The Influence Curve

Many men want the influence of being followed by a great mass of people without understanding the costs to gaining that influence, not just from a fame standpoint, where you lose your privacy, but also an adversarial standpoint, where your influence starts to encroach on the interests of powerful groups. I have learned firsthand that past a certain point of influence, you will suffer exceptionally damaging attacks that don’t offer a proportional increase in influence. The “curve of influence” dictates that you should stop attempting to increase your influence past a certain point.

Every day, a man somewhere begins a journey at gaining influence. He uses his existing talent and experience to produce articles, videos, podcasts, or tweets. The early stages will be rough as his work will not be readily rewarded with influence, but if he persists, he will eventually cross a threshold where his influence rises rapidly and his following becomes dedicated. Soon, his influence begins stepping on the toes of other people, especially if he’s a dissident that is not controlled by the mainstream establishment. He will then be attacked.

The creator is happy with attacks, because it causes his influence to rise, earns him more money, and gives him the recognition that is natural for the ego to crave, but the attacks are likely to increase in intensity to the point where he now has to dedicate more time at defending against them instead of producing the work that gained him influence in the first place. Soon, his influence starts going down as his output becomes entirely framed by his enemies and no longer provides value to his core audience.

Here is a graphical representation of how this looks:

The sweet spot is the point where the creator has high influence but sustains a minimum exposure to attacks. If he seeks higher levels of influence, he must then engage with the enemy. This increases his influence further, but only by a small degree. He continues until hitting peak influence, which is no more than 20% higher than the influence he had at the sweet spot, but this comes at a heavy price of being attacked more regularly. The creator’s existence now consists mostly of responding to the attacks instead of producing work. This causes him to lose influence.

My creator career fits this curve. There are three notable attacks I’ve sustained: (1) being placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center misogynist list in 2012, (2) getting attacked by Canadian mayors in 2015, and (3) having to shut down my meetups due to worldwide outrage in 2016.

I approached the sweet spot with the SPLC denouncement, surpassing it three years later during Canada. The meetup outrage was my moment of peak influence. Every man has a limit to the influence he can gain, and by continuing on the path I was on, my influence would actually decline. So I ignored my ego’s call for more influence. Otherwise, there is a fair chance I’d be dead right now, because my ego would have convinced me that I’m not truly influential unless people are trying to kill me. That did not seem like a productive outcome.

The curve doesn’t account for great personal costs in seeking influence. Once the attacks against you are ramped up, you become less able to produce the work that you love and instead become more paranoid and jaded. The moment you need to hire bodyguards to ensure your personal safety, or when you have to study operational security tactics written by former CIA agents, is when you know you’re close to your peak influence.

The solution is not to pass the sweet spot. This means you must purposefully take actions that limit your influence by using enemy attacks as an indicator of where you stand. If attacks against you are increasing, you are proceeding on the curve. If the attacks against you are stable or decreasing, you are not moving on the curve. I have moved leftward on the curve since the meetup outrage by not holding events, not trolling on hot-button issues, reducing my profile on social media, and not actively trying to produce viral content. Taking these measures is quite hard for my ego to accept, because I know that if I do an event tomorrow, there will be spectacular riots that will shoot my name to the top of the news headlines. It’s imploring me to go through the entirety of the curve, but I understand that listening to it will prevent me from creating the work I like in the first place.

I guarantee you that not a single creator will follow my suggestion and purposefully limit their influence. Getting attacked by the enemy is extremely validating as you begin to judge your self-worth based on how often people come after you, but within that lies the paradox that your influence will actually decline as you become more of an entertainer than a thought-leader. Even though I understand this, a part of me still craves that moment of peak influence and the intoxicating effect of when the eyes of the whole world are upon me. Time will tell if I can avoid that temptation.

Read Next: What It’s Like To Be Semi-Famous

Related Posts For You

newest oldest most voted
Greg Brown
Guest
Greg Brown
Offline

Perhaps the strategy needs to change once you are at the sweet spot. It might be better to start putting additional energy into mentoring others to carry on the same agenda but in a parallel thread that we keep all of you individually under the enemy’s radar but as a group continue to move forward.

