The Impact Equation: Lettuce vs Apples

Two years ago I did an interview for a book that was being written about the secret formula for making an impact in the 21st century.  Co-author Julien Smith had seen me speak back in 2010 at Tedx McGill (which is no longer online) when I told a story about the contrast between the awe-inspiring  beauty of the Yukon River and the Gwich’in people who live there, and that of the Mississippi River along Cancer Alley near the Gulf of Mexico and the story of a dead pelican.  My message was clear, as a civilization what direction did we wanted to take from this point forward; the path of sustainable prosperity or short-term liquidation with long term consequences?

Two years passed by and I forgot about the interview and the book for that matter until early this winter  I received a tweet from a stranger that caught my attention. The tweet said “There are 2 types of people in this world. You’re either head of lettuce or an apple tree.” Which are you? #arlenestribe. I recognized the line, it was my own.  I emailed Julien and asked if he had published his book yet.  He had.  Julien apologized that I had not received a copy. He had a book shipped out to me right away.

Julien had made his mark as a social media guru from his blog   which gets over 375,000 hits every month. His first book, Trust Agents with co-author Chris Brogan, is a New York Times best seller that explains how to tap the power of social software and networks to build your business.  When Julien and Chris set out to write The Impact Equation I have to say I was surprised they wanted to include some of my journey in their book.

When my copy of the book arrived I opened it up and casually began to skim through the pages to see if my interview had been included in the edit.  To my surprise my interview was not only in the book but it started Chapter 1 with my analogy of being a lecture farmer vs apple farmer which essentially compared the approach of short vs long term thinking.  As I read on, the guys used my river-rat storytelling life as the lay out for their case study on how to make an impact through their formula CREATE {Impact = Contrast x (Reach + Exposure + Articulation + Trust + Echo)}.  What the Julien and Chris found intriguing was that I never waited for a television broadcaster or the acceptance of grant to do an expedition or make a film, I just did it. I found others who wanted to come along for the ride and were willing to pay the price I set.  Basically crowd founding on a different level.

It was pretty cool to see some of my ideas and experiences printed inside a published book that would be read by people I would never meet.  It’s a great book and if you have the chance you can preview the book here on google books…  or on Amazon… 

Time to tend to those apple trees!


3 thoughts on “The Impact Equation: Lettuce vs Apples
  1. Cool!

  2. Greetings from Ireland read about your journey in the impact equation. Well done!

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