Last week, I discussed how each of us has our own unique combination of skills and life experiences that make us well suited to serve others in our own way. This week I’ll show you a tool I created to help me figure out what those unique opportunities look like for me.
Chris Do, Founder of Blind and The Futur, has a goal to impact the lives of 1 Billion people. He wants to teach creatives how to make money doing what they love. He is running towards this goal by creating online content, both free and paid; speaking at conferences and writing books.
In one of his YouTube videos discussing how to Find Your Superpower, he outlines a process for evaluating your skills and experience to find your unique opportunities to serve others. After watching, I was inspired to develop a tool to help me figure out how I can use what I know to focus on the things that I love, and help others in the process. I call it my Impact S.P.A.C.E.
Let’s take a deep dive into the Impact S.P.A.C.E. Map and see how it can help highlight the areas where our skills, experiences, and passions overlap.
For this section, you’ll list all the skills you have gained from your work and other experiences. You can start by listing the things that are on your resume, but don’t stop there. Think about things you’ve learned through volunteering or the roles you’ve taken on outside of work. For example, maybe you are an officer in a professional organization or you volunteer in the PTA for your child’s school. These experiences allow you to gain valuable skills that you can utilize to make a difference.
We all have those things that we love. The things that we do because they excite us or have deeply personal meaning to us. It’s amazing how engaging our passions can stimulate the motivational and emotional centers of our brains. If we care strongly enough about something, we will endure even the toughest challenges. While I don’t necessarily agree with the mantra, “do what you love and it won’t feel like work”, I do believe that it will feel like work worth doing.
This may feel more like a marketing activity, but it is one of the most important parts of this exercise. It’s great to want to change the world, but for who? You need to identify the people or organizations you want to serve. By focusing on a specific group of people, you are building context. This will allow you to better understand the needs of your audience and explore ways in which you can serve them.
Channels are the pathways that you can use to connect with your audience. Maybe it is an individual or organization that gives you access to or information about the people you want to serve. Or perhaps it is a platform like Medium or YouTube that allows you to interact with your audience.
Once you’ve identified your skills, passions, audience, and channels, you should start to have a clearer picture of ways you can serve your audience. Try to generate 3-5 ideas. It’s ok to dream big here, but make sure you include ideas that you can put into action quickly as well. The goal is to get started! Be careful not to create a bunch of overly audacious ideas that will overwhelm you before you even get going.
The final section of the Impact S.P.A.C.E. map is focused on planning. Ideas are great, but they needed to be coupled with action. The goal of this section is to define some milestones and timelines. You can also include things you want to measure here as well to make sure you are making progress.
If you feel like this concept is really simple, you are right! Much of it seems obvious, yet I had never thought about things in this manner before. After going through this exercise, I was able to clearly see how my skills and passions line up. Now I have some tangible ideas for how I can help others, and a plan to do so.
Here is what my Impact S.P.A.C.E. map looks like.
Download a free copy of the Impact S.P.A.C.E. Map and give it a try. Let me know if you found it helpful.