Roosh
Guest
Roosh
Offline

Good point. If you are a dissident, a strategy of “keep getting attacked” will cause you to reach your breaking point.

The big celebrities, unlike us, have strong establishment support. Many have never even had to endure a single bad interview.

ICouldHaveLied
Guest
ICouldHaveLied
Offline

It’s all about numbers. If you have a strong base of support, you can say or do pretty much anything you want. Milo is still going strong even after those odd comments about pedophilia, simply because his base of support is so strong. So the key is to find out how to spread your message and make it appealing to the most people of all backgrounds, without watering it down to the point that it’s not even the same message anymore. Milo is able to do it because he’s charismatic as hell, he’s good-looking, and he’s gay so he has some identity politics oppression points. Most of us aren’t that gifted(except the whole gay thing, I’m glad I don’t have the urge to fuck dudes) but we can still be useful as bodies and as minds.

And I hate to say this, but with respect to MRA/MGTOW issues, we have to include women if we want to be taken seriously by everybody. Otherwise what we’re doing will be viewed as nothing more than a boys’ club which might be all some of the guys here want but for me, I want to fight back against the feminist bullshit that is infecting and damaging society.

skillett
Guest
skillett
Offline

It is good to know, though, that if you feel your influence drops off, you could pull another Toronto. Just depends on the stomach you have for it all. I learned from reading all that just how much the left has locked down key aspects of culture. How easy it is to troll them but how hard it is to make a real dent in their power. Not that it is impossible, but every very hard.

Trump and independent media have set them back in some real ways, but their back is not broken. The machine for generating the cultural marxist narrative is humming along more powerfully than ever.

It seems to me that this will continue until someone steps in and closes the gender studies deppartments. Leftist power is cultural and (pseudo) intellectual.

Moreover, they may (or may not) be making headway against the alt-right online with the algorithim and demonetization of right wing videoes on youtube. And their limiting of the power of the troll-o-sphere.

It is going to take a real fight to keep congress and White House. And even with the right’s formal power, left has a huge edge in the deep state and mass culture.

I applaud the inroads of independent media, but in the Trump era, leftists power just as daunting as ever.

Demography is Destiny
Guest
Demography is Destiny
Offline

I share your observation. We are now in the ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ phase of the struggle. Leftists have realized the challenge and are mobilizing their machine and pulling the strings to push us back towards the fringe. For someone in the position of Roosh the question is will he be content in the diaspora to protect his certain realm he carved out for himself or will he step up his game and try to establish a mass organization to make a push for his goals. The only way to beat the machine is to build a bigger machine, that is to seriously start self-organizing your followers. Otherwise one just remains an anarchist.

Demography is Destiny
Guest
Demography is Destiny
Offline

I agree. This is a very good article, but it needs to be added that peak influence describes in Roosh’s model what ONE INDIVIDUAL could achieve at maximum. But an organized body of people could achieve more than any single person and also more than the sum of the influence of individuals. That’s the reason why humans have banded together from the dawn of mankind as hunting parties, bandits, tribes or nations for the mutual benefit. By creating a viable group between sweet spot and peak influence, the individual could lift his influence to another level. Roosh’s model is two-dimensional, he needs also to take into account the banding-together-effect in hopefully another article. It’s the collective, stupid (not meaning Roosh personally here).

Jahil
Guest
Jahil
Offline

Roosh, I appreciate the strange self awareness you have. at half your age, Im glad I won’t make the same mistakes. the fact that a popular PUA can look back it his life and arrive at the conclusion you have.. its rare.

jbird669
Guest
jbird669
Offline

I second that notion. As someone who’s just learning that he’s not very self-aware, it’s something to aspire to.

