My Theme For 2009: Influence

 In Business Building Strategies

rippl I love to choose a specific theme for each year which guides my major decisions. 2008’s theme was FOCUS and I’m very pleased with my results as a terrific reflection of that theme.

For 2009, I’m choosing INFLUENCE as my guiding theme. Here’s my key question:

Who and what am I allowing to influence me?

Notice the key word “allowing.” We do have choice as to who and what influences us. However, it can often be easier to follow the path of least resistance and just keep hanging out with the same under-achieving friends or non-supportive family members.

I certainly don’t mean this disrespectfully, but you may have heard people like Joe Vitale say: “Your income is the average of the five people you hang out with the most.” Many people might suggest you need to change your friends if you’re not happy with your income. While that would certainly be one choice – and could be the best one for you – an alternative is to help your friends get wealthy too! As Zig Ziglar says, “You can get anything you want in life by helping enough other people to get what they want.”

Pille_of_Books For me, my 2009 theme of influence includes the books I read, audio programs I listen to, seminars I attend, mentors I follow, consultants I hire, and all my team members.

What’s influencing me also includes the collective social influence from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Influence may also include my physical environment and my thoughts, feelings, beliefs and intrinsic motivations.

Equally, I strive to be aware of my own influence on my community of friends, clients and colleagues. My intention is always positive, always timely, and always value-adding.

I’ll be closely monitoring my decisions and direction as 2009 rolls in and on to make sure my influence factors are the highest and best for me.

Now it’s your turn! What’s your theme for 2009?

Mari Smith

Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencer | Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker, Author | 'Mari like Ferrari' | Bubbly Scottish-Canadian!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusYouTube

Recommended Posts
  • Bud Hennekes

    Ah! 2009 is going to be fantastic. I really enjoyed this. In the end all that matters is helping people. Looking forward to getting to know you better on twitter. 🙂


  • Good way to start the new year. I agree with your points. Especially about the people you hang around with. For me, I am friends with many small business owners and people who work on their own and own successful businesses… but who have a lot of freedom. That’s my goal… to continue that, and passive income 🙂

  • For me, I like the idea of FOCUS. I’m refocusing my life now and with all of the INFLUENCE out there, I need to limit where I go and who I follow, but also don’t want to miss a thing. To achieve anything, I need to FOCUS…

  • My personal theme for 2009 is health. I suspect it would also be a good theme professionally. You are right about the influence of media, whether electronic, audio, visual, on our thinking. Particularly now, when the economic situation is troubling and the mood is becoming pessimistic, it is important to have accurate information and a balanced view of what we and our businesses can do in 2009.

    A. Jane Chamberss last blog post..Red Nosed Reindeer and People with Disabilities

  • Sheri Rowland

    Great idea Mari on focusing on just one idea for my new year. I am choosing living in INTEGRITY as my focus for 2009. I also like INFLUENCE. I think as I live in integrity in my personal and professional life then I will be influencing myself and others.

    I will be watching for what is influencing me and make and adjust changes so that I am always influenced by positive people and beautiful things around me. With my personal development business…this is highly important to me. Cheers to our success in 2009!~

  • Mari, I love the idea of having a “theme” for each year. What a refreshing change from the resolutions everyone else sets! I will have to think about mine for this year – maybe encouragement? By building up those around us, we help build ourselves up too.

    I haven’t heard that quote from Joe Vitale before, but I can certainly agree with it. One good example I’ve found is the virtual assistant networking group at The people who spend time connecting with the successful virtual assistants there often become equally successful.

    It’s very exciting to see how we can positively influence those around us!

  • Wow, that rhymes …

    While that would certainly be one choice –
    and could be the best one for you –
    an alternative is to help your friends
    get wealthy too!

    I like your INFLUENCE theme. Yesterday, I heard the theme for Lakeside Community Church for 2009 … something like “Spirit Finds You.” It made me think of how hard I and others work to carve out a niche market; I agree that it is important to take action, set goals. However, for someone who is a great goal-achiever, is it wise for me to set goals ALL THE TIME … or instead perhaps let the goals set me?

