(Me, in India, knowing I must do what I can to help.)
Hola my treasures,
Something really important to talk about today. This sits near and dear to my heart and soul purpose, and I reckon it does for you too.
I really, really love this world. I love its lands and its animals and its people.
And I want to be an earth angel here. I want to help end suffering. I want to bring kindness into the lives of those who need it. I want kids to be able to live until they are adults. I want them to do their gift in the world. I want mamas to stop dying in childbirth. I want to help men stop starving. I want animals to have their own place here in the world. I want this world to be thriving and surviving for the next hundred thousand years. I want to change the world and make it a sustainable, nourishing, beautiful place for all of us to exist.
And I reckon that BUSINESS and MONEY can change the world.
Am I a big dreamer?
Of course, fuck yeah.
Will I make shit happen?
Yes indeedy. I’m convinced I’m gonna be the next Bill Gates (but way hotter and way more liable to talk about sacred vaginas.)
And so will you.
I honestly believe that EACH of us can make a huge difference in the world. Whether you help just one life – you have just changed one person’s whole world.
I do what I do – in helping women build their own amazing lives and businesses – because I know once their needs and their family’s needs are taken care of, they’ll go on to change their communities and world.
So sweetheart, let’s talk today. Let’s get back to basics and talk about HOW we can use business, money and giving to change the world.
Because we absolutely CAN and WILL make miracles happen.
GIVE MOOLAH TO THE CAUSES THAT LIGHT YOU UP
Kelly Cutrone said in one of her ridiculously good/dramatic/totally Scorpio-ish books (I can’t remember which, I read both back-to-back in delighted rapture):
Help the people you are supposed to help. We each have things that lights us up, that we are called to help. Do that. Just do that. I’m here to help teenage girls and gay boys. That’s who I’m supposed to help. If you’re called to help tiny horses or old people, do that.
(Also, I paraphrased the buggery out of that! Could you tell?)
Anyways, I think it’s bloody useful advice.
Help the people/animals/environments that YOU feel really personally called to doing something about.
I’ll always remember a girl I met in a tiny village in India.
Her eyes haunted my dreams for months afterwards. I wish I could have adopted her.
Instead, I ended up sponsoring a girl in India through World Vision instead. Helping girls in India are something that makes me light up, makes me breathless, makes me feel like I was here. I see myself in them, and I want to help. So I do.
I’ve also adopted an American bison because buffalos are my totem animal and they are so special to me.
And I’m passionate about helping to preserve the Great Barrier Reef – the natural wonder of the world that’s just at my doorstep.
Choose what makes you sing, and do it!
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU GIVE?
Age old question here. And there’s no right answer.
The only right answer is the one that’s right for you.
Sometimes you might only be able to afford a tiny piece here or there.
Other times you might be rollin’ in the abundance and be ready to give in large doses.
I’m always tweaking how much goes out to philanthropy, making increases when the time is right.
It’s gotta feel good inside you – coming from a place of love, ease and abundance and not “ohhhhh fuckkk I feel so much lack right now and this makes me feel even worse!”
Sometimes I decide to invest back into my business by hiring another staff member with the goal that we’re able to make a greater amount of money for charity in a year by doing so. Sometimes I’m on a philanthropy spree, making four figure donations to a charity at a time on top of our monthly donations (some day soon it’ll be a five figure donation! Then a six figure! Then more and more! Hoorah!)
There’s no “right” or “wrong” way of doing this. There ain’t no judgment here, sista.
Do what feels good and right in your heart. When we’re talking about changing the world, there ain’t no wrong answer.
CONSIDER MAKING PHILANTHROPY AN INTEGRAL PART OF YOUR BUSINESS
It doesn’t have to be an after thought. It can be a guiding force in your business. You can decide right from the very beginning (or starting right now) how much of your proceeds will go towards changing the world. You can make it a percentage of your overall revenue, or you can make it a portion of the profits from a special program/offering/event you run.
It’s something I feel really passionate about, and have done in my own business.
For example – every membership in my Amazing Biz and Life Academy has part of their membership fees donated to our “Amazing World” charities, including:
- Doctors without Borders (Medecins san Frontieres)
- Opportunity International
- Red Cross
- World Wildlife Fund
- Royal Flying Doctor’s Service
- Green Power initiatives
- World Vision sponsored children.
It brings me a huge amount of delight to do that with the world.
And I was completely delighted to get this email from Kiva… totally lit me up + inspired me to do even MORE!!!!!!
TOMS shoes is another great example of philanthropy being built into the business model.
