This post is an update of: Change the World: Help Others Pursue the Passion
By Brett Farmiloe
You ever wonder what you were thinking ten years ago?
Well, the Internet is a wonderful place that documents all types of things, including random blog posts like the one I contributed to this blog 11 years ago.
Hey, Brett, How Can We Change the World?
That was the question that inspired this blog post from my 22 year old self. I think it’s a great question to revisit every so often.
So, let’s revisit it. How can we change the world?
Ten years ago, I purchased an RV to travel around the country and interview people about their career paths. Today, I own and operate a digital marketing company that is experiencing Inc. 5000 types of growth. Along the way, my perspective on how to make an impact has evolved.
Let’s take a section of the blog from my 22-year old self.
My idea of changing the world is tapping into a powerful, yet largely ignored natural resource — passion — the passion of people who do what they love.
Yet the model we’re living is not designed to produce passion. It leads us down well-traveled career paths of 8 to 6 jobs that promise bonuses, promotions, and job stability. The model does not place importance on an individual’s love has for the work, but on the quantifiable measurements an individual brings.
I’m not buying that model.
Yikes! Strong words, young Brett.
But, older, more realistic 33-year old Brett has this to add: Money matters. When you have kids, a stay at home pregnant wife, and ba-ba-bills – you need something more stable to stand on…income.
Which brings us back to the question: what’s the way to change the world?
Let me weigh in. To truly change the world, I believe you need to create something that produces a net positive. For me personally, it’s a profitable business with a work environment conducive to bringing out the best in people. For others, creating something can range from writing a book to raising a beautiful family to generating positive results within a job function.
Yes, I said it – you can change the world within a job. As long as you are a “net positive” for your employer, and your employer effectively applies your contributions to maximize the collective efforts of it’s workforce.
The key is getting clear on the definition of a “net positive.” In other words, the “change” in “change the world.”
Net Positive Formula:
Change \ Consumption = (Greater than 1 = You’re changing the world; Less than 1 = you’re temporarily draining the world)
That definition for me has shifted to two parts: “how many people do we employ who are actively engaged with their work” and “what is the impact our efforts have for our clients.” Starting a business multiplies the net positives because of the internal (number of people employed) and external measurements (impact of our work) of the change we’re looking to make. That to me, is changing the world.
For others in a job, a definition can be “do I produce a benefit for my employer that exceeds my salary & associated expenses (benefits)?” For speech givers, ditch diggers, or any position – is the change greater than your consumption?
What does changing the world mean to you? What are you creating? What is the “net positive” you’re measuring to see if what you’re working on – and are passionate about – is making the intended impact?
I’d love to hear it in the comments. And hopefully, let’s revisit this question again before 2028.
Brett Farmiloe is the CEO of Markitors an an advisor to an organizational leadership degree program. He has owned 3 RV’s in his lifetime. The last one he traded on Craigslist in exchange for wood floors in his house in Scottsdale, Arizona.