If you’re striving to live a life of purpose surrounded by those who, through their support and influence, drive you to live your most authentic existence then this is the episode for you. Learn how to lean into your purpose, mission, and authenticity to connect with more of your dream supporters, volunteers, and fellow do-gooders.
M: All right. Welcome to the Among Lionhearts podcast where we dare to have moxie for what matters. I am Michelle.
J: And I'm Julia and we are your new loudmouth, change-making, do-gooder best friends here to embolden you to take more action, risk, and heart towards creating a more just, equitable, and brave world. Okay so if you want to live a life of purpose surrounded by people who through their support and influence drive you to live your most impactful, authentic existence this is the episode for you. So this is our second episode. We just got done filming our first one yesterday. It is not perfect. We are publishing it anyways.
J: And that's really important to us. It's really important to us. Michelle, why is that important to us?
M: It is important to us because we are showing up. We are showing up for ourselves. We are, one of our foundational messages is that you know done is better than perfect and perfection is not of this world and we don't want people to stop themselves from reaching for their goals. Because they're waiting for the perfect moment or they're waiting for the perfect lighting or they're waiting for the perfect thing to talk about. So yeah we want to jump right in and our theme for the first few podcasts is going to be all about purpose. You know, finding your purpose and finding a community that supports you and your purpose and other ways that you can really propel your goals forward. So...
J: I feel like we're taking our audience along with us on this journey. We created this podcast because we want to connect more with our community and we want to connect more with people who share our same values. It is the center of our marketing business is people connecting with people and connecting with people who are more focused on doing good and showing up and making an impact than being perfect, you know? That was really important to us. This podcast is an extension of that. So yeah we want to share some of the things that like we're learning as we're going about throwing away perfection. That is, I think Michelle, like you put it I think you put it perfection... you said this to me just like last week. Like perfection and all these other things, they are myths, they don't actually exist. They're like this thing we tell ourselves is going to protect us and it's going to be a shield for us but they're not. It's fake perfection...
M: It's that an impossible goal. You're just you're chasing this thing and you're chasing it to feel safe. Right? It's an illusion of safety.
J: An illusion. That's the word, yeah perfection is an illusion. Why are we doing that to ourselves? Is that making things better? Is perfection leading anything to better? I think there's a quote... I'm gonna have to... sometimes I just think of quotes like right in the middle and, you know, I don't know anybody's names. I can't remember anybody's name, so I'm like, there's this person that said this once but like perfection never leads to anything that life is made of.
M: Yeah. I think being able to distance yourself from that concept of perfection really helps you trust your own humanity. And whenever we're able to connect with our own humanity we're able to allow other people around us to connect with theirs. You know? Nobody wants to be expected to be perfect. So it's really important to not treat yourself like perfection is expected.
J: My husband and I, we were like looking over the podcast last night. It's our very first one and we've been joking throughout today about this. Go back and watch it. It's a really cool episode. It's a mess but we've got some really good content in there. You can really get to know Michelle and I, but there's this one part where I say this thing where I meant to say all these books that I've read on this subject people say this one thing. I'm like and I said in the podcast all these books that I've written. So just to clarify, to take a moment to clarify. I've never written a book okay.
M: Not yet.
J: Yeah, no, not yet. I have never written a book but I accidentally said that I wrote a book when I meant I read a book. I have read a book.
M: And I think the great thing about that moment was you know as the audience, our brains are constantly kind of trying to keep up, trying to follow along, especially if it's something that we're interested in. So I watched that moment too and I remember seeing that and going, oh I bet she is gonna beat herself up about that. It's funny because as an audience member, as somebody who's watching it, like you don't skip a beat. You listen to the context of what was being said and you immediately forgive the speaker and you go, she just meant the books that she's read and everybody moves forward. I think trusting that the audience will have the grace to do that for you really helps you be able to roll through mistakes because you're gonna make them. Everybody's gonna make mistakes when they're trying something big and what we're doing is really big.
J: Yes and we are publishing that episode so you guys will...
J: We are publishing that episode we are not re-recording it. We're just gonna hold space here to be imperfect people and say things the wrong way. Come with us, you know, you're gonna feel better about who you are because we're gonna be making messes. Right here on this podcast and you're gonna get to see all of it.
J: So how does attracting your community serve you? Why is this worth your time? Why should you guys spend time trying to attract this community? How does it work? How does it serve you? So...
