Is Your Work Changing Lives? Here’s How to Tell

The greatest compliment we can hope for as entrepreneurs is to find out what we’ve built actually means something, that what we’re doing matters.

A few days ago, a Fizzle member wrote a post in the forums titled “What I really think about Fizzle.” When you see a title like that about your work, you can’t help but feel a little nervous to read the judgement that follows.

In this case, the post was from Tom Ross, one of the most ambitious and generous members in the Fizzle community, so I was even more anxious about reading what Tom had to say. His opinion is important.

This kind of feedback is what really matters. Traffic, followers, signups, and even revenue can all lie about your progress, but having an impact says something important.

If you can find a way to create this kind of transformation and experience for just one of your customers, you’ll know that what you built actually means something. Changing lives isn’t clichéd, it’s the source of everything good in business and life. Aim to change lives and yours will change too.

Changing lives isn’t clichéd, it’s the source of everything good in business and life. Aim to change lives and yours will change too. (TWEET THIS)

How can you tell if your work is changing lives? If your impact is important enough, you’ll hear about it. You can solicit feedback as well, but nothing feels better than a big compliment out of the blue, like we got from Tom last week.

I just had to share Tom’s feedback with you, because I’m so proud of what we’ve built at Fizzle and how much the community feels like family.

Here is Tom’s complete, unedited post:

I came to this community a few months back after a crushing business blow that was outside of my control. It was pretty much a case of pack this whole thing in and retreat with my tail between my legs, or keep fighting, and get some clarity and direction in the process.

I came here thinking that it would be too basic for me, more aimed at beginners, and that I wouldn’t really learn anything new.

I was half right.

I already knew my way around WordPress.

I knew email list growth was important.

I knew a lot of things.

Two things I wasn’t so hot on?

Taking action and doing the right work

Fast forward just a few months and here’s where I’m at:

I’ve gone from 10 email sign ups per week to 160+ on my blog

I’ve abandoned a posting schedule that was stressing me to death and now publish great content once a week, stress free. I can now enjoy holidays away from the internet, whereas before I’d be constantly working, annoying those around me.

I’ve gone from not knowing my audience, to understanding them really well, and getting personal with a good number of them

I’ve gone from almost getting a traditional job to knowing through and through I’m in this entrepreneurial thing for life

I’ve gone from working with annoying, selfish clients to working with the most respectful, grateful clients I’ve ever encountered, who I now call friends

I’ve gone from feeling alone on this journey, to having a great community of contemporaries and friends all in this thing with me

My sense of design has evolved at a quicker pace then ever

I’ve learnt more about online business and marketing in 5 months than I did in 5 years.

I make daily progress, as opposed to stagnating and plateauing

I found motivation to pick myself up and start a new company, with a great team that looks set to do spectacular things

I discovered a joy for teaching that was always there, but never properly uncovered

I’ve been lucky enough to help a good number of people with their designs and businesses

I feel matured and changed as a person, with more clarity and direction in life

I’ve cut away the crap. All the meaningless work and pointless metrics. The wasted time, and wasteful people.

Fizzle doesn’t create greatness in lazy, greedy people. It let’s you do what you’re truly capable of.

I talk about minor successes and general progress on these forums, but this place has been nothing short of life changing.

Three Tips for Having More Impact and Finding Out How You’re Doing

  1. Visualize and articulate the transformation you want your customers to go through. How will you meaningfully impact their lives with your coaching, courses, services, software, podcast, etc.? Care about their success more than you care about your own.
  2. Measure things that tell you how much of a difference you’re making. Give up metrics like traffic, followers and social media shares, in favor of metrics that measure customer progress and satisfaction. Constantly ask yourself how things can be reengineered to deliver more value to your customers.
  3. Ask your customers for feedback and take it to heart. Give people easy ways to share what they think. Tell them you’re listening and that you care.

Learn more about Tom Ross at the design-focused sites Fanextra or psdfan, his biggest “Fizzle fueled ventures” as he puts it. In Tom’s design program, he gives all members unlimited design feedback on their projects.

Of course, you can also see Tom in action inside Fizzle, where he and 700+ other entrepreneurs are collaborating and holding each other accountable to build businesses that matter. Your first month in Fizzle is just $1.

