Maureen reminded me that it’s really hard for many nonprofit organizations to get over their unhelpful mindset around money. Nonprofit workers often have limited (or hostile) ideas about wealth that get in the way of their goals to mobilize a lot of resources and help a lot of people.
I’ve been working on some materials to try and help people get over what I’m calling "financial anorexia," or a damaging and unhealthy fear of financial success. (It’s not limited to nonprofits–plenty of small-business owners and hopeful entrepreneurs have the same problem.)
I’ll let you know how that project is coming along, but in the mean time, Boing Boing has pointed us to a terrific post about working for success in a nonprofit setting.
Here’s my favorite quote (because this is out of context, I added some italics for clarity or emphasis):
You have to get as passionate about talking to the people with as you are
talking to the people without. Because we need each other, and you’re the bridge
person. If you were just desperate and needing of services and help, you
wouldn’t be working at a not-for-profit. If you were a gazillionaire, you
probably also wouldn’t be working at a non-profit. So you are the person whose
job it is to bring the haves and the have-nots together. And you have to be
passionate about that. Yeah, somebody will say "You self promote! You’re
self-promoting!" Fine, and proudly so! Get that out of your mind as a barrier,
and look at the service you can provide . . .
If you can overlook the really unfortunate term "she-roes" (feminine of heroes, oh dear), this is a kickass post about how to get over yourself and help more people.
The art of happiness
While I’m at it, in honor of Boxing Day and the other solstice-ish holidays we’re celebrating, I give you this link on happiness. I debated posting it, but the more I work with small businesses (and large ones, for that matter), the more I realize that getting smart about how to be happy makes everything else work better. The article is written from a Buddhist point of view, but the concept of Little Me is unbelievably useful no matter what your belief system.
And thanks also to Senia for pointing me in the direction of a terrific book, Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar. It’s all about the serious research that’s been done on chasing the unicorn of happiness. I’ve been reading and re-reading it all month and I have a lot of new ideas for integrating the science of happiness with the art of business. Very cool stuff.