    So, between now and Wednesday, I plan to play with these two: 1) me-find-theme and 2) theme-find-me. Got a coaching call in 90 minutes. I sense this could be fun to play with.

    Thanks for influencing me!


    Phil Johncocks last blog post..PhilJohncock: #TSS Got any Twitter biz questions? Now’s your chance to ask “Twitter Means Business” expert/author Julio |

  • Hi Mari – I love the idea of a theme for the year…I am not one to make resolutions, although I usually do spend time reflecting and recommitting to what’s important to me.

    This year, because of all the changes that have happened to me and thus to my life, I will be focusing on full ownership of my role as Creative Catalyst, which is the form of influence I like the best.

    As a Creative Catalyst I can foment change without having to be responsible for maintaining the change. This also allows my clients to get the results they want without needing ME to sustain their results. I can influence and then move on, releasing them to greater accomplishments on their own.

    I am looking forward to expanding my own reach along the way and finally being able to fully explore and embrace my favored role.

    Thanks for the inspiration of choosing one key theme. I can already see how having a theme will help with clarity and focus!

    Katies last blog post..KatieDarden: @WarrenWhitlock Glad you had a nice birthday! Have a great year!

  • Mari Smith

    Awesome contributions!! I’m loving the feedback here and on Twitter. For sure, having one overarching theme guide your decisions throughout the year is more manageable than a huge list of resolutions, eh!

  • Thanks for creating such an encouraging post about planning for 2009. So excited about the new plans that I’m making for 2009.

    Kim Beasleys last blog post..Benefits of Creating a Membership Site

  • Ali

    The theme-business is highly inspiring, motiviating, and…it makes a hell of a lot of sense.

    My 2009 theme: Flow, cadence, ease of movement of all things valuable, practical and globally impacting that will contribute to the greatest good of others, with you and me in it.

    Simple enough, right? 🙂

  • I have two themes I am considering and haven’t picked the winner yet. In years past, I picked one word or concept and it filtered into many aspects of my life, so I love the idea of a theme. Dulcita Love @dulcitalove

  • Sharon McPherson

    Hi Mari,

    I hadn’t really thought of it as a “theme” but I have resolved to take all of the helpful teaching I’m learning from my Twitter friends and put it into ACTION!

    And your comments about the influence that comes from those we surround ourselves with is spot on. There’s a few people I follow on Twitter that can really put a damper on my day, because it seems like ALL they ever tweet about is negative and “woe is me”. I didn’t want to appear snobbish or hurt anyone’s feelings so I haven’t unfollowed them, but I’m fed up with the negativity that seems to be bombarding us from all sides, so my first cause of ACTION in 2009 will be to click the unfollow button.

    Something else to remember is that our physical surroundings can have an influence on us too, that’s why I’ll be doing a complete makeover of my office in the upcoming month. I’ll be putting the Hubby into action on that one. 😉

    Warm Regards and Happy New Year to you and Ty!

    Sharon McPherson

  • So many great ideas, people! I started to think about this as I was reading the comments, but before my mind had a chance to think (or overthink) it, it just came to me: Joy.

    I want to experience it, inspire in those around me, personally and professionally.

    These are challenging times, and you don’t have to look far to see reasons for despair. And at the same time, there are so many opportunities for amazing change to happen, particularly in the realm I play in: green business. With a president in huge support of it, a population ready for it, and businesses in need of smarter ways to maintain/build on what they’ve got, I’m excited about what this new openness will bring in 09.

    May it be an amazing year for you all!

    Paul Smiths last blog post..How to Address Deforestation, Sustainably, at a Profit

  • Regarding #6 above, I came up with these two themes for 2009 …

    1) Me-find-theme … “target market” as in target marketing women age 40-55 making $70,000+ year

    2) Theme-find-me … “bud” … came to me from … the service that shortens long URL’s and allows you to track traffic and see the source of where “clicks” come from. I did a “split test” recently and found the BudURL to work better than a squeeze page. I plan to write about that in 2009. “Bud” also refers to growing/blooming of a flower. And, there is “Bud”weiser … so may 2009 be a bud-wiser year for me and all who are interested.

    Whew … made it with 5 minutes to spare before the end of 2008.

