Your Impact Manifesto and the Role of Your Business in the World

What do you remember most from your grandparents? Maybe it’s the life lessons they taught you, the tears they wiped after your cousin said something nasty to you, or when they encouraged you to get back up again after you fell. Maybe they taught you to have fun and smell the flowers along the way.

Or maybe, what you remember most, is the inheritance they left you. The money and the stuff.

Hmm… not likely. For most people, what they value most from their grandparents is the impact they made in their lives.

It’s the same in business. Making money is good – you have to put food on the table – but the thing we’re most concerned about is the impact we make in the world and the lives around us.

Impact looks different for everyone because we all have different things we care about. But the best way to make sure you make the impact you want to, is to get clear on what your impact goals are. Then share it, and start living it.

Your impact manifesto is your anchor.

As your business changes and grows over the years, and as you learn more about business and your clients, it’s easy to veer off course – all the ideas you’ve had about the impact you wanted to make long forgotten.

But, if you have a clear Impact Manifesto, it stays in front of mind. You can weigh every business decision against it and choose the option that is most aligned with your impact goals. And if none of those options fit, then you know that you should go back to the drawing board.

 

Creating Your Impact Manifesto

When choosing your impact goals, there are broadly two categories to consider: Immediate impact and legacy impact.

Immediate impact refers to the lives you change today. Here are a few examples:

  • Your employees: Creating a working environment where they feel you value their opinion, and they know they can ask questions or raise concerns.
  • Your customers: Focusing on the difference your product or service makes in the lives of your clients. For instance, an architect or builder may want to create a house for their clients where they can live the lifestyle they desire.
  • Community and environment: Creating a product or service that is better for the environment. For instance, as a coffee shop, you can encourage customers to bring their own reusable coffee cup.

Legacy impact refers to the long-lasting difference you make. Here are a few examples:

  • Employees: Creating a culture of learning where you train and mentor your employees. You can help them develop their career so they can become the best they possibly can.
  • Customers: Being a thought-leader in your industry and championing a different approach. For instance, an architect who designs modular houses from sustainable materials that are cheaper and easier to build. They make it affordable to not only create a quality, dream house, but also do better for the environment.
  • Community and environment: Creating awareness about an important topic and shifting the way people think about something. For instance, depression used to be a taboo topic. Now people can reach out for help without being afraid of what others would say. 

 

A Few Snippets from BWMD’s Impact Manifesto

We believe that your business is a tool to help you create the lifestyle you dream of. We also believe that success looks different to everyone. For some, they want to grow their business quickly and consistently. For others, they want to make just enough money to lead a comfortable life, with lots of time for other things, like spending time with family, travelling, or pursuing a hobby.

That’s why, the first question we ask you, is “what does success look like for you?” And then we help you craft your business on your terms.

That is the legacy we want to leave. What’s yours?