Have you seen evidence that your work is making a difference or changing lives? How do you plan to measure whether your work matters to your customers?

Please share in the comments below.

Get the free guide to defining your audience
  • Tom Ross

    Ah wow, thanks Corbett. When you mentioned that I’d feature in this post I thought I’d have a little footnote in it!

    Seriously, to anyone reading this Fizzle has paid for itself 100X over, both literally (financially) and in terms of personal development.

    • Linda Esposito

      So great to see your hard work, your determination, your energy, and most importantly your Fizzler generosity mentioned, Tom!

      What I most like about your feedback is there’s a thoughtfulness behind it. There’s nothing wrong with forum comments like “Great job!” or words of encouragement when you’re feeling fearful, but cogent advice and specific suggestions are way better.

      Way to go, Fiz Whiz!

    • Tom Ross

      Thanks Linda, I really appreciate that.

      (I’ve just left you an in depth review of your site’s design in Fizzle btw).

    • Linda Esposito


      Off to check it out. A little scared, too ;)

  • Ken Carroll

    Hey Corbett,

    I like how you drive home the message of changing lives over and again. The attempt to improve someone’s life is the starting point for all great/epic content. You’ve certainly driven that into my mind and I try to think that way as a matter of course now. Once you get into that mindset why write about anything less?

    Nice going.

  • Donnie Law

    What an inspirational post Tom. It’s such good encouragement when I hear how others have struggled in the past but are now succeeding. I look back and see how many of my projects failed and it gives me hope that other successful entreprenuers have been in the same position.

    • Tom Ross

      I don’t know a single entrepreneur who hasn’t had serious struggles. I forget what the stat is but it’s something shocking like a minimum of 5 big failures before success. Furthermore, if you haven’t failed it’s probably because you’ve been tip-toeing around your business and haven’t been all in.

  • Amal Rafeeq

    After being a regular reader and follower of Think Traffic for the last 1 and a half years, I think you guys, especially Corbett have gave me so much of motivation. Thanks a lot for that mate.


  • Deborah Owen

    I WISH I could claim the kind of business transformation that Tom can, but I’m still pretty new at this whole thing. What I CAN tell you is that Fizzle is an amazing group of people. I have found a great mastermind group, tons of helpful content (for a variety of experience levels), a vibrant, helpful forum full of amazing, helpful people, and 3 terrific role models (and very funny guys) in Corbett, Chase, and Caleb. I am looking forward to being able to make the same kinds of claims as Tom, and I’m sure it will happen, especially with the kind of great advice you find right here on the blog, as well as inside Fizzle.

    If you haven’t joined for $1 yet (for the first month), why not? You can’t lose at that price!

    • Corbett Barr

      Thanks Deborah :) So happy to hear you’re making good progress.

    • Tom Ross

      Three words of advice: Daily progress log. It’s the best way I know to make daily progress towards your goals.

  • Joel Warby

    Really great post Corbett! Even more so because I have benefited first hand from Tom’s design advice, which is invaluable.

    The underlying value I take from Fizzle is that it creates a platform that facilitates the work you are willing to put in, personally Im very new at the whole ‘earn a living online’ thing.

    Fizzle was exactly what I was looking for when I set out to find out more about blogging and building an online business. It can take you from Zero to Hero…

    • Corbett Barr

      Oh cool, glad to hear Tom has helped you out Joel. I really don’t know where he finds all the hours :)

    • Tom Ross

      Thanks for the kind words Joel! Good to see your site making progress already.

      Corbett: A very understanding girlfriend and lots of tea ;).

  • Shabbir

    Congratulations, Corbett! Seeing a post like this just makes your day!

  • Robin

    Love this. Wanna walk down that path! Knowing that a) it was daily and b) that it takes 5 months if you were already where Tom apparently WAS…helps!

    Thank you Corbett.

  • John Corcoran

    It’s great to see Tom’s story highlighted. I’ve been a member of Fizzle since last October or November, and I feel like I could write a post very similar to Tom’s. Fizzle has really helped me to focus on the things that matter, and then to double down on those things that matter. It’s a very supportive and encouraging community.