    Here are some accomplishments from 2008 …

    1) 365 consecutive days of Bikram Yoga (a Guinness World Record)
    2) Let go of 1 of my homes
    3) Completed an E-Book Mentoring program and led a mastermind for David Riklan (
    4) Started up 2 of my own mentoring programs: 1) in grant writing/fundraising, and another 2) in internet branding.
    5) Moved back into my condo
    6) Rode my motorcycle 4 times as much as my car … saving money and gas
    7) Joined Teleseminar Secrets with Alex Mandossian … and made back all but $204 of the tuition “before the class even started”
    8) Joined Twitter and interviewed Twitter expert (last night, in fact)
    9) Wrote 50% of new book …
    10) Learned how to use WordPress … created over a dozen blogs

    Phil Johncocks last blog post..PhilJohncock: @shortyawards I nominate @MariSmith for a Shorty Award in #socialmedia ‘cuz she adds valuable social media tips to the Twitterverse!!

  • Happy New Year, Mari!

    Back in 1991, Tony Robbins told me, “Influence is the power to shape your own life, to affect your own behavior, to change your income, your relationships, your emotions and the direction of your life.”

    Mari, you did an outstanding job of influencing yourself and others in 2008! I’m feeling exhilarated by your decision to make it your primary focus for 2009! Undoubtedly, you will exceed your own expectations.

    With your success in mind,

  • Thanks so much for a great article. I had heard “Your income is the average of the five people you hang out with the most” a few years ago and I started strategically developing relationships with people I wanted to “hang with.”

    I further tried to replace the Negative Nellies in my life with Positive Pollys, the Downer Dons with Happy Harries. Thus I attempt to surround myself with people that give me joy. I attempt to do the same for them.

    It is a struggle but it is an important – conscious – part of my journey.

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

    Gina Carr

  • Maggie Keenan

    Ooohh Thanks a good one Mari. This year I picked: Surrender (release control & trust), Self Care (to learn the art of)and Serve (in a magnificant way which impacts clients’ biz, their lives and their giving).

  • I love the idea of an overall focus or theme for each year … and this is something I’m doing for the first time this year. In past years I was always setting goals and creating biz plans and cash flow projection spreadsheets … while that’s great, it was not creating the results I wanted, and was too much of thinking-with-my-head instead of trusting intuition.

    So this year my theme is about making decisions from intuition/flow/gut instinct, instead of overthinking/overanalyzing/talking myself out of it/debating.

    ~ ElizabethPW

    Elizabeth Potts Weinsteins last blog post..Are You Drowning Under Piles of Paper?

  • Hi Mari,

    Great post! I’ve done the same thing for years and always referred to it as my “word” for the year. “Theme” sounds so much more “all-encompassing”.

    My theme for 2009 is “health” and relates to all aspects of my life.

    Best wishes,

    Sandy 🙂

    Sandy Martinis last blog post..Blog Tag: 10 Honest Traits About Me…

  • Jill

    hi Mari!,

    I so agree with having a theme (or a mantra!) for the year. Notice too, when you explain it as you did in this post, your theme becomes a personal mission statement as well.

    Best to you Mari!

    Jills last blog post..Social Media 101

  • Hello Mari,

    I don’t have a theme for the year. I have a theme for my life. My theme is “bring happiness, peace and joy to all that I touch and to myself…in that order.”

    Steves last blog post..Marketing Is All About Traffic and Conversion

  • Great observations! Sometimes you start a year with a certain vision and you subconsciously create a theme. It’s happening to me – so THANK YOU for creating this moment of self-reflection for me Mari! This year is the year of Playing Bigger for me. What this means is that I am looking at every goal, situation and intention and putting it into a place where there is a room for a little discomfort-this means growth (yes, growing pains are welcome!). My “investment” has to pay off in a bigger way than I am just comfortable and used to expecting. I want to learn bigger, I want to share bigger, I want to make bigger and I want to give bigger. Think BIG, play BIGGER as Kelly O’Neil would say. 🙂

  • ???? ??????

    The full story was done without defect???? ???? * ?????? ???? ???? ????? * ????? ???? * ??? ???? * ??? ????? * ???? ??????

Start typing and press Enter to search