John Doe
Guest
John Doe
Offline

or you could just remain anonymous? It’s not that hard. My Boycott American Women blog was also put on that SPLC list and remember, Jezebel published an article about the BAW blog right before they did their hit piece of you. I’ve remained anonymous all these years because I knew how to keep my mouth shut and not brag to others “Hey look I’m the creator of this super viral antifeminist troll blog”. and it’s still going strong. My blog was mentioned in the New York Times back in October 2016 and just a few days ago on Newstatesman.com. Sure I might not have reached massive amounts of fame or following, and remmeber that is without even having an active blog. Now that the blog is up and rolling again I think it will keep freaking out feminists and I’m still having laughs about it.

A. Nap
Guest
A. Nap
Offline

“Anonymity is the refuge for all literary and journalistic rascality. It
is a practice which must be completely stopped. Every article, even in a
newspaper, should be accompanied by the name of its author; and the
editor should be made strictly responsible for the accuracy of the
signature. The freedom of the press should be thus far restricted; so
that when a man publicly proclaims through the far-sounding trumpet of
the newspaper, he should be answerable for it, at any rate with his
honor, if he has any; and if he has none, let his name neutralize the
effect of his words. And since even the most insignificant person is
known in his own circle, the result of such a measure would be to put an
end to two-thirds of the newspaper lies, and to restrain the audacity
of many a poisonous tongue.” https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/schopenhauer/arthur/lit/chapter7.html

ICouldHaveLied
Guest
ICouldHaveLied
Offline

I’d like to see Schopenhauer’s feelings on this issue now, in the Twitter age where everything is viewed in terms of absolutism. There are no shades of grey anymore, so it’s hard to stand by your words when they’re being taken out of context to make you look bad or words are being attributed to you that you never said. When people are reasonable and can think without their emotions getting in the way, this quote of yours is accurate. In these times, I don’t know if I agree.

Jean Valjean
Guest
Jean Valjean
Offline

I think the problem is not so much that the individual goes too far, and overshoots the sweet spot, as it is that the individual’s supporters don’t go far enough in their support. Or we might say, the location of the sweet spot depends on how much active support the individual has.

Everything always comes back to the “free speech isn’t free” concept. You have as much freedom speech as you can afford. If your supporters aren’t helping you out much, and you don’t have a lot of income from alternative sources, then you can’t afford a lot of free speech. That’s just a sign of a movement’s not having its act together enough to support going to the next level. At any given time, most worthy causes are in that kind of disorganized and neglected state.

Going past the sweet spot can produce a lot of bitterness, rage, and disappointment, but those times of “going too far” can also be your finest hours. It may seem at times like it wasn’t worth it, but just the fact that you made sacrifices that others would never make, is part of what makes you badass. Most will never even approach the sweet spot, which leaves them like Rollo Tomassi, struggling for relevance as others push the envelope. Those who choose the safe path also end up gnashing their teeth in frustration, just like those who task a risk.

Going past the sweet past can be an incredibly miserable and exhausting experience, and it can seem like the losses that get inflicted on you leave you more powerless and isolated. But it can also be just the start of another adventure. You more you lose, the less you have left to lose, and therefore the freer you are.

A. Nap
Guest
A. Nap
Offline

Cool advice. If only there were bloggers in the times of Alexander and Napoleon to advise them.

Antares
Guest
Antares
Offline

Here’s a question then: How does this analysis compare to the “antifragile” model arguably employed by people like Trump? From a rhetorical standpoint, it seemed as if Trump was able to consistently increase his influence *by* responding to attacks, which may have been away of getting around the “peak influence” point you describe. You could see this particularly well in the primary campaigns – where the other candidates would ultimately top out after a certain period of exposure, and where they would have to spend the rest of the time defending from attacks. Trump always seemed to double down and never let himself be put on the defensive. Even an attack was an opportunity to sell. Essentially what it seemed like was that Trump was able to get his attackers into something like a closed circuit, where each attack merely resulted in some kind of net gain for his influence. Christopher Hitchens arguably was pretty good at this as well, and used it as a way of almost immunizing himself from his detractors by doubling down on any attack. This also seems to be what Cernovich and Milo are at least *trying* to do with this whole “my haters are my biggest advocates” approach. I think we can expect it to be imitated as well by others.

redpillyogi
Guest

All the people you refer to are not really hitting at the cultural zeitgeist of our age, to wit: the sexual repression of heterosexual males in order to control society. Roosh, as it happens, is indeed hitting at this particular issue which is why he is receiving the amount of flak he gets, even at the few thousand followers he has. Cernovich has ventured back into politics which gives him the green light in terms of controlled opposition. American males are the most sexually repressed beings on this planet. I know this after travelling to Asia.

