How to make G+ work for you
There's no 'right' way to use G+, or any social media, so don't worry you are Doing It Wrong. As long as you are true to yourself, respectful towards others, and active in posting and commenting about your passions - you will have awesome times on G+.
For business or personal use, social media is a tool that lets you converse with people who are not physically sitting across the table from you. It also helps you find new people to talk to. So is it better to have more people circle you? It depends on why you are using G+ and who you want to talk to.
Are you looking to make a name for yourself? Improve your business' revenue? Find other pug lovers? Exchange recipes? Point more people to your blog? Stay in contact with old friends spread across the world? Those are all very different expectations and would be satisfied in different ways. A pug lover may not care to have 2000 people follow him unless all 2000 are pug lovers. He may be ecstatic with 200 fellow fanatical pug lovers. A business may see 2000 followers as dismal or fantastic, depending on the profile and buying habits of those 2000 people. So it's more the right people, rather than sheer numbers, that can make your G+ experience fantastic and profitable (whatever profitable means to you)
How do you find those people? Use search to find people posting content in the areas you are interested. Ask people in your circles if they know anyone interested in X topic. Or if they know someone who's an expert in that area on G+. Circle them, add a comment to their posts. Strike up a conversation. Chances are, if you have common interest, they'll circle you back.
Post your own content and then push it out to extended circles every so often (and make your posts public so others can find you when they are searching). It'll catch someone's eye and they'll comment.
This seems counter-intuitive, but exercise your option to block people. If they troll, flame, or spam - block them. Believe me, the people who have you circled will thank you for keeping your comments area civil. I've uncircled people because the comments under their excellent posts are full of butthurt and flaming. Who wants to read that? Think of your stream as garden, you gotta pull the weeds or they take over the place.
Me? I'm looking for people who are not assholes and like to talk about food, politics/current events, or Paganism and will tolerate a weekly Caturday post from me.
tl;dr - I believe if you want to have an awesome and valuable G+ experience it isn't about how many people have circled you or how many big names circle you back, it's about finding people with whom you share a passion and enjoying their company - no matter how many or few circles they are in.