M: Yeah, I mean I think that's really what we're trying to do here. We talk a lot about imperfection in humanity because we want like-minded people to come along on this journey with us. You know, I was telling somebody yesterday that we recorded this episode and it wasn't perfect and my setting wasn't perfect my lighting wasn't perfect. She said, you know,
a coach once told me that you cannot say the wrong thing to the right people, and you can't say the right thing to the wrong people. So really what is important about being selective about your community and growing a community that supports you. Is filtering out all those people that you can't say the right thing to anyway, and it might not even be that you can't say the right thing to them ever, it just might not be the right time for them to hear the things that you're sharing. So you know we specialize in helping non-profits with their message and building their communities on social media. And we really encourage people to make sure that they're attracting the right community. Building that community builds you a whole fan base. People who can't stop talking about you. The people who really are there for the journey, really are there at the same point with you, who resonate with your message with resonate with the mission that you're you're going after. Those are the people who are gonna go out and talk about you at dinner parties. They're the people who are gonna show up and volunteer. Maybe they don't have the $20 to donate this week but that doesn't mean that they can't show up and help man a station at an event or help you in some other way if you have volunteer opportunities out there. So it's really important to build this community and make sure that you're intentional about having the right people in it.
J: Be picky. You want to be picky and that's why I like living into that like purpose and your values and really honing down on it. And filtering everything through it is just going to propel you. And that's exactly what it's going to do with your community. When you can narrow down your values you are going to find the kind of people in your life that bring out the best in you because they value your values or they have values that amplify your values. Right? So we want to do that. How do you define your community and audience? We actually have some simple ways to do that and we actually do that in branding a lot. We do that in business, when you're setting up your business and you have to define your audience so you know how to to write to them, you know how to make your marketing material appeal to them. It's really important to narrow down your community/audience. We call it a target audience in marketing but in life, it can be applied across the board so can be applied to your personal life. So yeah, you need to identify your target audience or your target community, or your target friends. The kind of people that you want to surround yourself with because they're going to get you to where you're going. Where you're going, okay. So those questions are like you think about things like... think of your two values. Picture them in your head. Okay, hopefully you've done the homework and you've gone back and you've listened to the first podcast and you've identified your two values. So think about that. Now ask yourself what age range is this person that would invoke these values or also have these values that what I'm looking for. What, maybe gender is a factor in there. These values that you're wanting to have in your life. Maybe area, maybe area, maybe location. Also a really important question to ask yourself is like what activities does this person really like to do? Someone with these values what kind of activities with someone like this, so for like an example let's see like Michelle's value is courage, one of her values is courage, so what is someone, what kind of activity would someone who really valued courage do? I was kind of joking with Michelle earlier on like roller derby. Like I feel like Michelle's community is in a roller derby gym somewhere like elbowing someone for some reason. That's, you know, I feel like that's her inner value person, or this person is hiking, this person is hiking. Someone who has... like really values courage where are they showing up at? Another question to be asking yourself to really narrow down that audience is what kind of social media platforms would this person hang out on? Because every social media platform has a different audience. They're built for a specific person. They're built for a specific kind of community. So be looking into that. Maybe some examples are like Twitter, would be Twitter the kind of community on Twitter they're going to be looking for like mass communication, they're going to be a middle-range person who is not really looking for individual connection. They just want to follow the bigger brands and the bigger celebrities and stuff. So maybe...
M: Bigger movements?
J: Yeah there you go, like movements and stuff so they're going to be looking for there so they're not going to be looking for like a closer connection. Other, you know, TikTok we've got millennials versus teenagers like it's almost equal on there. But the kind of people who want raw stuff they really really want to connect with you. You're going to find those people on TikTok. On Facebook, Facebook you're going to find an older generation on Facebook but Facebook groups. Be looking in Facebook groups. That was kind of another question to be asking yourself. What kind of groups would this person with these values be hanging out on, and start looking for those groups because those that's where your community is. And then yeah, so those are your main questions. Get that narrowed down and kind of build that little persona of who you think that person is.
M: And I really want to emphasize here with this part too. Going back to what we talked about you know, not chasing perfection. It really is about if you're just starting out in your organization or if you're just starting out trying to determine your target market. It was super intimidating for me to approach that process. I was really afraid of getting it wrong. I was really afraid of talking to the wrong people. Really, getting it wrong is one step toward getting it right. So you know take the time to think about these things and don't be afraid to be wrong because you can, there are ways that you will find out if you are wrong. Right? If you are in and your posting things in a Facebook group that you think is going to be useful. That these people are going to really connect with and you just find out that you don't get a lot of connection. That's okay, There are other Facebook groups to try. There's time to kind of change it. So yeah...
