If you feel a deep calling to make the world a better place—as so many of us working in philanthropy and social enterprises do—chances are you are very strong. Mentally and emotionally, you already know that you can carry a lot of weight because you do it every day.
But here’s the thing—as you go through life with that compelling calling, you tend to take on more weight and more burdens and you carry them around until you’re completely exhausted. And then you look around and wonder why your tremendous effort is not creating the impact you want to see. And that’s when you start hatching your secret escapist fantasy to go live on a goat farm, or turn your art into a full time gig—or whatever you imagine will finally give you a sense of peace and wholeness on a daily basis.
This was my story for the first 20 years of my career.
Over the last four years I’ve turned that story around through my own journey of personal growth and development. But for years and years before that I was going through life with a constant low-level sense of anxiety and lack of satisfaction. To the people around me, I looked like I was doing just fine, but I knew I wasn’t in full alignment with my best self and my biggest vision for answering that calling to make a positive difference in the world. It was kind of a vague feeling, and I was really good at hiding from it. It was easy to just keep on keeping on, telling myself I was pursuing that big vision for a better world, but all the while not making anything like the progress I wanted.
As I have begun to provide individual and group coaching to funders and social entrepreneurs over the last several years, I have seen and heard that story echoed again and again.
One of the most powerful ways to have more impact in your work as a change agent is to bring more of your full, joyful self to the table. Learning how to do that is a journey, but it doesn’t have to be a long, hard or lonely path.
Inspired by this vision, a little over a year ago, some of the funders that I coach personally sponsored us to create an accelerator program for a cohort of 16 amazing social entrepreneurs. It’s called the Joyful Impact Accelerator, and participants work with me and each other over the course of a year on a customized learning journey to find the next level of impact—and joy—in their work.
Some of this work they do through one-on-one coaching, some they do as part of a mastermind group with each other, and some they do on their own, working through a set of conceptual frameworks and practical tools.
As part of that program we’ve created a lot of content across four key areas that you need to focus on in order to make change with impact and with joy: getting visionary, getting real, getting together and getting better.
And we’ve seen that content spark powerful transformation in our cohort members, so we have decided to launch a website that will make that content freely available to anyone who wants it.
The website, www.joyfulimpact.co, is intended to share all that I’ve learned from my personal journey, from coaching our clients, and from running an accelerator for social entrepreneurs about how change agents can amplify their impact on the issues that matter most to them by finding deep joy and fulfillment in their work.
The site is launching on Oct. 28 and already has some foundational content. Each week, we will update the blog and add the videos and worksheets associated with each blog post to the content library. To access the content library, all you need to do is set up a free account.
You can also sign up for updates and previews of the book I’m working on. It’s called Philanthropy Without Fear, and it’s all about what’s gone wrong in philanthropy and how forward thinking funders can show up differently and get much greater, lasting impact from their giving.
And for those who want to really go deep on a particular topic and learn in a more structured way, there will also be some online courses and other specialized content available for purchase.
If you’ve got a calling to make the world a better place, whether you’re giving money away, raising money, or just getting started trying to figure out how to answer that call, this site is for you. The world has never been more in need of a new, greatest generation of change agents. Here’s to your journey towards more impact and more joy as you answer that call!