You are Already Making an Impact. Here’s Why.

Belicia T. Tan
8 min readAug 1, 2020


Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

Most of my life I wondered, when will that day come where I can “finally” make an impact. When will that magical day come where I will change the world. Will that day ever come.

Most mornings I wake up and think, I’m stressed. There’s so much to do and I am stressed about how much there is to do.

Most hours I think, is all that I am stressing about and pushing myself to the brink of, even making the slightest of an impact on this world. Is what I’m doing even making a change or positively impacting others. Or is the nth thing on my list going nowhere.

Most days, it feels like I am truly going nowhere and the work I do has no impact. Truth is, it’s really difficult to see the tangible impact our work has. Even more truthfully, it’s really impossible to see the influence and impact our work has had on the masses of people around us. Even more and more truthfully, we greed for more and are filled with discontentment. Thus, we often times see our minuscule work as un-impactful because we forget to be humbled by the impactful-ness of our miniscule-ness.

But whether you know it or not, here is how you are already making an impact.

1. You are doing something

If you are seeking to do something, seeking to learn, seeking to help, you’re already making an impact. Even if it feels like you don’t know what you’re contributing, you’re still contributing.

At times, it might even feel like EVERYONE is contributing something bigger and better than you. You look to your right and some 15-year old has founded 10 successful startups. You look to your left and your classmate has landed YET another dope internship at a tech giant or bougie bank. But keep in mind, that comparison is all relative. We all envy someone and someone envies us. That was a hard truth I had to swallow.

I often times would think, “why would anyone ever envy my life.” It’s far from perfect. That’s how YOU might see it. But from the outside, that’s not how others see it. They see what you’re doing, and I bet you someone is going “wow Person X is generating such positive impact in what they do. I wish I were them.” The grass is always greener.

So keep in mind, if you ARE doing something, you ARE making an impact. One that is larger than you think. Focus on the quality of your impact rather than the quantity. Sometimes when I post content, I get self-conscious because I see that someone on my feed got 1,000+ likes on their post, while I got 1/100th of that. But then I remember that even if I only got 10 likes, out of those 10, three of those people reached out to me on LinkedIn and told me how much my content had resonated with them and inspired them. That’s 30% of my users that found my content resourceful. Versus someone with 1,000+ likes, eh I don’t think 300 people reached out to them personally on LinkedIn to tell them their content was inspiring.

The quantity of your impact does not always speak to the quality of your impact. But the quality of your impact speaks to the quality of your work. Don’t we all want to make a quality-driven impact anyway?

2. You are not doing something

Now you might be thinking, oh great, I need to find something to do in order to have an impact. Nope, stop right there. You do not.

Even if you are so-called “not doing something,” you are still generating impact. Sometimes taking the time to not have to always be doing something is doing something. Think of it this way.

If your schedule was always packed with meetings, projects, calls etc., but then someone in your personal or professional network is trying to get ahold of 30 minutes of your time to ask for your advice, what are you going to tell them? “Hey I’m quite busy right now, maybe check in 6 months from now?” Uh yah, that person is not going to follow up with you six months later, they’re gonna find someone else to seek advice from.

While it’s okay to be busy and say no to opportunities, it’s also important to be available. And being available quite literally involves doing nothing. That means freeing up your calendar to make time for yourself or allocating slots where you don’t have back-to-back activities. Being available so that people know for sure they have your full attention.

Imagine if you scheduled 5 back-to-back calls, but the second one gets delayed by 5 minutes. That kinda messes you up for the three calls to follow and instead of giving full attention to your mentee/colleague/friend, whomever it is, you’re stressed with watching the clock or quickly answering questions so that you can get to your nth meeting on time. Or you might even have an important deliverable that you thought you’d get around to, but now you’re so backlogged on these calls that you’re stressed about that and working on it WHILE taking calls with people. No one wants 50% of someone’s attention. They want 100% of it just as they are giving 100% of theirs to you.

So if you’re someone who feels like they’ve been doing nothing, I applaud you. Your doing nothing has allowed for you to be available to someone around you. Your availability has made an impact on those who truly needed a companion, mentor, friend to be available for them. Whether they ended up showing their appreciation to you, you still made an impact.

