I just finished reading an advance copy of The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. The book had a lot of interesting ideas on branding and influence. The theme that I found most interesting, though, was the continual emphasis on opportunity. In the opening chapter, the authors talk about how they aren’t all that special. They’re just ordinary people. Being well-versed in the world of blogging in Internet marketing, I kind of chuckled at this comment. Everyone in my space knows who Chris Brogan and Julien Smith are. They aren’t nobodies. They are celebrities.
But, Chris and Julien explain themselves. I’m sure they are well-aware of their online and real-world notoriety. What they mean is that they should be nobodies. They shouldn’t be special, but they are luck enough to live in an age that enables them to be. Here’s what they say:
So what’s unique about this book isn’t that it exists but that two people like us wrote it. We aren’t special. In another time period we would have had nine-to-five jobs with great benefits and no upward mobility. The infrastructure of that time period would have restricted us–now the infrastructure sets us free. We were given opportunity simply because of when we were born and where we happened to be.
The authors spend the remainder of the book laying out a formula for how to make an impact the world of everything 2.0–the world of a seemingly endless free-flow of information and seemingly non-existent barriers to entry in the idea marketplace. Here is the formula:
The Impact Equation Formula
Impact = C x (R+E+A+T+E)
- C = Contrast
- R = Reach
- E = Exposure
- A = Articulation
- T= Trust
- E = Echo
The book goes through each of these elements, explains how they are different from one another, and gives real-world examples of companies and people who are living out these ideals.
The Impact Equation and YOU
I’m not so sure this equation is something for you to build your strategy around or put on your bathroom mirror to meditate on each morning. But the elements within it to provide some powerful ideas about how you can make a difference in your life, your business, your industry, and your community. The authors go on to say:
But this doesn’t only apply to us. There are fewer excuses than ever. So if you’ve delayed making something of your own or bringing a long-lost idea to life for the first time, congratulations, now is the time to do it. It is perhaps the best time possible, because the barriers are lower than they ever have been.
Now is your time. Anyone can be a celebrity. By that, I don’t mean that you should try out on American Idol. I’m talking about being someone that the people around you look to for inspiration and leadership. You’ve always had a voice. The Internet has given you a megaphone.
There is no longer a need to wait. You don’t have to rely on whether or not the press is going to cover your story. You can publish it. You don’t have to rely on whether or not the media is going to interview you. You can broadcast all on your own. The tools are here for you to stand up, shout out, and be heard.
Ideas can help people change the world, and now anyone can become powerful enough to be a catalyst for what matters to them.
What are you going to do with the tools you have? Just because anyone now has the capacity to make a difference, that doesn’t mean everyone will. Yes, there are fewer excuses, but those lacking in courage and conviction will find them. Are you ready to have voice that people listen to? Are you ready to lead your tribe? The megaphone is in your hand. This is your time. Clear your throat…and speak. We’re all waiting to hear what you have to say.