The Impact Trifecta: Make the Most of Your Impact Efforts
Impact can feel oddly unsatisfying.
A big reason for focusing on impact is that it brings fulfillment and satisfaction along with it, right?
If you’re feeling that your impact isn’t fulfilling you, that’s a clue. Maybe you’re not having all the impact you want to have.
Impact is multidimensional. When it comes to business, I think of it in terms of three main parts:
· Collective care
Let’s look at each one, so you can see how addressing all of them makes for the best, and most fulfilling, impact:
Collective care is the contribution that you make with your impact, the lives you affect, the ways that your business helps make the world better for everyone, not just a privileged few. It is love enacted.
If the collective care aspect of your impact feels underserved, ask: How are you caring for others through your business? Are your offerings at least as much about that as revenue? How do you extend care in how you conduct business? Your hiring practices? Are you being inclusive and diverse enough in your business’ inner workings and in your dealings with clients and suppliers?
Here’s how answering these questions can be put into action:
I’ve recently become much more conscious of diversity in hiring suppliers. Rather than a big crew of in-house employees, my business is structured around a satellite group of key suppliers who do the important things that keep the business going, like website design, building the learning platform for the Impact Breakthrough program, and editing the Work Alchemy podcast. I’ve always just hired through a network of referrals. The problem with that is that I’m limited by who I know, and who they know. As we’re seeing, that can make for an insular world of little diversity, and in privileged groups, perpetuates the hierarchy. So, I’ve changed the process. I’m still using referrals, but instead of a general request focused just around the tasks, I’m asking specific questions about diverse referrals. I’m also looking at my own ever-expanding network to utilize the skills of a more diverse group of people.
Income is the revenue you bring into your business through your efforts. You may wonder, how is that part of impact? It’s part of impact because you need money to sustain you and your business. The more money you bring in, the more options you have to use it to have impact. When money is a stressor, it actually interferes with having impact because you’re distracted and overly focused on this aspect of impact.
If this area feels underserved, ask: How can we bring in more revenue while remaining true to our values and our Impact Purpose? Can we increase the number of revenue streams? Can we offer ideas to our current clients that would result in more revenue? How can we improve our marketing and sales? Is the right person in that role? How can we develop better processes that ensure we don’t lose track of valuable leads?
To put your answers to these questions into action, here’s an example:
One of my clients is increasing her revenue streams by collaborating with several people to offer new online and in-person (yes, even now!) programs. Lorraine is really leveraging both her close connections and people she’s recently met to develop new offerings that she wouldn’t have created on her own. It has even meant moving into new areas that she hadn’t planned on, but still calls on her expertise.
Legacy is sharing what you have learned with those who would benefit from it. It’s acting as a mentor to a younger person who could use a role model. It’s also how you show up, every day, since that affects everyone around you. As the leader of your business, your daily legacy is even more important, because it not only affects clients and the people who work with you, and therefore their behavior. It also builds and affects your company’s culture.
If your legacy feels underserved, ask: Am I showing up in a way that consciously affects people how I’d like them to be affected, that contributes to a healthy culture in my company? Am I showing up with love and respect? Are there things that I have learned that I know would be valuable, or I’ve been asked to share? Am I impressed by the potential of a young person that I may be able to help?
Here’s how a colleague of mine put these questions into action in her business:
Tamara is a hard-driving, efficient person who values making good use of her time. In her focus, though, she was projecting the energy of, ‘Don’t interrupt me’ to her staff. That led to misunderstandings, and a culture of tiptoeing around her, which were the last things she wanted. Fortunately, Tamara was open to hearing this, and she changed her approach. She thought about how she could make connecting with her day-to-day when it was needed easier for everyone. She talked with her whole team, and they agreed on a way to approach her that allowed important issues to be addressed, and is evolving to be even better. She’s showing up as a better leader who welcomes input and at the same time, models effectiveness in getting things done.
This trifecta of impact - Collective Care, Income, and Legacy - is really enhanced by addressing them together: you get a synergistic effect. If your time and effort goes into strengthening two or all three aspects of impact through the same actions, you’ll have a much bigger impact.
Here’s an example:
My client Lorraine noticed that one of her joint venture partners cared for their clients in different ways than she, with great customer care around purchases (Collective Care). In addition to agreeing to use that approach for their joint programs, Lorraine incorporated some of these practices into her own solo offerings. Lorraine also noticed that an aspect of their joint work highlighted an area of teaching, not her primary business, that would be very helpful to her audience (Legacy). Along with the increased Income that these partnerships already brought her business, Lorraine is leveraging the trifecta of impact for the most results.
Your dissatisfaction with your business and your impact doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the wrong track. It can mean that you need to shed a light of what aspect of your impact is not being fulfilled.
With that clarity, you can focus on what matters most and put your resources to best use to have the impact you find most meaningful.
Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.
Find Ursula on her podcast, Work Alchemy: The Impact Interviews
where she interviews impactful entrepreneurs and leaders like Seth Godin and Marianne Williamson, and at WorkAlchemy.com
for free resources for you and your business.
This article was originally published at https://www.workalchemy.com/meaning-fulfillment-impact-trifecta
and has been syndicated with permission.