Those Who Influence You

by Bill Gough, Insurance Hall of Fame Agent

As far back as I can remember, my father enforced the idea that I should think for myself and never do something because others were doing it. He was without a doubt one of the greatest influences.

His influence was created by what he said and did (and by the similarity between them) had much effect over my development as my peers. Much of what’s good in me came from him and I count myself lucky to have had him.

As I’ve pondered over the beneficial effects of his influence over me, I’ve found myself wondering about the power of influence in general.

There are two types of influences:

There are those that are powerful and overwhelming. Then there are those that are subtle, and difficult to detect.

You wouldn't let someone shove you off course, but you might let someone nudge you off course and not even realize it.


  • Attitude is greatly shaped by influence and association.
  • Don't join an easy crowd. You won't grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high.
  • Some people you can afford to spend a few minutes with, but not a few hours.
  • Get around people who have something of value to share with you.

Their impact will continue to have a significant effect on your life long after they’re not around.

By minimizing those influences that steer you off course and maximizing those that challenge you and help you to grow, you and your business will become stronger than ever before.

I can think of no better inscription than “He helped others to better themselves.” If that’s what they end up saying about me, I will be able to consider my life to have been a success. Which is certainly what I think about my dad’s.