J: I like that.
M: Don't seek perfection in this.
J: Yeah, like make room to mess up as you are learning to lean into your value. Plan for that. Make that a part of your journey. You already expect you're gonna mess up and you're gonna, you know, trip up on some of the things that you say. Be open and in a place of learning and absorbing. I just really identify with sunflowers so as soon as I said that I like saw a bunch of sunflowers in my head. I'm like be a sunflower but I don't think that would resonate with everybody else. Okay so when you define your target audience, you define your target community, you establish like, you really have a good understanding of the kind of people that you need to surround yourself with to really help you lean into your values so that you can start making a massive impact in your life towards what you want. Then what do you do? Now what? What do you do? What do you do Michelle?
M: It's all about attracting the kind of community and the kind of audience. Right? So we've defined who they are. We know it's important to have one. So now, yeah, now...
J: What do we do with that information?
M: Once you have done that part of the journey it's time to, it's time to get out there. It's time to start showing up. It's time to be in those groups and start trying to be active. And it's time to pay attention. Right? It's, we've left that space for our assumptions about who these people are to be incorrect. So you can't just, you can't just be in the group and kind of lurk there and hope that you got it right. If you start interacting with those people you're gonna find out really quickly whether you guys are on the same page, whether these are the people who hold the same values, whether these are the kind of people who are going to want to support your mission you know? And that can be true if you're an eagle scout working on a community project. That can be true if you are in a leadership position in a non-profit that's been established for 20 years. You show up and start trying to connect with people just authentically. Social media is about social. It's about, it's not about pushing an agenda. It's about really trying to connect with people so trying to have relationships. Try and see what they're talking about. Can you relate to something that they're talking about? Odds are yes, you can relate to something and then you can chime in, and once you've made that step maybe you'll make a post. It's all about really testing, testing that, that hypothesis that you have that these are your people.
J: I love that. Yeah, we often forget that the next step to like so we've got all of these values we figure out who we want to be and then we're like hey now we need to, really need to like get these people in our lives and we really like need to be a magnet for them. But I actually don't believe in being a magnet. You can't just go into a space whether virtually or physically and stand there and people are just going to be like, oooohhh, like...
M: What's this new shiny object?
J: But we—it's funny when we say it out loud like that but so many of us, especially me this was something I had to work on, was participating. Participating in growing my own community. Participating showing up to those activities. You know, and as an introvert it's hard. Like, you would just rather just people intuitively know that you're cool and they should want to be drawn to you. That's a preference, but no. Like you have to go, you have to talk to people, you have to sign up for the classes, the kind of classes that your community is showing up to. Sign up for the virtual workshops your community is signing up to and participating in and participate. You know? Participate in a way to support though. That's really really important. So many of the times we're not going into space to build our community for them to be our come our biggest fans. No that's not going to work that way. That only works for like Beyonce probably but she's had to put a lot of work into it too but like we have to go and we have to participate in a way that supports our community. That's how you draw people to you. Yeah and that looks different, that means like if your people are hiking, you know, and uh you're perfectly able to hike and your value is courage and you've got some sort of non-profit or cause and people are hiking like consider hiking. Like, consider the roller derby. Consider the thing, because that's where your people are and you've got to participate. You've got to show up. You got to connect with people and you got to support them, Yeah so I love that. Show up and participate. And then the next part of that is authenticity. I feel like this is gonna be our like, I think we're gonna wear this word out...
J: And I'm excited for it. So many people just need to hear it. Especially, like you and I, that's something that we've been really working on, is trying to live more authentically. So Michelle like, why? Tell us about authenticity and community.
