Do you volunteer? Do you give to charitable organizations? Are you helping strangers?
Strange questions, I know. But here is something I have learned, and which continued to be reinforced during the time I was travelling our community, meeting people at their doors, in their homes, at their organizations' offices: when we give through food banks, or donate to charities, we're not just helping strangers. We're often helping neighbours. The people who need help from those of us who can give it aren't just "others". They are just as likely to be a neighbour, a friend, a colleague, or a connection. Poverty is everywhere, and when we fight hunger, homelessness, and illiteracy, you may be helping right next door. With that in mind, during this season of giving, please be as generous as possible.
How are you feeling?
It's an interesting question, one I've been asked frequently since this time last month, when I had just lost an election. The answer? Just fine. Satisfied. Relaxed. You see, I believe it is always worth it to try something that seems like a huge challenge, even if it doesn't work out. That's because I subscribe to the Jim Rohn philosophy of, "You win or you learn".
So, I'm still trying to find just the right way to make a big difference in my community. In the meantime, I know that many small differences add up over time, just like compound interest. So while I'm working on the next big thing, I look for a way to do some small thing, every single day. And I'm confident that I learned something that's going to come in handy. I set an example for many people (they've told me so), so how can it not be worth it?
This week I was at a meeting with members of local agencies to discuss how we might build our community's economic engine. We were discussing who we need at the table to make sure both jobs and entrepreneurial ventures can thrive. During this conversation, I was excited to see that one of my community-minded colleagues was realizing that doors are opening up as his network is growing. (Porter Gale even wrote a book about it: Your Network is Your Net Worth.) Later in the week, I had another conversation with colleagues at the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, where I'm a Board Member. Again, the conversation turned to who in our networks could help us grow our various projects. During my recent campaign, I grew my web of community connections exponentially, and doors are opening. Now it's up to me to turn that potential into something. To that end, I have three asks this week:
First, how can I inspire you to stop waiting, and start building the network that leads to your next big thing?
Next, who do you know, who is an expert at creating jobs, who should be part of my community conversation?
What advice have you received, that changed your career trajectory for the better, that I can share with my network?
Looking forward to building together!
Change agent. Recovering political candidate. Committed to building community. Always looking forward.