As I drove downtown to meet a client this week, I looked around at the lanes of traffic and I saw faces of people going about their day — going to work, doing tasks and meeting deadlines. These people could be nurses, engineers, CEOs or accountants, yet in their cars on the way to an office, they all looked the same. I couldn't help but wonder, do they feel alive, or do they just exist?
I believe that when we are inexplicably drawn towards a compelling purpose, we shift from existing to allowing ourselves to be pulled forward by an idea that's often much larger than we can comprehend. There are many ways to describe this. Some refer to it as a calling, a purpose or a mission. And I believe that when this is present in our lives, we have the responsibility and the opportunity to listen and decide what to do with it.
The idea of making an impact is nothing new. Doing things that have a profound positive effect on others is both desirable and exhilarating. Why wouldn't we want to have an impact?
So, is it that simple? Can you just choose to make an impact?
Of course it is. You can choose to merely do your job, to phone it in and to follow someone else's path.
Or, you can dig in and transform your contribution. You can level up, taking advantage of the world-changing array of tools, technology and connections our new economy is making available.
It’s about making a decision and claiming agency over what you do with your gifts.
Those who entertain the idea of making an impact might be well served to embody the George Bernard Shaw quote, “the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
So, what is the importance of impact to the “unreasonable man”? If impact-driven entrepreneurs develop sustainable businesses, then the cause doesn’t stop; it just becomes more viable. PayPal founder Elon Musk made enough money by the time he was 30 to retire for the rest of his life. Instead of yachts and islands, he used his newfound wealth to launch electric car manufacturer Tesla, disrupting the automotive industry forever. However, acknowledging that Tesla alone would not save the planet from heavy emission vehicles, Musk made public all of Tesla's patents for the advancement of the industry. The enemy is the carbon crisis, not rival car manufacturers.
The challenges of our time are significant and there is real stress and pain as the world changes and adapts. We can't control that, but we can control how we respond to it.
Those challenges open the door for those that choose to stand up and contribute.
The Council of Visionary Business Builders is designed to transform today’s business builders into tomorrow’s exponential entrepreneurs. I believe that, when smart, compassionate, innovative people like you hold the reins of economic influence, our communities will be more open, equitable, and inclusive.
If you see business as an opportunity to do good in the world and personal profit as a tool for making a bigger societal impact, then now is the time for you to rise up and create the influence, impact and income that you rightly deserve.
The Council is an opportunity for you to scale up, stand out and make that positive impact in the world.
When I set out to create this experience, I decided to value quality over quantity – mostly to intimately serve a small group of dedicated entrepreneurs and hold them fiercely accountable to their desires to have an impact while transforming themselves in the process.
This unique experience is for people who want to accelerate their projects and ideas and pursue bold missions. It’s designed to be the most significant lever for change that I could create. This is our second cohort and I can say with confidence that it works.
You have far more potential than you might realize. You have something to say, a mission to go on, a contribution that matters. I’d like to help you unlock that potential.
And if you know someone else who needs this sort of opportunity, I hope you'll share it with them.
The 2018 Council of Visionary Business Builders kicks off on June 1st and there are 10 spaces available for the right people. I hope you’ll get a chance to check it out, but even if you don’t apply, go ahead and use this moment, right now, to make a choice to level up your impact.
And each day when you get ready to offer your work in the world, consider this question – “Do I live to exist, or do I exist to have an impact?”
Hear what a recent Council member had to say about being part of the Council of Visionary Business Builders.