M: Yeah, so I actually think that authenticity kind of helps soften the blow of showing up. I think we're kind of preparing people to show up and be ready to get outside of your comfort zone but the authenticity part of it really, really helps you retain some of your comfort zone when you're trying to connect with people. You know this is true of networking. This is true of meeting your new co-workers. This is true of making friends or moving to a new place. You don't want to tie yourself into a pretzel being the person that you're not to please some people. You'll... we, believe me, we have tried and tested this hypothesis. It does not work. You need to be yourself and you're not gonna be right for everybody and that's okay. I think so often on an interpersonal level we are trying to, trying to please somebody. Where we find somebody, we're really impressed with them. We're like man this is my person this is my, these are the people I'm trying to be with and then you just you really don't fit in. And instead of taking that, taking that sign as maybe I made a miscalculation. Maybe these aren't the kind of people that I really want to be sharing my time and my mission with, you know? If you're spending too much time justifying your interest in something, if you're spending too much time justifying the things that you want to pursue this is probably not the right audience. And it's really about having the quiet spaces in your time between meeting with people and going, you know, am I feeling like I'm being myself? Because you can pretend to be somebody else and you will absolutely make that pretend person successful, but that won't bring you long-term happiness. It won't support your purpose and your values because you've now put on a mask and pretended to be somebody so that this person would like you and then you're gonna find that they're, that person's preferences and that person's expectations are going to really rule how you can pursue your purpose. And that can happen on an interpersonal level but it can we can actually bring it up and we can see it on a large scale level. If you are interacting with the wrong community as a non-profit what you're going to start to feel is you're going to kind of feel yourself being stretched. You're going to feel yourself kind of trying to show up for people who maybe are going to fund your program and those people expecting you to be somebody other than, you know, the person who is pursuing whatever philanthropic kind of thing that you're trying to do. Right? If you are trying to help children in India and this other person over here is not in that for helping the children but is more in that for pumping their resume so that they, you know, can achieve things in their own life. You're gonna find out that you're in the middle of that. You know? So it's gonna, that's where we want you to get out of your comfort zone. Where we want you to get out of your comfort zone is breaking off those relationships. And say, and being brave, being willing to say... this we're... I'm not for everybody. I'm not for everybody. I want, I want people to sign on to my mission and my vision and what I'm trying to achieve because they think it's awesome. Because they really believe in what we're trying to do. I don't want anybody here who's just here to kind of take up space and add a line to their resume. You wouldn't want somebody working for you who was doing that. Who is really not dedicated to the things that you pursue every day in a workplace but who are just there to get this like line item on their resume so that they can move on to the things that are important to them. That's not fair to that person. It's not fair to you and so be authentic. Don't be afraid to use that as a sickle to kind of cut through the... all the people who are out there to follow you.
J: I just have to like point out that like being authentic does not be does not mean, being cruel, or rude, or unkind. That is not authenticity. That is absolutely not authenticity. It's showing up as, in a way, it's showing up at like 60%. I guess it’s what I say like not being full capacity. It's showing up willing to be messy and willing to not know it all and to be open to being present in that room and contributing how you can contribute. Sometimes you're wrong and your authentic self showing up being willing to be the wrong person in the room, that's authenticity, right? It's making this podcast and going where it is going to be bumpy and we're going to show up messy and we're not going to say the right things. We're doing it anyway. I just like to say that like not... you do not like everyone. Okay? I don't like everyone. You do not like everyone. Why is everyone supposed to like you? Huh?
J: What? No. We can be kind, but we can also, it's okay to make people uncomfortable. We have to stop making people so comfortable all the time and contorting ourselves to make other people comfortable. We have to do that public service. You know? We have to do that to our humanity so we can all start getting used to authentic people who make us a little uncomfortable. Not rude, just uncomfortable. I'm different. That's okay and yeah we've got to start spreading it. We gotta get comfortable with getting uncomfortable. I love how that, Michelle was talking about like being brave. How important that is too. How do you, how do you say it? Emulate being brave. Make it a part of you. Internalize being brave. Michelle, Michelle's got that in the bag. Like this girl, she like lives the courage. You know? But I know that that's not always easy for you. I know that that's...
M: No it's not, no.
J: Doesn't mean it's easy, because it's a value doesn't mean it's easy.
M: It's not easy. It is, you know it's important and I'm biased because it is my it is one of my core values but...
J: I like how you said that it's not easy but it's important.
