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Why Action Helps You Make An Impact

If you can make something happen, you cannot miss your chance. Otherwise, the moment drifts.

Actions are what you do to be seen. It can lead in other directions and help with a wider stage. This is how you can make an impact.

This article takes influence from what we did for the recent StandWithChand and raise awareness for disability discrimination. However, it also relates to you if you want to get people on your side and join in with your endeavours and buy into what you do.

It Is Important To Make Something Happen 

A lot of the time we think we need more before we can start. More time, more resources, more people, more information. In reality, you have everything you need to make a start. This is why most people don’t take that step.

What happens is we look at what others have done first, so when we do decide to step forward it looks similar to what has already happened but confirms that we’re doing the right thing. In reality, what is delivered looks a lot different from what the original intentions were. It also feels seductive to take on board what everyone else has done, as it becomes a crux.

To step up and action, you cannot wait for approval from someone else. I have realised that no one is ever going to pick you, which is why you always need to choose yourself, to be seen and heard. What happens is that people start to join you and the word spreads. 

This isn’t about committee approval, making sure the execution looks perfect before you start, or that the schedule is drawn up, you have to put your best foot forwards and go. That is the only way to have an effect.

What Happened With StandWithChand

Friday 17th June was a day where we stepped up and supported our friend Chandy Green. You can read more about the origins of this in do more together.  

Chandy had experienced bullying and name calling and was in a low place. Rather than words of support on social media and then continue with the rest of the day, we decided to do something about it. From idea to exposure on a wider stage, it took 12 days . 

5th June – Gordon Fong posted in a WhatsApp group that we should do something

6th June – Commitment to do something about it and shared in the YATM Facebook Group

10th June – Local newspaper shares intentions for Friday 17th June  

Wc13th June – Others shared on their timelines and came forwards to help out

17th June – Hottest day of the year and 80 people were there at the start at Bournemouth Pier

Rather than it just being a walk, we also wanted to raise awareness on a wider scale and brought the media in to help us.

The Bournemouth Echo featured the event a matter of hours after we’d finished (read here) and was also featured on ITV Meridian evening news. The BBC also reached out to Chandy to interview him.

From piecing together this 12-day turnaround, here is how a start can lead to something that has an impact. Here is how momentum progresses and different millstones start to be reached.

VISIBILITY – this is the simplest part. These are the posts, the promotion and looking to raise awareness for what’s going to happen. 

CONNECTION – if people feel a part of something and understand the intentions, it becomes easier to make a commitment. Feeling connected to an initiative or a person can be easier to say ‘yes.’ Trust has a huge part to play here.

ACTION – what you promised is then delivered to the people who committed. This is visibility, this becomes your base for wider exposure. It’s not a thought, it’s not a social post, it’s real.

IMPACT – what you actioned has relevance on a wider scale. It’s not just about the now but where the ripples and influence can be made on others. This can be to join in, have an effect on others or to find momentum with your work

Making An Impact Can Be Achieved. Some Steps For You.

Your work can be a means to make an impact and drive others to you. Let me highlight how starting something can support your future ventures where people want to join in with you. The points below are in a stepping-stone framework.

Build something and know what it is you want to focus on 

Believing in something and then finding momentum is the key driver to starting. It can feel like a slog at the beginning but if enough people can see you pushing the car, they will join you.

Welcome people to feel a part of something 

Someone making that decision to join you is a huge compliment. You have to find a way to let others know they are seen. For instance, I send a personalised video to people who subscribe to the You Are The Media weekly newsletter.

The causes that others have, champion them too 

As your audience grows, you start to know them better. Those people that were just email addresses you become familiar to each other. Bonds can be cemented by standing by each other and when they might need a rallying call, they are part of a space where others can join in too. It doesn’t always have to be about you, but the collective efforts of the people who are part of the same space. 

The people who are a part of the group can be connected too 

When you open up the possibilities, your net can be a lot bigger than you originally thought. You can’t do everything yourself which is why the expertise and connections of others can be a pillar of strength. For instance, for StandWithChand people reached out to others, from links to the press and TV to help with wider awareness.

When others from outside the group take note, this strengthens the group 

The involvement and participation from others always come back to the very start of beginning something that leans into your beliefs and values. It provides visibility, credibility and also a place that feels welcoming. 

Let’s Round-Up

Buy-in, involvement, awareness, commitment and impact all come by doing. It’s not ideas on a page, it’s not a thought of something you’d like to happen, only actions are what help to make difference. 

The easy route is to say later or let someone else do it first, so you can see how it works and then follow suit, but by that time, you’re already following a formula. It is better to lead the way and people feel good when they get involved, rather than flooding the market with the same.

Taking action is the best step. Start a course. Learn how to make a video. Start that blog. Begin a newsletter. Connect two people who could benefit each other. Stand up for what is wrong. You progress even further by making something happen.

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