And if you’re someone who feels like their calendar is constantly exploding with events, I encourage you to make your impact in this next season by learning to do nothing.

Be available by doing nothing.

*Disclaimer: I am 100% that person with an exploding calendar, and am still in the process of learning what it means to do nothing”

3. You have passions

I recently wrote a mini post on an online community about having too many passions. Raise your hand if you can relate. *99% of young professionals raise their hand*

The overwhelmingness of loving everything and anything is both a blessing and a curse. It can either bless us by driving us to be excited by many different types of work and it can be a curse by driving us to bounce around from passion to passion, without ever truly immersing ourselves in one.

More recently, I’ve struggled to reconcile with the fact that I cannot make an impact in everything and anything. Although that’d be great, I’m not superwoman and neither are any of us. I believe that each person is designed to pursue a niche passion and that sometimes involves taking the time to narrow down which ones are ones we will truly stick with and be content with and which ones are just honeymoon passions (i.e. passions that are hyper-exciting at first glance, but lose its fire quickly). Understanding which passions are sustainable to your goals comes down to understanding your skillset. While I am passionate for tech and eager to learn coding, I know it’s not something I will continue doing outside of a structured course in my free time. And I know I’m not designed to code because I would literally cry if someone put me in front of a screen for 10 hours straight. I am just not designed for it. But that’s not to say I need to part ways with my tech passion. I can still integrate it into the part of me that’s designed for business strategy. Such as, providing strategy consulting for tech products. Absolutely love it and would do it for free on any given day (hence my Business as Missions pro bono consulting services).

All this to say, if you have passions and feel like you aren’t making an impact with those passions, I’d encourage you to take a step back to pick passions that you know you will feel content sticking with in the long run. Sustainable passions. From there, ask yourself, “If I were to have things ideally, what would I want to accomplish.” I’ve used this question to help many young professionals decipher and synthesize all their passions into their personal mission. Thereafter, give yourself a one-liner vision statement to pursue. And most importantly, stick with it, not because you can’t change your passions, but because it will help with pointing back all your work you’re doing towards that vision statement. By doing so, it will be much easier to grasp the impact you are making with the work you do.

Here’s a quick example. For me, my passions for professional development, young entrepreneurs, early stage ideas, consulting, strategy work, tech, healthcare, mentorship, community-building, vision building, event planning and relational building are combined into my mission statement to 1). Consult Strategically 2). Lead with Vision and 3). Build Communities. I lead my mission with my vision to scale, mentor and empower young entrepreneurs working on impact-driven early-stage ventures at the intersection of tech, healthcare and transformative access.

And don’t worry, if you feel like synthesizing your passions into a mission and vision statement is the most mind-boggling thing ever, trust me, I had 50+ mental breakdowns before I came down to this. And remember, if you have passions, you ARE already making an impact, it’s just a matter of how you can thematically brand all your work to point towards THE impact you strive to make.

4. You are human

You probably read the heading of this last section and was like “say what.”

I have a hard time believing that you would be created and designed to roam the streets of this Earth without first being created with the intention to bring impact to society. How I view it is, if someone was placed on this Earth, but the intention was not for them to bring some sort of impact and value, then why are they even here. Whomever created them would just be wasting time and space on this Earth. And honestly, the fact that this Earth is still rotating on its axis probably speaks to the fact that the creator of all things is not dumb, but wisely intelligent and intentional with the design and purpose they provided you.

If you are reading this, you are here because there is some sort of impact you are destined to make. Often times the word impact throws so many of us for a loop, because at the end of the day, what even is impact. Honestly, none of us really know. For all I know, we define that term over and over again.

Quite honestly, it’s up to you how you want to define that impact for yourself. Don’t let numbers or social media define it for you. If you feel small, don’t equate that to “having no impact.” Small or large don’t describe impact. Only social constructs have associated impact with those words. Define impact for yourself. Associate words you want to associate impact with. Never let someone else define your impact for you.

How will you define your impact?

If you’re interested in receiving professional advice, resume reviews or project mentoring from my pro bono “Business as Missions” services, please feel free to send me a DM on LinkedIn or visit to schedule a coffee chat.

Happy to share more and/or provide you help where I can!



Belicia T. Tan

Product Ops @ Indeed // Founding team // Founder @girlswhoconsult