M: It's very important. And you know some of the research that we did while we were building our website you brought up some statistics and some things about brands that are going to be, you know, brave and getting loud about what matters. People want to connect with purpose. One of the things that you found out there was that 67% of people buy from our brand for the first time based on its brave positioning on an important issue. Right, It... and brave doesn't have to be big, you know? Brave is just being willing to say like, I think this thing is important and know that everybody in the room's not going to agree with you. There might be people who are like listening to this and going what are you doing, you're driving people, they're gonna not conform, and this is messy. Well, it is messy. But we don't all want to be perfect duplicates of each other. We all want to be individuals. We all want to be seen as important and you can't do that if you're too busy trying to conform yourself and be the same as everybody and meet everyone's expectations. You've got to decide, you've got to put a priority together on who gets a say in your individuality? Who gets a say in what you should be striving for? Let me tell you what, the top of that list should be you. Because you're the one making the decisions, you're the one choosing the other people to tell you how to do it. So once you, once you're able to get to a place where you can live inside that, create space for you to have an opinion, other people will look at you and they will tell you you're brave. This happens to me and I'm like that that doesn't feel brave that just feels like me. And yeah I think it's, I think it really is about picking who you don't want to be followed by as much as you pick who you do want to be followed by. Because if you if you're trying to make yourself okay for the people who are going to be kind of big and aggressive in your groups you know there are people who you're authentically connecting with those are the people you really connect with who are going to get pushed out by bigger personalities because you're afraid of making somebody uncomfortable.
J: Michelle let me ask you. What's one way, or it doesn't have to be one but at least one, what's one way that you've shown up and done something small and brave? That you could give an example of.
J: I'm trying to think of like ways that we can show up in these brave ways and I think we talked about like a couple here. Like posting on that Facebook group that you're following. That can be so brave. For some of us, that's really really difficult to share that opinion or posting something on our actual feed. Another thing that I think would be really scary for me would be to start like a fundraiser. That's really scary to me like, who am I, who am I to make a fundraiser? Who's gonna donate to something I believe in? I'm just this small one person and how brave that that takes to believe in yourself and put yourself out there and ask people you know to start donating to a cause you care about. Or just talking about a cause, talking about a cause that you care about. When you hear, when you hear people talking ignorantly or they feel completely different about a subject than you do. Instead of being quiet, I'm speaking up and speaking up with love and understanding. Being willing to be wrong. That's, oh my gosh, I shake when I do that. Right? I think...
M: Making, making space for your idea in the conversation right? I think that it's, it has to be the right situation, you know? It's, it's not like we're gonna run out and and and inject ourselves in every place. But you know a lot of times I see people on my Facebook feed and they're all talking about one topic and like there's a point that I see so clearly that they're missing. It's not even that you know my opinion's right and theirs is wrong. It's just that there's this little concrete part that they, I'm not sure they're getting the way that they're talking. And if these are people I care about then I'm gonna probably speak up and say something and just be like well what about this? Sometimes it's just about asking questions and it's like listen I'm not trying to say you're wrong but I do want to introduce this question and I do want... if you really are confused about the other side of the argument. If you really are not sure about why I have some of those answers and I'd be happy to share them with you. And you know lots of the times they... they're not... it's they don't want to be challenged and that's not why they show up to that place. So just offering that you have this little piece of thing that they might not understand, depending on who's there some people might take you up on it. Then there are times when I have people kind of come at me aggressively and there's a point where I'm like, oh why am I even talking to this person? I'm not going to change their mind and if it's in a public forum like on social media it might be not about the person you're having a conversation with but about the people who are going to read that conversation. It also can just be about exploring your own position on it.
J: Yeah you get to define that right like you get to define that and it's something I've kind of been trying to implement lately. It is a super hard concept for me is, sometimes living in that brave authenticity and that value that I have means walking away.
J: It's so hard. Letting... and we were just talking about this the other day, walking away and letting other people have their own journey. Like they're not where you're at and to choose your values like freedom, freedom for me. If I can tell that this is a conversation that is going to bring me a lot like bring me to a place that is not going to move me to where my values are... like an option is don't do it, don't engage. I have, I have to check that for myself. Is this something I'm willing to... is this important enough that I'm willing to show up for this. Because we talked about it yesterday. You cannot care about everything. You need to stop caring about everything. It is not good for you. It is not healthy for you and it's not always going to serve you and get you to where you're going. I mean it sounds cruel but we have to cut it down. There's too many things to care about. Are we, because of social media, because of our access to so much information... I don't think human beings have ever had so many choices. We have choice overload. We have cause overload. We have cut right and man is inherently good. We want to do good things. We want to make an impact and we could... I've had this before where I was serving and working on a charity campaign and going home at the end of the day and hearing about another charity campaign where people need help and I just feel so terrible. I was like why am I not helping this charity too? I was like because you're... you can't help all the charities. You cannot participate in all the fundraisers. You know? You can't do all the service projects. you can't. You just...
M: And I think a really important dimension to kind of add to...
J: Oh no I froze.
M: ...those conversations with yourself... Are you still freezing?
