New Media Europe Influencer Award Nomination

May 22, 2016
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Last week I was taken by surprise upon discovering that I was nominated for an award as an influencer at the 2016 New Media Europe Awards. To be mentioned in the same list as Gary Vaynerchuk and Chris Ducker was overwhelming, to say the least.

Armed with some good old fashioned British self-doubt, I questioned if I should even be in a list around so many of my online idols. A good friend then pulled me to one side and gave me his best inspirational speech.

He laughed and told me how completely oblivious I was that in the last month alone I had interviewed the vice president at MasterCard about the future of biometric payments. Not to mention chatting to the world’s largest and most active venture capital firms NEA about how to attract investment to a startup. What about your recent interview with Suhail Doshi, CEO of $865 million data analytics start-up Mixpanel he said? They have helped tech behemoths UberAirbnb,Match.comAmazon’s Twitch and Spotify predict the future.

Finally, he said, you interviewed co-founder and CEO of DataGravity Paula Long, who famously sold her first startup EqualLogic, to Dell for $1.4 billion. This was the moment that I understood where he was coming from, and there was also the realization that I was about to interview the CEO of Vivino about how his online wine community is helping 17 million Users.

INC

Here’s the thing I don’t see myself as an influencer in the traditional sense. My motivation is to help and educate others about how technology can enable positive change in this world full of negative headlines. I’m armed with nothing but a curious mind around technology and want to translate this into a language everyone understands.

Speaking to CEO’s of the so-called unicorn startups interests me because I want to hear their stories, experiences and learn from their invaluable advice. Most importantly I want any listener of my podcast or reader of my column on Inc to understand the whole creation process and how they can turn their idea into reality just like the person they are listening to.

I love the fact that anyone with an idea can outsource the creation process, manufacturing, marketing and almost every aspect of the business to experts in their own field to make their dream a reality. Only a few years ago the average person would have faced nothing but obstacles in their way at every turn, but technology has smashed through these.

While we are on the commute to work, at the gym or even performing household chores we can listen and learn from the experiences of others. I truly believe that I am just providing a platform for people to share their life lessons and help others.

If I look back at my story, I am overwhelmed and incredibly grateful for the opportunities that came my way after nervously hitting publish for the first time on the LinkedIn publishing platform a few years ago.

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I was amazed to find myself featured as one of the “Top 9 Influential Tech Leaders on LinkedIn” by CIO MagazineZDNet then somehow included me on their list of “You need to follow these 20 big tech thinkers right now” alongside familiar names such as Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, Sheryl Sandberg and Jeff Weiner to name but a few. The cherry on the cake was Executive Editor at LinkedIn Daniel Roth announcing that I was #2 technology writer of the year on LinkedIn based on engagement and influence from my content.

I then launched my podcast to try and bring a human voice to my articles and bring them to life with an embedded show at the end of the post. Luckily, people seemed to understand what I was attempting to achieve with my new column at Inc.

Do I take these labels and accolades seriously? No of course not, it simply inspires me to do better and not let my readers/listeners down on this crazy journey we call life.

Do I consider myself an influencer? No, I feel like I’m standing on the shoulders of every reader, listener, and follower who chooses to tune into my content in a world full of distractions. I want to share this platform with anyone that is reading this and offer any assistance that I can to those just starting their journey.

I have learned that being an influencer really isn’t about you at all, but investing time in others. It’s about seeking advice, knowledge and opinions of your audience and sharing it. As long as we all agree on that definition, I might be able to accept the label that comes with an influencer nomination.

You can vote for me this week by clicking my name on this link for an Influencer Award,

Or simply Tweet the following:

I nominate @NeilCHughes for the 2016 Influencer Award http://newmediaeurope.com/awards #NMEUawards via @newmediaeurope

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