I was chatting with a friend recently. He was off to make an impression, which he no doubt would accomplish. I challenged, if you are going to all that effort, why not make a difference? I don’t know how it turned out for him. That conversation was the catalyst for this:
Do you want to go through all that effort to make an impression?
Or do you want to make a difference?
I’ve spent most of my adult life in or around sales of some kind and have worked with marketers in just about every medium. I’m a consumer and exposed to advertising like everyone else. We are bombarded by all the same messages – from flyers stuffed in newspapers and mailboxes, politicians pleading their case, activists on a broad spectrum of issues telling us what claims or points to support, which products to boycott, and everyone remotely considering themselves an expert telling us why everyone else is wrong – but are they right?
Billions of messages every day too, on social media.
They are making a deep impression.
Or a rut.
But are they making a difference?
Niche is nice, but then everyone wants in. Not so much a niche as a tribe – great if the cause or following has merit and joy in it, not so much if it’s likely to tear people apart or turn them against one another.
Every day we all ply our trade, follow leaders, show up for causes and cases – or we may decline by our acts of commission or omission.
Are our actions making any difference in the world or simply making an impression?
When we move around in the world, we make noise and draw attention to ourselves because we are seen and heard – and probably judged/assessed by others more for our actions than our words, because anyone can mouth words to make an impression.
In the end, it is our actions that make a difference.