Once upon a time, I was the Executive Director of a small not for profit organization. It wasn’t my first foray into the nonprofit world, but it was my last. Or at least, my most recent.
Prior to the ED position, I’d sat on Boards, volunteered multiple days a week, staged sit-ins, and spent weeks camping out in protest. In high school, I ran charity drives to donate clothes for unhoused folk. In Grade 9, I created a petition to get a teacher fired. Even before that, I was volunteering at the hospital and collecting pop tabs for wheelchairs.
I’m not saying all this to toot my own horn. This was literally the runway to extreme burn out.
Saying no all the time is exhausting.
This is why when I ask you to write your Manifesto, I want to know what you’re FOR. Yes, what needs to change but use your answer to inform the possibilities.
When you know what you’re FOR, you can start imagining solutions outside the system, you can see opportunity, you can think laterally, and you can build outside the constraints of that NO.
Tell me what you are FOR.
Yes, we need to rise up against injustice. Yes, we need to smash the fucking patriarchal system. But more than that, I want to hear what you dream of.
This goes for your marketing as well. It’s important to know what you’re against — especially as it pertains to acts of allyship — but leaning on the negative as your platform base is so much more tiring than telling us about your ideas, your solutions, your innovations.
You’re in this for the long haul. Don’t exhaust yourself. Give your people a chance to say YES with you.
Tell me what you’re FOR so we can build a better world, a better business, a better life, and work together toward it.