The most difficult aspect of starting a business is clarifying your purpose – who you reach, what you do for them, and what makes you special. You are too close to your ideas, too familiar with yourself. It takes some well-worded, on-target questions to help you define you and your business. The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith poses powerful questions that help you clarify who you are, who you serve, and exactly what you need to offer.
The Impact Equation asked questions that made me think
Working through this book, I made choices. I discovered intentions. I redefined myself. Most importantly, I narrowed down my purpose. That increases my focus and affects my choices. This whole process of simplifying what you do into very few words not only clarifies how to communicate that core meaning to others, but it offers you a very clear guidepost for the rest of your decisions.
The Impact Equation helped me uncover a powerful metaphor for my work
The metaphor for your work turned out to be an exceedingly powerful exercise for me. What I discovered built off decisions I made using the Triangle Method and brought me to the core of what I do in life: “ I help the mud settle so you have a clearer view.” When I shared that with a friend, she understood it on many levels and knew immediately that it was the core of who I am. That metaphor is over-achingly on target for everything I do, in my work and in my interactions. Being clear that is my purpose will affect my writing and my personal interactions. This is powerful stuff.
The Impact Equation helped me uncover larger my goals
When you have a ton of ideas, it is easy to get off-target. You need a way to choose the best idea to get the greatest results. The Impact Equation shows you how to identify your larger goal along with an organic guidepost for making decisions. My goal is to encourage self-awareness that supports positive change. My guidepost is how I help people successfully work within the natural cycles of change. That is a major help in choosing my next project.
The Impact Equation made me look for the emotions I play alongside my message
Another soul-searching, self-aware question that is asked in the book was “What emotions play alongside your message?” Our main connection is through emotion, it’s important to identify the emotion you illicit in your work. I think I encourage curiosity, self-discovery, determination, the joy of standing on your own and (I can only hope) insights and wisdom that help people make positive change.
The Impact Equation turned me into a TV Studio
What are you broadcasting from your business and in your life? My TV studio is Positive Change. I help people embrace change, choose to change, accept change and create positive change. What shows could I build around change? That exercise identified my Cornerstones Content.
The Impact Equation helped me identify my weaknesses
This didn’t feel as fun as the other exercise but I really do have a very large missing piece of the Impact Equation that I need and want to find ways to fill. My work is cut out for me.
The Impact Equation questioned the people I keep around me.
I know this part, you are most like the five people you hang out with. What I had not considered, which this book helped me do, is that my level of expanding will be constricted by that comfortable, non-changing crowd. I need to hang out with people who inspire and challenge me. I need to be with people who expect me to grow and change. I need to find new steeper curves to climb.
The Impact Equation encouraged me to think beyond what I know
This was a huge nudge for me, not because of a need for new ideas, but the need to change my outreach strategy to accommodate the increasing number of ways there are to communicate. It’s very easy to stay comfortable with what you know and how it has been up until now. Times are changing and you have to stay on top of the opportunities. This book helps you realize the breadth of useful and powerful platforms and determine which ones best suit your needs.
The Impact Equation encourages awareness
An important criteria presented in The Impact Equation was “Does the idea stretch me – help me grow?” That’s going to be my measuring stick for everything I do from here on.
The Impact Equation encourages me to package my quirks
This was one of those great ah-ha moments. Of course we need to build on the very qualities that make us different, unique, weird, and quirky. Embrace those unusual aspects of yourself. Make them the core of what you offer. Celebrate your freakiness (Why I Love Being a Freak)
The Impact Equation is powerful stuff
Our journeys are ours to make. Mine in mine and yours is yours. Use this book to dig deep, to identify the form your passion needs to take, and the manner in which you can use your passion to change lives. Read this book with a pen and paper at hand and respond to the questions as they come up. Your answers and insights will build on each other and help you broaden your impact. Consider working though the book a second time. The Impact Equation is a major clarifier.