We get trapped in the mindset of current projects or fads, surrounded by people who endorse our ideas. The challenge is often not to convince people of your ideas, but to convince the right people. It is all too easy to be surrounded by (or to fawn over) people who agree – but are they the ones you need to convince to make change? A conference full of people who all share the same viewpoint may galvanize some into action, but a speech heard by someone who previously knew nothing of the idea or product may spark a partnership or funding that was previously unavailable.
Influence is based not on who you convince, but the impact that such conviction has on society. Remember that a Maven has influence, not just because of their perceived expertise, but because of their ability to communicate with people who matter.