Monday, April 30, 2012

When Does Impact Become Income?

Having an impact is a beautiful thing.

When the work you do inspires, influences, challenges, sparks, motivates and helps people in a palpable way, you experience existential validation, professional confirmation and personal gratification.

Unfortunately, you don’t always experience financial compensation.

And that’s the problem with impact – it doesn’t always convert to income.

Partly because of priority. Our society rewards mediocrity, worships incompleteness, celebrates stupidity, encourages negativity and retweets cynicism. Clearly, impact is not high enough on our value list.

Partly because of choice. Do gooders aren’t usually do wellers. It’s the curse of the idealist and the cross of the change maker. Apparently, impact is something the world expects for free, out of the kindness of our hearts.

Partly because of time. Impact always takes longer than we’d like to become evident, measurable and reimbursable. But that’s the reality of making change. It rarely adheres to our timetable.

But who am I to make a moral judgment on some sleazy internet marketing zilchbag who makes millions of dollars spamming total strangers with bunk offers based on disturbingly detailed personal information that they bought from some secret database?

The good news is, impact eventually leads to income. Doing work that matters eventually yields financial dividends. The hard part is trusting that process, believing that the world will reimburse our efforts accordingly.

Because sometimes, as an impact maker, waiting around for cash returns to show up can feel like banging your head against a brick wall.

What have you declined this week?

For the list called, "21 Things I Learned While Spying on Myself," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

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