How Much Impact Can I Really Make in My Small, Simple Life?

February 09, 2018 2 min read

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about our Bangladesh team & the extraordinary work they are doing. It's impressive and exceptional, and most of us think: that is waaay beyond me. 

But, maybe our scope is just a bit too myopic!

It has been said (by a few, though often attributed to Bill Gates) that we overestimate what we can do in a year, but underestimate what we can do in a decade. I would go even further to say that we probably WAY underestimate the impact we can have in 50 years, over a lifetime.


The reality is that in most cases, something extraordinary has come as a result of a whole lot of ordinary. 


Sometimes friends of mine, or new people I meet, will express how impressed they are by dignify. I am super proud, of course, and (as my sappiness over the past fall indicated) in awe at where we've come over our 5 years in business.

But, as much as anything, I feel embarrassed when someone tells me how "impressive" it all is.

Umm... — I think — don't they know how thoroughly unimpressive my days look?  Working on a spreadsheet is not impressive! Photographing blankets for hours in front of a white sheet suspended in my dining room = not impressive! Spending the better part of my days over a week signing up for & trying out different email apps to see which one has the toggles I like best? Then, spending an entire day figuring out "custom fields" and importing data? IT IS ALMOST TOO BORING TO TYPE THAT, much less is it impressive! Snooze!


The reality is that as remarkable as anyone's accomplishments seem to be — and somehow, especially when there is "impact" or a "good" that results from their work — it is still comprised of one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, one spreadsheet built on the next. 



There is a phrase that I've seen quite a bit in the entrepreneurial world:

"Show Up Every Day."

I think that the idea is supposed to impart the same kind of message as I wrote above: that it is the consistency that makes the difference, not the big, wow moments.

But, for me, this phrase can come off as more discouraging and oppressive than affirming. Every day!? Instead, for the rest of us (beyond the entrepreneurial go-getters), I suggest a slight alteration. Maybe more like,

When you show up, what you do matters.

All those bits & pieces can add up over the years and over the decades. They may not feel particularly impressive, but when you look back, it could be quite extraordinary!

 

(Not convinced? Just watch the blue marble!)

 


Leave a comment


Also in Shop Good Blog

Streamline Gifting with 8 Ideas for Great Birthday Gifts (+ 1 Pro Tip)
Streamline Gifting with 8 Ideas for Great Birthday Gifts (+ 1 Pro Tip)

September 14, 2022 3 min read 1 Comment

Birthday gifts! For any age, receiving gifts is a delight.

But, giving gifts... can become overwhelming. Like a wave that comes reliably and relentlessly, everyone has a birthday every year!

Here are some ideas & tips for streamlining awesome birthday gifting.

Read More
A Meaningful Wedding Gift
A Meaningful Wedding Gift

August 19, 2022 3 min read 1 Comment

It all started with a wedding. 

Did you know that the first blanket we ever bought was for a wedding gift? 

We knew about Basha, and I loved the blankets. But, we were living the student-life at the time; I wasn’t spending $4 on a coffee, much less $100 on a blanket — no matter how much I loved it! 

Read More
Dignity for All
Dignity for All

August 05, 2022 3 min read 2 Comments

“Do you even know what a big problem human trafficking is?” 

This is a question I was posed by someone I love, someone who knows me and what I do. But this was a rant borne, I think, of the powerlessness and overwhelm of learning more about the world; of being faced with the cruelty & despair of suffering; of coming to see — and really feel — the frustration that some people with money, power, & influence, continually wield it unjustly with no end or recourse in sight.

Do I know what a big problem human trafficking is?
Yes, it is a big problem. Yes, I am aware of it.

Read More