How are you doing? ...I think a really important thing to add to the dimension of those conversations with yourself, right, when you're you're kind of conflicted because you're like I really want to help out with this thing but I really want to help out with this thing, take a minute and consider that other dimension of time. Right? Like what's most important to me that I take part in right now and take it, take an inventory. What's going on in my life right now? You know? Do I have enough pouring into my own cup to be able to pour out into other cups? I mean listen, if we are building the right audience this audience is full of people who believe in the greater good believe in really helping people believe in helping people here, helping people globally they really just want their do-gooders, they want to make everything a better place and one of the conflicts that we run into is, you know, what... I can't do everything. And taking care of yourself is going to allow you to take, you know, help somebody else out a week down the road, a month down the road, a year down the road. So never... try not to forget that dimension of time in those, in those times, in the decisions. When I talk about, you know, not engaging with energies that are leading you away from your values I mean that is something that takes out of your cup. Even if that's not willingly. Right? Any time you spend engaging with somebody and you're not able to focus on... I'm here to either learn or I'm here to have a conversation for the person who can't speak up for themselves or is afraid to speak up for themselves. Then you need to consider, you know, is this conversation taking out of my cup? Am I giving energy to something that I need, I need to conserve, I need to reserve that energy for these other things that are really important to me. And I think our lives get hectic, our lives get crazy, and sometimes we're not intentionally making those decisions in the moments that they happen we're just, like, caught up in the momentum of the world around us. And uh and it's helpful to be able to start focusing on some of these other things we've talked about earlier. Being authentic and being brave...
J: Yeah I love that. Yeah.
M: Not compromising for a big donor, you know? Are you gonna get... can you go out and get a dollar from a thousand followers is that gonna be harder than getting a thousand dollars from one person who's then going to make you do a bunch of things and make you feel like you owe them? You know, taking into consideration the energy transaction of the whole relationship with that person. Because if you have a thousand people who are happy to give you a dollar and don't even feel like you owe them anything for it. They're just, they're just happy to like throw that in the pot and see you move forward. That could be a lot less taxing over the course of a whole relationship than one person who wants to just give you everything but then wants to kind of control your choices in how you're going to pursue your purpose and your mission.
J: I love, I really really love that. Keep on course. Don't let other people take away from the course of your value, like your mission is and just because you feel like you're beholden to them or that you need them. You never need them as much as you think that you're going to. It's that illusion again coming back you know...
M: And we are so aware, in the nonprofit community, of how precious resources are. But we don't necessarily give enough weight to the space that we're leaving open for that person. Being a resource right? We're making space for that person and we're going against our own values. I've been in, I've been in non-profits. I've done volunteer work for non-profits as a photographer. I've heard those hard seasoned veterans just be like, these are just the things that you have to do to get your stuff funded, and as a doe-eyed, rosy rose-colored glasses young person entering the nonprofit that grizzled message can be a little bit harsh. Even now I'm a little bit older and I'm a little bit more mature and I'm like, you know it is a choice to decide that it is okay to reserve that space, which is a resource, for a person who doesn't align with where you're going. If you don't treat that space that you're leaving open for them as a resource then you're not, you're not giving yourself the opportunity to fill that space with one person who does align with your values or find people who align with your values who can you know add up to the same thing that one person did and make it a lot easier on you in the long term energy cost of that relationship.
J: I like that, the idea of like define your the no, define where that no boundary is. And also like, I don't know, I'm kind of playing with this idea like, not compromising on those two main values. There's so many other things we can compromise and bend on and we should be fluid with, you know? But there's some things it's hard no. Figure out what that hard no is early and stick to that so you can stay on that path where you're trying to get where you're going. Because if you are, if you are bending yourself for someone who can really take your cause, like, to the next level but you're having to stray clear away from the values and the mission that you first set up, that is not worth it. It really isn't.
M: Yeah we're not supposed to be satisfaction concierges for donors. That's really not what our job is. Our job is to pursue the mission that we set out to pursue or figure out it's not right for us. But our job is not to be a satisfaction concierge for a donor.
J: Nice. So Michelle, are there things that like you do that like... I'm wondering how... I really love the values that we're trying to lean into and I'm wondering like, how do we remind ourselves? Like what are some good tips to reminding ourselves what those values are because I think it needs to be something that's planned. Like planned into anything that we do. Some sort of check. I don't know. Like what could...
