What Difference Do You Make?

If you (or your company) vanished from the landscape tomorrow, would anyone notice?

I’m not talking about your death here – just your business (or service, if you’re a provider of things like copy, graphics, design, etc.).

Oh sure, your clients would notice for a moment. Or a day.

But how about a week later?

What about even after they had found your replacement?

Would your clients look back a year from now, sigh, and lament the loss of your business or service?

This is a question you might contemplate quietly, in your “secret heart”. You know the answer already. And if the answer is, “They wouldn’t miss me much”… it’s time to go to work.

The best way to ensure your prosperity is to matter. To make a difference.

I’m not talking about “making a difference” in some cotton-candy-dreamy-fuzzy-feel-good kind of way. I'm not talking about charity work (though I believe that's important, it's a different discussion). I’m talking about adding so much value (in real, measurable ways) to people’s lives that if you went missing, they would notice. And they would be sorry. Over the long term.

Making a difference is the single best strategy for you and your business in today’s economy. Or any economy, for that matter.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.

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  • Ray-

    Thanks for this post and opening the discussion. For many, while the sincerety and desire may be there, lack of focus keeps one scattered, and unable to deliver the type of value services that have the lasting effect you speak of.

    One of the options is to charge more so you can devote more focus to clients, and then take on less clients, so the ones you have get the attention they deserve.

    Thoughts?

    • Travis, that's an excellent distinction for a tactic that supports the strategy of making a difference. Thanks for sharing your insight!

  • Hi Ray, this is a great post – thanks for the discussion it kicked off in my head.

    One question I guess I would ask is – if you are in a market where there is in reality only one competitor, but he's more well-known but less hmm, how shall we say, professional; how would you recommend going about differentiating yourself from him so that you are the go-to man for anything to do with my niche topic?

    And also, trying to be that valuable that people would miss you – hmm, I wish I wish – but this is a brand exercise – no – as well as a value exercise? So how would you recommend improving your brand to then engender this kind of “fan-dom”