How To Practice Influence Through Your Hobby

How To Practice Influence Through Your Hobby


If you think of all your passions, there might be one or several that you could make money from. There are others that you won’t make money from for various reasons. Maybe:

  • they wouldn’t be profitable
  • you don’t have time to pursue them in a way that would make money
  • if you pursued them to make money it would lessen your enjoyment of them

However, they can be a great way to practice your influence and have an input into things you really care about.

To give my own example, three of my greatest passions in life are travel, food and drink.

At one point in life I thought I wanted to be a travel writer- in fact I won a prize in a travel writing competition when at university.

I’m passionate about food, especially trying different foods and this has always been a big component of my travel.

I considered a career in wine (at one point I was seriously looking into moving to Australia to try to work in the wine industry). I was part of the wine society at university and am a member of the British Wine Society. I’m also a fan of beer- I was part of the Campaign for Real Ale for many years, for example.

The platform that allows me to combine some of these passions, practice my influence and have a small impact on things I care about is TripAdvisor (my profile is here).

I set myself the goal on TripAdvisor of getting more views of my reviews than there are people in my home city of Brighton and Hove. There are probably a bit more than 280,000 people in Brighton and Hove.

My reviews have now been seen more than 320,000 times.


Writing these reviews helps me practice a different style of writing, which is always useful. Plus it means that I have been regularly writing over that time, as well as maintaining several blogs, writing content for Linkedin, writing guest blogs and more.

It also helps me to practice reaching out to real people- real people who read my reviews, real people who work at the places I review, real people who I want to encourage and inform and support.

Finally, as I write the reviews and think about what I liked and didn’t about experiences I have it helps me to improve my own level of service and commitment to my craft. When I go to a restaurant and I am greeted with a smile, the food is superb and the entire team work together as if I am watching a brilliant play: that is the sort of behaviour I want to learn from and do my best to replicate in my own business and my own life.


Here are some different examples of my reviews and how I use them to influence:


Review where I really want to praise people.

Review where I really want to criticize.

Review where I get to see or do something I’ve wanted to for a long time and want to share my excitement with others.

Review where I want to give people information that I hope will help people have a good experience themselves (for example where I have some ‘insider information’).

Review where I want to give a contrary view to what most people are saying and try to change the consensus.


Plus I just find writing the reviews fun! Even if my reviews only make a tiny difference I am happy- and TripAdvisor provides me with a record of some of the best memories from the past few years- whether it is visiting the brewery I most wanted to in the world; having one of the best meals of my life in a restaurant my favourite chef went to; listening to Fado live for the first time; reviews from my first overseas trip with my (now) wife; plus moments from my once in a lifetime trip to Vegas with my Dad.

I hope I’ve successfully demonstrated how my hobby lets me practice and learn about influence.

What hobbies do you have and how can you practice influence through them too?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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