Make an Impact vs. an Impression

On April 27, 2009, in Personal Branding, by Mike D. Merrill (@mikedmerrill)
you-make-a-difference1I recently had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Rick Rigsby speak and I was very moved by his message. I also thought about how this applies to personal branding and how we represent ourselves on social media. Many of us are consumed by the need to impress others as compared to making an impact in people’s lives. As you grow your network both online and offline, take a deep look at how you interact with others, the thoughts that concern you as you are engaging, and where you are aiming in your actions and thoughts. When you finish reading this post, you will realize how you need to personally assess your day to day actions to make an impact.

As I have matured, the need to impress has become less important. Living in a society that worships celebrities, fitness, and wealth how do you find balance? I still value the finer things in life and will always struggle to balance need vs. want and the motivation behind those actions. I have decided that I want to be someone of significance in the lives of others and share whatever strengths I have to offer. How can YOU make an impact with your coworkers, your customers, your family and friends, and your Meetup attendees?

5 Tips on Making an Impact:

As you are contemplating this, you recognize all of this has to do with your personal brand. Here are my tips on making an impact:

1) Teach and Coach: Speak to groups and individuals. You have seen me state this before, but it is my belief we should always be looking to teach others anyway possible. Educate your families, co-workers, customers and the people you meet. Teach customers how to leverage self-service websites. The time you invest now, will save you so many calls and emails later. Teach others how to blog, leverage social media, use a Mac or PC, etc. Teach someone how to set goals and create daily to do lists to create small victories. Teach someone how to have a positive attitude by sharing MP3 files that will help them change their attitude. Give them a book that will change their life. As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones says “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Most importantly, praise and encourage them along the way.

2) Write: Share your thoughts in written form. Everyone has something of value to share. Maybe you have mastered how to cut transition times during Triathlons. Share that with folks you meet and on blogs, forums and race events, as time allows. If you are excellent at cold calling, write your thoughts down and share with your co-workers and others who could benefit from your unique techniques and skills. Blogging is the easiest and best way to do that. It also helps you develop your voice. Visit www.wordpress.com to get a free blog. A side benefit is your Google rankings will go up as well. See my earlier post here on this subject.

3) Volunteer: Help others outside your comfort zone. Those less fortunate or unable to get access to the same tools we take for granted, need your help the most. How are you sharing your skills with the ones in most need. Get your hands dirty and volunteer your time, energy and enthusiasm where it counts. I participate in a Meals on Wheels route where I live and also help run a ministry at my church. My hope is to do a mission trip this year as well to help those with the greatest need in other countries. My mother-in-law spends 10 days a year with Habitat for Humanity in Guatemala. My Uncle-in-law runs a charity in Colorado helping those with the greatest need in Africa. These are just people I know in my immediate family. What are you doing?  

4) Be Authentic: When helping others be yourself. Many folks struggle with how to manifest this. Authenticity is defined as the quality of being genuine or not corrupted from the original. Another definition: Truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, and intentions. Don’t worry about trying to impress. Self-deprication while not a form of positivity, can be funny. Recognize when you need to listen and empathize with others in their struggles. We are all in this together and we just need a helping hand, a big heart, and the willingness to care.

5) Lead: Lead others to make an Impact. We all want to have strong spheres of influence in our lives to be heard, but also to make a living. The key is to leverage that to motivate others to make an impact. If you are a manager, support those who are volunteering in the community with the time they need off. As a company, sponsor United Way campaigns to foster an example of giving back to one’s community. As an individual, lead groups of common interest or lead discussions to foster a better way of doing something in your office, church, or networking group. Sometimes leadership is just having an opinion about something and sharing it with others. Don’t be afraid to share ideas and better ways of doing a task or process. More importantly, don’t complain unless you are also offering a suggestion to improve.

I will leave you with one more thought that from Dr. Rick Rigsby that has made an Impact!

Go from being a “Mover and a Shaker to a Molder and a Shaper!”

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  • Angel R. Olivo

    Love your blog…

    I used your tips for a speech that I will be presenting.

    Much Thanks…

    Angel

  • Angel R. Olivo

    Love your blog…

    I used your tips for a speech that I will be presenting.

    Much Thanks…

    Angel

  • Mike D Merrill

    Angel, glad you found value in it and thx for the feedback.

  • Mike D Merrill

    Angel, glad you found value in it and thx for the feedback.

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