    I have pretty much reclaimed the parts of myself. This was because I had the privelege of working in unconventional settings.

    1. Hi Evan.

      It’s not really about questions – that was an example of something I knew and thought wasn’t very useful… but it was to my friend.

      I love your comment that “Satisfaction is grounded, not just a high.” I may use that if you don’t mind.

      Thanks for joining in.

      1. evanhadkins

        You’re most welcome to use it.

  5. Ava

    Woa! “I am saying that piece by piece, day by day, you should start to
    re-claim pieces of those things that were a part of your soul at one
    time” really woke me up this morning! Thank you Gary!

    As for me, I am really good at motivating people and helping to reach peak performance. While focusing a little bit too much, or focusing on a wrong way, to other people I have forgotten to motivate myself. I am working on it and I have to tell you this post helped me a lot!

    1. Hello, Ava.

      I’m glad this lit a fire for you. Your comment made my day, too. And thank you for the Twitter follow. Hopefully we see you much more in the comments!

  6. Jim Bessey

    My favorite magic wand question is: “Well, if MONEY was no object, what would you do [about whatever] ?”

    Of course, the object of that game is to think beyond the money, to come up with fresh ideas or approaches to whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. Too often, we (including “I” of course!) tend to slump our shoulders and walk away, mumbling “if only I had the money” or something similar.

    So here’s one for you from my own Left Field, Gary. You asked about something unique of mine that I might have left behind. No “might have” on this one. Here goes…

    I grew up in the age just ahead of VHS and GameBoy, so we played board games. We played on rainy nights, during snowstorms, on organized Game Nights, at family picnics and so on. We discarded the boring ones, or wore out the good ones. Bought new ones, tried different kinds of games.

    Eventually, those of us in the family who were most devoted to board games came to realize exactly what sort of game we loved most, but it didn’t exist. Until, that is, I designed and produced it–with a LOT of input from my original “beta testers.” I went from draft to cardboard to full-on prototype. We played that game over and over. And because we’d made it just the way we wanted it, we never got tired of it.

    That all started nearly 20 years ago. And, yes, we still play that game.

    But we never got past the prototype. We found new beta-testers, who also liked the game. But we never found a publisher or took the next step.

    You asked, so that’s my answer. I cringe a little as I write this, to think of how many years have actually passed as I’ve waited for “the perfect timing” to do something about this game.

    Thanks for always Poking, Gary. Even when you ramble and digress a bit, your words provide inspiration.

    1. It sounds to me like someone needs to start looking into how to release a board game… and possibly an app.

      And “ramble???” What the hell, Jim? (I’ll take digress on the chin… but *ramble*?)

  7. Laura Leigh Clarke

    Ah man, I’m so glad you’ve shared this Gary. This is something that had held me back for years. I still kick myself thinking that I could be so much further on had I not hung back assuming that everyone else aready knew what I knew.

    And I see it all the time with new clients. They think that because they know it and do it, that everyone else knows it and does it. It’s simply not the case. I wasted years not stepping out into the business coaching because I thought everyone already knew what I had to share… but until you start doing it, I guess there is no way to know.

    Tricky conumdrum. I guess as you say the answer is not to assume!

    Great post Gary! 🙂

    1. Yep… classic problem isn’t it? It’s interesting that our brains are so powerful and yet much of their energy seems to be spent on self-sabotage. I’m as guilty as anyone else is. But when you *know* that’s what’s happening, it’s easier to combat. Thank you, Laura. 🙂

  8. I’ve just recently discovered your blog – sorry for commenting “so late” ! I love this section of your blog (mind set). Thanks for posting your perspective.

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