A “personal impact factor” is not my terminology, but the concept is to somehow measure the value that you bring to the world.
Some of these things are very subjective and impossible to truly measure – such as the way your mentoring may have pushed someone to achieve something greater in their life. Sometimes a single comment has an unexpectedly large impact upon someone – I bet you can remember something that someone once told you that impacted your life or your decisions.
However, some things CAN be measured – particularly those where a financial or effort contribution resulted in something tangible. This is what I am measuring in my Personal Impact Factor, and it’s linked closely to my core values described below.
The purpose of publishing this is three-fold.
Firstly, as a personal scorecard of success. Every entrepreneur wants a higher scorecard 🙂 so making this public helps me focus on building my impact. I don’t want praise, I’m no saint. I’m not out there volunteering every single weekend at the soup kitchen, or spending every spare dollar on helping someone else. I have goals and dreams, I don’t feel guilty about pursuing those dreams or having fun, and I’m protective of my time. But I also don’t believe any one person is going to save the world – we all just need to do a bit.
Secondly, I hope it encourages others to focus on what they can give to make a difference, to share their own contributions publicly – regardless of how grand or how small. Lets celebrate and encourage generosity of all forms.
Thirdly, it helps make me grateful for so many things in my life, and in gratitude lies happiness and contentment.
I am forever in debt to the wonderful organisations who make this impact possible – they are true heroes doing the hard work.
My Impact as at 1st June 2015 quantifies my support to date for three different charities.
1. I have paid for the operations to restore the eye sight of 84 people.
Imagine losing your vision and being completely dependent upon others for your survival.
Imagine this in a third-world country where your survival and that of your family depends on being able to earn a living. Now you are in a dark world where you are a burden on your family.
Along comes the Fred Hollows Foundation, and provides free surgery to restore your vision. Fred Hollows has restored the sight of over 750,000 people, and trained over 56,000 health workers! That’s mind blowing!
My personal and business donations over 8 years have restored the sight of 84 people, and allowed them to live safely and help provide for their families again. How cool is that!
Read a recent Fred Hollows report here.
2. I have contributed the equivalent of one counselor for three years, to help 300 children recover from childhood sexual abuse.
Childhood sexual abuse is estimated to affect one in five Australian children, and its effects are debilitating. Although fortunate myself to not have experienced this, I have many friends whose lives were impacted or ruined by this plague. The wonderful people at Bravehearts help a large number of people to recover from abuse, and have a strong focus on educating children with the aim of prevention. My IT Services business IT Leaders has provided a significant amount of in-kind donations for over a decade, to allow them to maximise their funding towards their mission.
3. I have assisted 18 families (around 100 people) out of poverty permanently.
This is power of the parable of “give a man a fish” versus “teach a man to fish”. The amazing organisation Opportunity International provides micro-financing for tiny businesses in developing nations. This is based on the belief that people will lift themselves from poverty when they are given the opportunity. Their average loan size is only $200, but this is enough money to help a family start a business. The critical part is to teach them the skills they need to profit from the business and to grow the business, and so they run classes every week in communities to teach business skills and provide ongoing support to their clients.
This is a charity I only began to support in 2014, but after having visited their work and seen it for myself, I am confident that their method is brilliant and this is such an efficient way to permanently lift the lives of many. The sense of pride that these women have in their business and independence, and the gratitude they have for having been given the assistance is incredibly touching.
Easy Offshore is my global-resourcing consultancy and one of its services is a guided “Strategy Tour” of the skilled labour hub of the Philippines. The Philippines has a great depth of educated and skilled office workers and is the most popular location for Australian businesses to establish a complementary offshore team, but it also has a mass of impoverished people. We are about to start buying our Delegates Manual folders from a village I visited with Opportunity International. The village is a great success story, as it revived a dying art of weaving, turning it into a commercially viable business and it now is a great little enterprise which engages and provides for the whole village.
My Core Values:
Equality of Lives
One life in my country is worth the same as one life in your country. This is NOT the way the world works right now, but I believe it’s the way it should be. We are all the same species, and division by gender, race, religion or nationality is a false division and a threat to our survival.
One of the great things about teaching and consulting on global-resourcing is that I get to actively encourage the power of commerce to unite the world and spread wealth and real cultural understanding (which is much more powerful than just “tolerance”!)
Focus on Value.
I am worth as much as the value I create for others. This is a daily commitment to bring something to the lives of the people around me. The people around me include friends, family and employees, but also include those around the world whom I have never met. I am highly flawed and sometimes selfish. Regardless, I do my best to focus on what I can be worth today.
Every day is an opportunity to be better than I was yesterday. The tangible and financial success of each day varies wildly, but the goal of growth is almost impossible to miss! You can have personal growth lying in bed for the whole day, just by concentrating on an issue, or by practicing letting one go. You can have personal growth reading a book, or having a conversation or by forcing yourself to do something you hate, just because it’s good for you.
The single best thing about starting and running businesses since the age of 25 is the MASSIVE amount of growth opportunity. As I commit to it in myself, so do I strive to support growth in others.
Wealth and Poverty
With the combined will of humanity, poverty does not need to exist. Those with plenty have a responsibility to help those with little. But in my opinion, the most value in charity comes from sustainable long-term assistance. Emergency relief is without doubt a vital part of poverty and disaster relief, however a bag of rice will get eaten and the problem may remain, whereas skills to produce a sustainable income allow people to build their way out of poverty. I resonate strongly with the way that Opportunity International uses micro-funding and the art of business to create a permanent poverty solution.
The “economics of enough”. I worked very hard to earn what I have, and chasing the dollar became part of me, as it is every entrepreneur. Now I feel very grateful that I have been able to decouple the concepts of personal wealth and happiness.
When at home in Australia I live in a beautiful location, in a spacious 2 bedroom apartment with a view that inspires me. When I bought that place I thought that it would do me for a few years until I could afford a bigger place, but soon after I realised that the bigger place would only be to impress other people, and that I already had everything I needed and more.
I am also fortunate to drive a nice car. When I bought it I thought it would be great for a couple of years until I could afford a faster and flashier one. Soon after I realised that I enjoy it every time I drive, and that buying a better one would be more for my ego than my happiness, and they are not the same thing.
In recent years, spending more time with the beautiful people of the Philippines, I have come to realise that I am incredibly wealthy by global standards, just because I have clean water, as much food as I want, I can afford healthcare, and a safe place to live.
I see that in wealthy nations like Australia, many people have completely lost touch with what poverty truly means. We compare ourselves with others constantly, and this creates dissatisfaction and the belief that we should have more wealth or more ‘stuff’, and that this is the driver of happiness.
Hey but I’m not a saint or a monk who is detached from fun! I do crave for new and intense experiences. I want to travel the world, I want to experience other cultures at a grass roots level, I want to experience driving amazing sportscars! I want to SCUBA dive in exotic locations, I want a kick-arse pool party with my friends at least once a year! Experiences feed my soul, whereas owning stuff usually just feeds my ego.
My Personal “WHY” – what motivates me:
To explore the fringes of human understanding, distilling and mapping the complex, into tools and wisdom that are accessible to all.
So what drives YOU in life? What would you like to have said about you on your death bed? How can you make a difference in this world, and leave your mark?