Accessible influence

My daily search for shareable advice over the last ten years has produced more than just writing fodder. It’s also introduced me to two of my personal heroes: Jason Fried of Basecamp and blogger Seth Godin. So much of what I’ve read, listened to, and absorbed from these two greats has impacted and, even more importantly, often changed my thinking about business, writing, and education. And while I’ve actually had the opportunity to correspond with and even meet both of them on a few occasions, those exchanges were brief and comparatively uneventful when compared to their influence that had long before taken hold.

Lesson #14 of my final 31 posts: Heroes are there for the emulating.

Of the countless benefits the internet delivers us, one of the most impactful for me has been the virtual access to heroes. And while I’ve certainly benefited from the fact that Fried and Godin are prolific writers and sharers who freely put their ideas and perspectives into the universe, there’s almost nothing to stop you from learning from—and even more importantly, emulating—your heroes, no matter who inspires you.

From athletes to CEOs, social activists to artists, musicians to educators, political pundits to programmers, you don’t need to meet them. You don’t need them to be your personal mentors. You don’t need access to their time or attention. You can still learn plenty about them and their work. And more importantly, you can turn around and emulate it.

Whoever inspires you, what are you doing to honor their influence? How are you learning from and then doing more of what they do in those things that matter to you?

The best thing about today’s heroes is that even when you can’t access the people, you can always access—and emulate—their influence.