6 min read

Impact - What We're Really After

Your business is the vehicle to get your values out into the world. To have the impact you want to have on the people around you.
Impact - What We're Really After
Photo by Michael Starkie / Unsplash

In 2007 my goal was to become the best sound engineer in Utah.

I had been doing live sound at the university I went to, Brigham Young University, and had started my own post production sound company, SoundSmith Studios. But at the end of 2007 I met a director who had just finished a movie starring a bunch of my friends from the sketch comedy troupe Divine Comedy. I begged them for an introduction and we became fast friends working on his movie together, and then became business partners.

In 2008 there were two massively impactful movies that changed the trajectory of my career. I brought up my friend and business partner because without meeting him, none of what I’m about to tell you would have happened, so I owe him a lot.

The first was The Dark Knight. Now, I’ve loved movies since I was young. I grew up on James Bond and The 3 Stooges, thanks to my dad who has incredible taste in movies and music. I had already seen the first Christopher Nolan Batman movie, and was looking forward to the next installment.

I wasn’t expecting to see the movie seven times in theaters. There was something about it - initially it was the sound design, then the writing, then the “how did they pull that off?” and the “why do those shots have a different aspect ratio?” Each time I went into that darkened theater I found myself asking new questions and coming out with a stronger desire to know how they made that movie - and how they were able to make you understand the plight of a villain like the Joker.

Later that year, my friend and business partner introduced me to Edgar Wright and his a Simon Pegg’s movie, Hot Fuzz. I don’t remember if we watched their tv series Spaced first or if that came later, but we got really into Hot Fuzz. Together we would watch behind the scenes vignettes about the movie and scour the internet for interviews. I learned about how they came up with the idea, that they read a book on tv and film tropes and rather than avoiding them they tried to throw as many from that book into their movie as possible.

They made the process of writing a movie possible in my eyes, and my business partner and I set out to write our first screenplay together. Over the years I set out to become a screenwriter, and together we wrote five screenplays and two TV pilots.

By 2009 I had completely changed my business identity from a sound guy to a producer, and it all started with these two movies. Talk about impact!

As you look at your work, your business, and your goals, what impact are you trying to have on those that come in contact with you? Your employees, your clients, your partners, your investors, your market, and your industry?

To have an impact means to have a strong effect on someone or something. It means to change them in some way because of your influence.

Plenty of businesses are started to create income and a lifestyle for the owner. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in my experience lasting, resilient companies have an understanding of the impact they want to have on people, and realize that the business is the vehicle to change people.

Seth Godin
(2017 People Like Us pdf)

My friend Daniel Priestley explains marketing as the simple process of highlighting for someone where they are, where they want to be, the obstacles in their way, and then presenting their business as the path of least resistance to get that desired outcome. He’s talking about helping people change. To have something they don’t yet have or become something they desire to be.

Understanding this concept for your own business is essential, and helps you understand the way you impact - or change - the people you seek to serve.

So, grab some paper or open a new note, and let’s go through this together.


  1. Write out everything you can about the current reality your prospect is experiencing. (You can do this for potential partners, investors, or your ideal customers. But do it for each group separately, rather than all together. The current reality of your investors is very different from that of your customers.) What pains and frustrations are they experiencing? What do they wish they had that they don’t? What would they be willing to pay someone for? What outcomes are they seeking?
  2. Next, write out what that “desired reality” feels like for them. What would it look and feel like if they had the outcome? What would their business, their life, their relationships look like?
  3. What obstacles are currently in their way? What resources or understanding do they lack? What approach are they taking that isn’t working? What limiting beliefs do they have that are holding them back?
  4. Lastly, how does your offer provide answers to all of those pains, desires, outcomes, and limiting mindsets? If you don’t know, you can just go one by one down the list and solve the pains that you listed. If your market is full of creative directors who don’t know how to do video, then your offer solves that by not just being a vendor, but a trusted partner who educates their clients on the way video can deliver the outcomes better than text and imagery alone. If they don’t know how to put a crew together, you provide everything from the writer to the director, the cinematographer, the cast and crew, the editor, the sound guy, and the colorist. It’s a turn-key operation where they don’t have to think about hiring because you take care of it all. See, path of least resistance.

You see how this process is more involved than simply saying “I do video marketing for businesses”. What type of businesses? What kind of video marketing? How is your video marketing business different than everyone else I found on Google?

The answer is the impact that you promise in your offer. The way you use your business to change people. The way you use your art to speak to something no one else does.

We have one more chapter in this first section on Mindset, then the rest of the book is about applying every single one of these principles to your business to help you grow and create the impact that you want to have on the world around you.

Sponsored By Lulu.com

The team at Lulu has been an incredible partner since I released my last book, Craftsman Creative - How Five-Figure Creators Can Build Six-Figure Businesses.

We've partnered on this next book, Blockbuster, to share the ins and outs, the behind the scenes of writing and publishing a book in public.

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