  • Faith Watson

    Corbett, I imagined you’d feel like a proud papa when Tom’s post and all our responses went up after it. I’m glad you wrote about it so others outside our forum family could be inspired. I joined a few months ago with an entirely different website and business vision. I found my brand new one because of what I’ll call Fizzlevision (can’t help but make up a term, sorry.) I see it’s “the” one because of what you and Tom, have pointed out: I can help more people. That’s not altruistic, it’s just at that special crossroads of fulfilling and effective. Thanks.

  • Kimberly

    Like John said above, I too feel like I could have written a post very similar to Tom’s. There’s just something about Fizzle — there’s the amazing-ness of all that’s inside — much of it stuff you know you need to be doing, you’ve known it for months, maybe even years — yet once you get inside Fizzle you actually begin DOING it. What is that? Whatever it is, it’s magical and wonderful. And Fizzle is hands down the most supportive, engaging and fun forum I’ve ever been involved in; it’s a very powerful community that way. I’ve made more progress since I joined in January than in the previous 18 months combined. I am not making that up, to quote Dave Barry. ; )
    And congrats to Tom for getting some well-deserved glory!

    • Tom Ross

      Thanks Kimberly! And I totally agree with your sentiments about Fizzle.

  • Nick

    Thank you Corbett, Chase and Caleb for creating a space where like-minded people can share ideas and pull each other along. It’s leading directly to dozens of stories like this.

    Congrats Tom, it’s be great sharing ideas and advice on various projects over the past several months. You’ve had bigger impact on the community than you probably know.

  • Julien

    On impact.

    What’s hard, is to find the right peoples. Because you can have a great impact on people with your content, but this peoples will never buy your stuff.

    So, it’s better to have impact, but with the things that sells. ;) Rather than to pleased some people who say what you do is great, but never buy anything…

    It’s really hard to find the right audience. That’s my opinion.

  • Otiti

    Interesting that I’m reading this post right after deciding to review my journals over the last year and see how far I’ve come.

    I know my signature programme, The Live Raw, Fiery, & BOLD Academy, changes lives but it’s really hard to find my ideal clients online. That’s another story, though.

    I did a beta test in June and had 2 paying customers in August, and everyone raved about how my content and questions turned their lives around. One of my students finally went ahead to quit a job that was sucking the joy and health out of her, and others found the courage to speak up for what they really wanted in relationships with their families, partners, and friends.

    I measure how my work matters by how my clients feel after working with me.

    When a woman finds herself bolder, stronger, and more articulate in expressing her wants and needs after 30 days with me, I know I’ve made a tangible difference in her life.

    When a woman speaks her truth and draws clear boundaries that free her to act on her intuition + deepest desires, I feel my work is done.

    When a woman writes me an email telling me that my story inspired her to share her own and find healing/ that way, I know I’ve done something greater than myself.

    Thanks for the solid advice, Corbett. :)

  • John Cameron

    Hi Corbett,

    I really appreciate your 3 Tips for Having More Impact. It’s good to remember what it’s really all about.


  • Azalea Pena

    Thanks for this post really. What a beautiful inspirational post for all bloggers.
    There were days when blogging felt like it has become a routine, just something to be done to get the site by or to simply keep the site updated and increase the email list. But then again, there are days where I feel very empowered and alive to blog. I really like the point of the entire post because honestly, this is something I personally believe in as well. Those days when I feel so happy writing is when I’m truly writing from the heart. It’s usually a piece I know my audience will relate to and a piece that may help change lives. Whilst there are many different personal goals out there, “changing the lives of others and changing yours” isn’t a bad addition at all.

  • Pingback: Celebrate Small — Think Traffic

Up Next:

Vanity vs. Actionable Metrics: Are you tracking the right stats in your business?

You know the rush. A guest post you’ve written goes live on a huge site, you finally launch the product you’ve been working on for months, or an older article of yours gets Gizmodo’d. You watch your traffic spike and you can’t peel yourself away from the analytics for the whole day.

The Sparkline — a blog for independent creatives and entrepreneurs building matterful things.

% Stay inspired, productive + on track—get a weekly email from us. Short n’ meaty, built for speed. Get it Weekly