Generic photo of an iPhone / smart phone. Picture: iStock
Generic photo of an iPhone / smart phone. Picture: iStock

You’re an influencer, not a VC winner


I'VE NEVER understood fads.

Not the delicious lolly 'cigarettes', I definitely understand those, I mean the crazes, the latest trends, the schemes, that we hear of people falling for time and again.

I think social media might've fanned the flames of these crazes, or at least created an environment which fosters their growth far better than traditional technology used to.

You see it.

People you've not heard from in a decade suddenly pop up on a social media feed, or try and 'add' you as a friend.

Seems innocent.

Until you hit accept and become bombarded with what appears a hybrid Ponzi-Nigerian Prince scheme.

Whether it's a diet craze set to turn me from Michelin Man to Ironman in a matter of days, or a beauty and supplement business, the opportunities are, apparently, endless.

And the person you once knew has transitioned into part-time salesperson, part-time motivational speaker.

I get it.

You have a smartphone, access to selfie mode, a couple of your friends think you're mildly interesting and live a life to aspire to, and suddenly you think you're a modern-day Martin Luther King set to drive generational change.

Hot tip.

You're not.

We deal with inspirational people regularly in this job.

Firefighters who put themselves in front of walls of flames to protect the homes of strangers.

Random people who step into dangerous or violent situations to help another.

Children battling cancer and doing it with a smile and humility I could only dream of possessing.

Funnily enough, someone who was 'a bit down, lethargic, not myself' who started drinking green-tea and tofu smoothies and suddenly 'filled their cup' didn't make my list of people genuinely inspiring.

I get it, I do.

Social media has opened you up to a whole new audience of vulnerable people seeking a silver bullet solution to whatever woes they're enduring.

And you're a savvy, modern-day tech wizard turned entrepreneur.

It's fish in a barrel stuff.

Dollar signs in the eyes time.

But let's at least try and retain some shred of perspective.

Successfully sticking to a diet, while you may consider it to be, is not equal to a Victoria Cross.

Don't get me wrong, it's great you've found a gym and started chiselling that rig.

But, and this is a big one, while your PT might be a very good person, they aren't actually a world-renowned philosopher.

You don't need to hold them up as a modern-day saint.

Helping you lose 10kgs isn't the same as say Fred Hollows giving the gift of sight.

I know it's important to celebrate the human triumph, and draw inspiration from each other, but perspective is key, so it's OK to switch off the selfie mode.

These fads will pass, as they do, but the real heroes will still be here, probably still not getting the praise they deserve.