M: Absolutely, yeah there are a few different things right? And depending on what your endeavor is what you're, what you're pursuing. If you are an organization, you're a non-profit you have a business plan. You have those documents that you write up in the beginning as the vision of your business that are a living, breathing, evolving representation of those values and you can return to that as often as you feel like you need to. But definitely absolutely do it at least four times a year. Go back look at your mission. Check yourself and go, am I on the right path? Am I still pursuing this? If you go back and you're like, I'm not really sure. Your mission could be not clear enough. Right? Your mission could need some time... some clarity. Your mission could need to be tied to time and or you could have a substatement in there of what you're going to do over the next year or what you're going to accomplish over the next five years and that's the goal that drives every, all the activity. That's... are we moving toward that? If we're not, if we're not doing something that is actively moving toward us, us toward that then maybe we need to re-prioritize and make sure that activity is not getting 70 percent of our efforts. And if you are not in an organization or if you're just starting out and you haven't done your business plan, if you want to be an organization and you're just not sure how to start... Start by writing one. Because even if you don't even see yourself getting into this or starting some sort of cause for another five years or a decade write it down because we know that writing down your goals and creating more clarity, making them more concrete really will help you move toward those things. And if it's a personal goal, you know, write it down. Write it down. If you write it down and you're like me and you've got 15 notebooks sitting here with random notes and none of them are set aside for like one purpose or another... Julia and I laughed about that the other day because we both have the collection of notebooks at our desk then it doesn't matter. It really matters for you that you took the time to write it down. And that if you have that moment that you're feeling separated from what you're really pursuing that you can reach over and dig it out. But it's really good to put on a sticky note and stick it on your, you know, computer screen so you can stare at it every day. You know, if you're the type who likes to meditate then it's good to take some of that meditation and dedicate it toward visualizing success, visualizing, you know, visualizing having that vacation with your family. Visualizing making that extra family time that has you know. Making that separation from work. Especially in the days of the pandemic where we all work at home and the lines aren't as clear as when we used to commute to work. You know? Making that work free time during the week. Okay maybe you made an hour happen this week but you really really want to get to that time where you have a full day week that you're separating out for your family, or for yourself, or for your pet, or you know whoever you're setting that aside for. But take some time if you meditate to visualize that. If you don't meditate get up in the morning and go... what it, what will this look like? What will I look like when I achieve this goal? Once you start putting that kind of thought into it and not spending so much time being apprehensive about whether it's right to have that goal or whether you're capable of having that goal but you're really just participating in getting to that goal whether it's just in your thoughts or writing it down in a notebook. That's still a step past questioning yourself so... those are some ways.
J: I like that, also you can make it pretty. Put it...
M: Yes, yes the artist is going to tell you you can make it pretty.
J: Make some word art with it, put it in a picture frame. Make it pretty or make it your desktop. Something else I kind of do is I'll make a reminder for myself. I'll send myself a reminder that will say like a goal that I'm trying to keep at the top of my mind. You know? So that those will come through. I also like thinking like... this sounds like a lot. Like cutting stuff down. Being fierce with narrowing things down to really small and like really sticking to that value. I can see how that might make some people feel really anxious and really overwhelmed. It's really narrowing things and for someone like me who freedom is one of my values you know... The mindset here, the mindset here is that narrowing this stuff down and being this...
J: Yes. Selective. Creates freedom right?
M: Constraint in the right place will create freedom in other places. Yeah. I think that's a really important idea. You can't just have freedom all the time and expect to be able to reach your goals. If you can't reach your goals what kind of freedom is that? If you are not deciding what your purpose is and not deciding to, you know, prioritize things in your life then what? You're just floating through the events that happened to you. Most people I know don't want to live like that. So if achieving things is your, is your jam like ours is then you know, constraint in the right place, being selective about the people you choose to support you in those things is going to buy you the freedom to be able to realize it. And that'll feel really good.
