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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

The Impact Equation


Most people want to make a difference in this world—to have an impact. But what does it mean to have an impact on something or someone? How does one go about making an impact? Why is it so important?

On the occasion of their new book, The Impact Equation (published today by Penguin in Hardcover and Kindle versions), we sat down with New York Times bestselling authors Chris Brogan and Julien Smith to talk with them about making a lasting impact. Given the venue, Brogan thought it’d be apropos to give “minimalist” answers; thus we relegated our questions and answers to four words or less.

Interview with Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Joshua Fields Millburn: So, a new book?

Chris Brogan: Yes, brand new.

Ryan Nicodemus: The Impact Equation.

Julien Smith: Yep.

RN: What’s the book about?

CB: It’s about—

JS: Making a lasting impact.

JFM: Expand on that.

JS: Everyone has ideas, right?

CB: Great ideas, but they—

JS: They can’t communicate them.

CB: Not well, anyway.

RN: They can’t communicate ideas?

CB: People are often misunderstood.

JS: Right. Concepts are complex.

CB: And hard to distill.

JFM: You want people to…?

JS: Be able to filter.

CB: Extract the relevant info—

JS: And communicate it effectively.

RN: How?

CB: By knowing their audience.

JS: And their own message.

CB: By knowing what’s important.

JS: And what’s not important.

JFM: Sounds difficult.

CB: It can be, but—

JS: Doesn’t have to be.

CB: Not if you know—

JS: What to look for.

CB: That’s why—

JS: Why we wrote it.

CB: Would you stop interrupting—

JS: But we have only four words.

CB: That was more than—

JS: I know. But you know me; sometimes I break the rules.

CB: You did it again!

JFM: Who’s this book for?

CB: Anyone interested in communication.

JS: Effective communication.

CB: Exactly. Moving great ideas.

JS: Reaching people with ideas.

RN: OK, so what works?

JS: Extreme clarity. Emotional connection.

CB: High contrast.

JS: Building a great platform.

JFM: And reaching people is…?

CB: Harder than ever, right.

JS: We made mistakes…

CB: So you needn’t to.

JS: Pretty much.

RN: OK. Any last words?

CB: We’re proud of this.

JS: Yup.

CB: We hope—

JS: You pick it up.

Chris Brogan and Julien Smith are the authors of The Impact Equation. They are consultants and speakers who have worked with Fortune 500 companies, including PepsiCo, General Motors, American Express, and Microsoft. They have been involved in online communities and blogging for more than fifteen years. Their first book, Trust Agents, was a New York Times bestseller.