So You Want to Make an "Impact," Huh?

Michael May 15, 2024
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On making an "impact"

My spidey senses tingle when people say that “IMPACT” is their biggest core value.


That word gets tossed around in the Internet Marketing world a lot.


“I don’t care about the money; I just want to make an impact.”


Alright…


Let’s — for a moment — assume that the person is genuine.


Let’s assume that this doesn’t come from a deep-seated shame around money…


Nor from the vanity to seem a more “noble” businessperson...


But rather from a joyously pure desire to help others.


Even if that’s the case…


There’s a danger if you don’t CLEARLY DEFINE what you mean by it.


Coconuts make an impact when they hit the sand & feed the village…


They also, tragically, make lethal impacts upon skulls about 150 times a year.


History is full of people who wanted to make an “impact.”


And I’d say the VAST majority of them had great intentions.


Most do NOT want to make a NEGATIVE impact…


So, the invisible word of “positive” is always assumed to be in front of “impact” or “growth” in this context.


But through arrogance, incompetence, or shallow thinking…


Those who aren’t careful can — through their actions — trigger 2nd or 3rd order consequences that make their efforts a net negative…


Or in the worst case, they create the OPPOSITE of the result they originally set out to create.


The authors of the Treaty of Versailles thought they were doing God’s peace work by sanctioning Germany post WWI…


When in reality, they crippled Germany's economy, humiliated its citizens, and fostered a deep resentment that set the stage for a historically brutal sequel. 


To be clear…


I’m not against the idea of making an impact… 


Nor those who lead with that intention…


But when someone tells me that’s their #1 goal…


I just want to know that they’ve thought through their capabilities & the ripple-effect.


It’s true that there’s a lot OUTSIDE of our control & locus of responsibility…


And it’s easy to become paralyzed by going TOO deep into this idea…


But if there IS some potential downside…


I want to know they’ve considered it... and made peace with it.


Otherwise, you’re dropping the coconut and crossing your fingers that no one is napping below. 🌴 🥥