J: So like it just takes a little extra time right now to narrow those down. Put it in place. Make it a part of your mission statement. Make it at the top of your project list when you're making your project and your goals or any other thing in your life. Spend some time doing it now so it saves you so much time later and Michelle and I, I'm sorry. Excuse me. Michelle and I took some time to like you know like... I like to go super fast on stuff. I like to skip steps. I just want to do the fun stuff. But like she was really good at like bringing that back. Hey, we've got to define this. We've got to define our business and our values. Honestly what's really cool is kind of seeing the, seeing that process from, you know, months ago. Where we took all that time to carve that out and sometimes it was grueling. Sometimes I was like, why is it so hard? I don't want to be doing this. Like this is taking so much time, but I'm seeing it now. I'm seeing so many blessings. I'm seeing so many blessings from taking the time to do that now. And I don't have to take time now when I'm starting to talk to people about our business or what we do or what our values are... I don't have to take time to be like, oh, and try to remember what it is or try to define what it is. I know what it is because we carved it. Like we carved it in and out but we know what it is. So I don't... and that frees me up to be present for what we need to be working on now. For this podcast. We know what our values are when we're talking about this podcast. We know the direction that we want for this podcast and the values we want to shine in that because we took the time to carve it out. So we're not having to guess that here. We're not having, we're not having to take time when we're planning our episodes to even define what our value is. You know, and we're able to focus on that. It's bleeding into so many things and it's creating freedom in ways that I've never, I've never even expected. So yeah, definite advocate for finding those values, taking the time to like really defining it. So we're ending. We're getting close to ending our second...
M: Second podcast...
J: Second podcast. Yes. So we've got some takeaways to kind of bring back like what we're really trying to communicate here. So Michelle, like, why don't you go ahead with that. What are the takeaways from this episode?
M: This episode we really wanted to be able to communicate to you, you know, that building a community surrounds you with people who will nurture and support you in your purpose, your pursuits. Taking the time to consider who these individuals are, what they're like will allow you to find them. Even if you make a mistake. Even if you're wrong you're gonna find the wrong people and figure out that they're wrong really quickly. And then, you know, lastly, just building that selective community is really about you know attracting the kind of community and audience that are going to help support us and our purpose is really about being selective and showing up to test whether your hypothesis about who these people are is right. But being authentic. Being who you are. Being brave enough to make those cuts um... I have a thing that I say sometimes where I remind myself that we're not for everyone. We're not, and that's a good thing. It's a good thing because the people we are gonna work with they're gonna be really excited about the things that we do for and the people that we're not meant to work with we're never going to make them happy and I would really hate to waste any of the time I could be spending with the people we are here for on somebody that, you know, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna satisfy them. That I'm not what they're looking for and I have as much goodwill for them that they can find the person that they need to work, with the person who says it in the right way that it resonates with them. So yeah, just remember that being selective in your community and who's involved in your community, that allows you to save space for the people who are right for you.
J: Yeah I love that. you're not everyone's cup of tea. You were never meant to be everybody's cup of tea. You're not built that way. We cannot run this world?
M: Who would want butterscotch as every meal, right? Butterscotch coffee, butterscotch pan... wait I'm getting hungry. No, but butterscotch dinner salad, yuck!
J: I love that so much. Be weird, okay.
M: Yeah, be brave.
J: Sum it all up, be weird and use it to make impact. You know? Use your weirdness and your uniqueness ...make people uncomfy. So thank you.
M: They'll love you for it.
J: They'll love you for it. Your weirdos will be attracted to it. And thank you for joining us for our second podcast episode. We're so glad that you're here. We are going to be trying to feature, starting next month, we're gonna be featuring a non-profit or a charity or a do-gooder or cool cause, and we're gonna be featuring that person all month long and we're even gonna interview them, possibly, if they will come on to our podcast. So if you have a really cool cause, we want to hear about it. So put it in the show note and, not show notes are for us. I gotta get used to...
M: Put it in the comments.
J: Comments. Yes, put it in the comments. Tell us about your cause or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We want to hear from you guys. We want to hear what you want us to talk about, what makes... what makes you passionate, what causes you're interested in, or if you don't have a cause comment on a cause that you love. We're looking for people to feature. Maybe it's not, maybe it's not your non-profit but you know one that's really cool. We want to hear about it so we can feature them. And one last thing, we give you a little nugget. I like to end these podcasts with an affirmation. So this week's affirmation for you is, I respect my authentic self and release the need to prove my worth to anyone else. You're the only one that matters and can define what your value is and who you're supposed to be. And ways, we touched on this last time, to implement this is to use it in your meditation, say it, or say it in front of a mirror so you're saying it to yourself. It helps you retain it and remember it. Hide it on a post-it note all around your house so it surprises you and if it's an affirmation that you're really wanting to learn and you want to keep it for a couple weeks another great tip—another great ADHD tip—is move your post-its around so they keep surprising you. All right. It's time to sign off now remember every small act of courage no matter how small is actually not small at all. A little Dr. Seuss rhyming her. You, my dear, are standing among the lionhearts.
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