ICouldHaveLied
Guest
ICouldHaveLied
Offline

“American males are the most sexually repressed beings on this planet.”

Come on man, don’t rely on dramatic hyperbole like liberal turds do. American males are sexually-repressed, sure, but I’m sure you could find a bigger group of sexually-repressed men in, say, a temple of Tibetan monks. Any culture that is conservative and deeply religious will have sexually-repressed people. Religion does not like sexuality.

And sexual repression isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The other side of the coin, completely uninhibited sexuality, is probably even worse. Europe is a degenerate shithole partly because sexuality is so free, among many, many other things.

TSK
Guest
TSK
Offline

Trade off is you get fame but you lose privacy.

You may also make money but you also have to constantly watch your back because there are some psychos out there that will do whatever it takes to try to harm someone physically or sick someone at that person.

The sense of safety and also the person might become little more paranoid where even getting a stare from a stranger might cause the person to over analyze the situation and think too hard.

Fame might also get you more additional pussy on the side (depends what type of fame it is though).

If you could withstand all this hurricanes of shit storm wind by haters and lovers from all sides, then you can withstand anything life thrown at you.

If you are loved by some and hated by some then you have truly reached the level of magnificence.

RazoRSnaKE
Guest
RazoRSnaKE
Offline

I am considered a hero AND a demon by most – simultaneously.

“Was that wrong?”

ICouldHaveLied
Guest
ICouldHaveLied
Offline

Are you Hellboy?

RazoRSnaKE
Guest
RazoRSnaKE
Offline

For you – yes!

Roosh
Guest
Roosh
Offline
Zanardi
Guest
Zanardi
Offline

This is an article which covers a topic I knew nothing about. It’s refreshing for me to read such material, which has nothing to do with leftists, SJW and gender roles.

Roosh, I’d like to see more articles of this kind. Good job!

PaVan Wilder
Guest
PaVan Wilder
Offline

This applies to everything in life actually, from society down to group size 2.

jst4fun
Guest
jst4fun
Offline

You fail to understand that influence is something leaders have. The court jester has some influence but for what purpose? To entertain. he’s alone, isolated, he has his moment in the sun and then out. If you want lasting influence then you must add leadership qualities. You need to mentor people, coach, motivate, inspire, etc. Having a vision or a message is just one facet of leadership. What you are describing is what happens to people who are not properly prepared or qualified to be leaders, i.e. have influence. Yes, they burn out like a supernova. But the good news is you can learn to be a leader, and improve. Craving fame, stardom and “page likes” is fine, but how much influence does the latest fad have? The one hit wonder…

Roger Berens
Guest
Roger Berens
Offline

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a leftist joke. Morris Dees is a con man.

Ashara Dayne
Guest
Ashara Dayne
Offline

Why not just go back to the job you’re qualified for? You speak of these attacks as though they are an inevitable consequence of anyone trying to make a living writing self-help books and giving speeches. Seriously a career change is not impossible at your age. I think the whole ideology of PUA is a mistake. It’s not about fulfilment and happiness it’s about feeling superior to and trying to be a higher social status than other men. Any man over a certain age will tell you fucking loads of women is not the route to happiness. And the women you describe as spoilt entitled cock-carousel riding sluts who then marry some beta chump who she treats like dirt? I know one. ONE. Out of hundreds of women I know one like this. Maybe it really is worse in other parts of the world idk.

Saqib
Guest
Saqib
Offline

Alex Jones has hit influence curve