As we each forge ahead daily, there is a constant nagging question for all of us: do we matter?

Recently, I had the chance to read Relevance by Phil Styrlund, Tom Hayes, and Marian Deegan. Last year, BrandMirror sponsored a TEDx event where I saw Phil speak about Relevance.

The talk was a captivating one, and since then I have stayed in touch with Marian as they have been on this journey to help others matter more.

The book is engaging, just right as far as length, and provides a powerful formula to help us each matter more.

The formula highlights 4 key factors of relevance: authenticity, mastery, empathy, and action.

When we assess our relevance, this simple formula is a way to identify quickly where we might need to double down our efforts or celebrate our progress.

(Authenticity + Mastery^2 + Empathy) * Action = Relevance

1. Authenticity

You know when you go to an event or hear someone speak and it just does not resonate or feel real? We want people to speak from the heart and from experience. People who are able to  be authentic, to share their vulnerability and do so with sincerity capture our attention. “Fakers” are not wanted and they end up being relevant maybe for a brief moment in time, if at all. Individuals and companies that are authentic and live up to their values and promises have true staying power and can matter more to our network, friends, family, and customers.

*Tip: What is your purpose? Your promise of value? Your superpower? Your values? Know these to understand if you are being true to yourself and authentic.

2. Mastery

This factor of relevance plays a huge role in making you matter to your audience. Providing tangible insights, new ways of thinking about old problems (and new ones), that add value and highlight your “mastery” of a topic or industry are critical. Here, one additional recommendation is to not master everything, but pick your niche area and own it. Note that mastery is squared here, so it’s impact is felt even more.

*Tip: Decide your one skill that you have the most odds of mastering and own it.

3. Empathy

This is one of the most challenging parts of being relevant. In today’s world we are so busy running around, we sometimes forget that we only matter if our audience says we matter. The only way to  matter to our audience is to put ourselves in their shoes and understand what they really want and need. Empathy is taking the time to help others, whether they ask or not. We all need help, sometimes at different times. The book goes into amazing frameworks and details on how to think of empathy and be more empathetic.

*Tip: Start with the audience first – what do people want, not want are you trying to sell.

4. Action

Most of us have had math and know that anything times “0” gives you zero. So this piece is really important. Nothing will change if you do not take action. Doing the same thing again with the same results may not be the right answer. Action is really about changing what you are doing so that your relevance changes and is enhanced.

*Tip: Nervous about speaking, so not doing it? Action can be a small step, practice speaking in front of your family, your friends, the mirror. Just take action, get started.

This book is a fantastic read, it provides wonderful stories that act as case studies in an engaging and entertaining way. As a personal brand strategist, this formula is clear, easy to remember, and provides structure so readers can assess their relevance and immediately take an action to improve it.

Be your best self, be relevant,

Jennifer Dalton