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My Theme For 2009: Influence

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

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is widely known as the Premier Facebook Marketing Expert and a top Social Media Thought Leader. Forbes describes Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” IBM named Mari as one of seven women that are shaping digital marketing. Mari is an in-demand keynote speaker, corporate social media strategist, dynamic live webcast host, and popular brand ambassador. She is coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, and author of The New Relationship Marketing.

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  1. Sandy Martini on January 19, 2009 at 2:12 am

    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…

  2. Elizabeth Potts Weinstein on January 8, 2009 at 12:24 am

    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?

  3. Maggie Keenan on January 8, 2009 at 12:18 am

    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).

  4. Gina Carr on January 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    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

  5. Ron Hudson on January 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    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,

  6. Phil Johncock on January 1, 2009 at 7:59 am

    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!!

  7. Paul Smith on January 1, 2009 at 12:34 am

    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

  8. Sharon McPherson on December 31, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    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

  9. Dulcita Love on December 31, 2008 at 3:56 am

    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

  10. Ali on December 31, 2008 at 3:21 am

    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? 🙂

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