Since the very beginning, TOMS have donated a pair of shoes to children in third world countries with every single pair of shoes sold. And now with the introduction of their eyewear range, they are continuing the One-For-One tradition – one pair of glasses to those in need for every pair of glasses sold.
If you want to read more about philanthropy as a sustainable business model, I can highly recommend checking out Blake’s book:
CONSIDER DONATING YOUR TIME/SERVICES/PRODUCTS
Every year, I donate my yearly 2013 Create Your Incredible Year workbook to any charity/non profit around the world who wants to use them. (If you’re part of a non profit, you can still request them here!)
Those donated workbooks ended up being used by over 2300 (!!!!) souls around the planet who needed them, from organisations that included:
- women’s shelters in the United States
- Indigenous Australian women’s services in Sydney, Australia
- disadvantaged women advocacy services in Cambodia
- animal sanctuary in the United Kingdom
- aged and elderly services in New York
- cancer survivors in England
- women’s charities in Zimbabwe.
A couple of weeks ago, I got this heart-warming email from one of the case workers who used it.
A few months ago I applied to use the Create your Incredible Year workbook in a community agency. I would like to share with you how the non-profit organisation has used the workbook to support women clients.
As you might know already Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia had its biggest flood in January. There is a whole suburb that went under here and many other places were badly affected. Homes and business were so badly flooded that they won’t be rebuilt again. Many people have struggled after this natural disaster. After reading the offer for the use of the workbook I had a great idea to support women who had been affected by the floods by using this workbook. I went and developed a full day workshop based around the workbook. As we are non-profit organisation and are always needing funding to continue our work I put a proposal together and put it forward to 2 community groups that I thought might help. Zonta and Rotary inner wheel very generously donated money so we could print the book out for participants and funded lunch for the workshop. The workshop was free for all women who attended.
We set out to run 2 workshops, which ended up filling very quickly so we had to put on another one. 40 women in total have attended over 3 workshops and have worked through the ‘Create your Incredible Year’ workbooks. These workshops provided a space where these women could come together to share of their experiences of the floods and begin to imagine a brighter future for themselves and their families.
The women were all deeply grateful for the workbook and for your generosity to allow us to use them. The workbook was the perfect platform to help these women move from feeling helpless and overwhelmed to feeling empowered.
The feedback from the workshops has been very positive and we would like to continue our work throughout the year to support women who have been affected by the floods.
Getting that email made me get sparkle water in my eyes and a funny warm goo in my heart. Totally reminded me of my purpose here on this earth and supercharged me to do even more. I’m so so grateful for the case worker who created the workshops for those women, and the organisations that helped make it all happen. I know this kind of good work is happening all around the planet and I want to support it.
Some other examples of how I’ve donated something-other-than-money to support organisations:
- I’ve volunteered as a mentor at my old high school
- run free workshops at a local safehouse for women
- donated boxes of my book to the local high school
- donated my artworks to the local nursing home.
(I’m giving you these examples to serve as inspiration for what’s possible for you in your neck of the woods!)
GET YOSELF A VISIONARY ANTHEM
Whenever I need some philanthropy juice, to remind me what I do and why I do it, to get me back on my path + making miracles happen… I watch this:
Find the song, movie, story, doco that makes your soul sing + calls you to action. And make it your anthem, your touchstone, your reminder.
(I definitely wanna be like a chick version of Bill Gates. Except hotter. And way more liable to talk about sacred vaginas!)
TEACH OTHERS THE VALUE OF PHILANTHROPY
It’s always a wonderful thing to remind each other about how amazing philanthropy is, and how much we really CAN make a difference.
I think we forget sometimes that it’s a really wonderful and useful thing to do – sometimes it takes a tragedy to remind us.
There are people, animals + environments around the earth every day that our love, money, time + energy can help alleviate pain from.
- Talk about who you donate to.
- Talk about what you are passionate about.
- Tell people about the good work that is happening around the world and how they can help.
- Think about working as a group with friends/work buddies to support something bigger than you.
I created a Kiva team last year for my tribe to work together. I’m so proud of what all the women have done to change the world – over $11 000 has been lent to fund entrepreneurs in third world countries.
(If you haven’t tried out Kiva yet, you can click here and get a free $25 loan to give – it’s the most amazing program I know about!)
EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS
Sometimes I get discouraged that what I’m doing isn’t enough. There’s so much MORE I want to be doing.
But EVERY little bit you do DOES make a difference. If you can help even ONE person, you can consider yourself a success:
To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to give of one’s self;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.
Let’s go change the world and succeed, my darlinghearts,
with love, joy + enthusiasm!