Influence vs. Fame

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Difference between Influence and Fame

While fame can produce a level of influence on others, it is not necessary to be famous in order to cause influence. Fame is not the same thing as being a celebrity. Being famous means you are successful in your chosen profession. Many people might be well-known, but they are only celebrities, as they have done relatively little to become truly famous.

Being able to wield influence on other people is not about how many people will listen to you, but is measured more in terms of the ability you have to impact other people's lives. When people respect your opinion, you have influence, even if the amount of people you have influence over is small.

In Your Career

The difference between influence and fame in the workplace is varied. If you were an author, it would seem that the more books you sell and the wider audience you attract, the better you will be able to influence those readers. Fame will help you sell more books as your name will attract more buyers if you are well-known, but that does not always equate to influence. Some of the most highly regarded people in their field are not known outside of their field.

Social Setting

Typically, in a social setting the line separating influence and fame becomes muddled. With a group of friends it seems that the larger the group of friends, the more influence you exert. When people see that others are trusting of your opinion and advice, more people will begin to trust you and your circle will grow. This is one method where influence creates fame.

In Hollywood

When it comes to influence versus fame in the Hollywood setting, most people are confused. They think that just by virtue of fame you become influential. While it is true that celebrities are asked their opinion on a regular basis, there is a difference in how much stock you put into an opinion from an influential Hollywood giant or a mere famous celebrity.

Many celebrities in Hollywood are famous. They achieved their fame through various methods of acting, singing, or doing something completely outrageous. People who become famous due to a reality television show will have much less influence than a highly respected actor who has been acting for many years or who has won an Academy Award.

Similarities and Differences

  • Most people when asked to choose their preferred notoriety method and almost unanimously you will find that people want influence. To be simply recognized as someone famous is not nearly as an attractive proposition as being able to convince the masses of your opinion's validity. While it is possible to have influence because of your fame, it is likely to be only a surface level of influence on topics such as fashion, and not on deeper subjects such as politics or religion.
  • People who are influential have the opportunity to affect a change in society and be a respected member of said society. Fame is a shallow vessel that may or may not spill over into the longevity of influence.


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