December 21st was the solstice. For me, the winter solstice is a time for reflection.
What do you think about setting an intention for the new year? Even just setting a WORD you want to keep in your mind for what you want to create in the new year?
Here’s the tree we set our intentions under for the new year. My friend E and I went up to the top of this dormant volcano here in Portland and made candles with our intentions on them, and we talked about why we had chosen these words.
Last year my words were “Focus, Community, Ease, and Creativity.” I definitely got creative this year! I made tons of e-courses, webinars, and even art and poetry! I also really focused this year. And it really paid off. I created community with my meetup group, and I want to do more of this in 2014. I think I failed on EASE though. 🙁 Ah well.
This year I was fucking awful at balance. There. I said it. I let work take over my life, and didn’t hang out enough with my friends and family.
So, in 2014, I will work more on balance by not checking email til after noon, writing in the morning, meditating, and saving after 5pm time for friends and family and doing fun stuff. I’ll get out to more coffeeshops. I’ll even work there with friends. But I’ll bike more, hike more, write more poetry, and make more art too. And I want to spend more time with my friends Irene, Sabrina, Sarah, E, and Y, as well as my littlest brother, who just moved to town!
One of the things I think we as fundraising people are bad about is asking for money for ourselves. We hardly ever negotiate our salaries. We give so much of ourselves away. We give our time away. We give our energy away. And it was hard for me to get out of that mindset. But I remember now, as I am working so hard, that when people want stuff for free, that I spent literally years working for virtually nothing to learn what I know now about fundraising. And I give away articles on how to fundraise every week. That’s the equivalent of volunteering for lots of good causes. So in a way, I’ve already done my volunteering, and I’ve already done my giving away. Now it’s time to be brave enough to ask for me, too.
One person just wrote to me and said, “I have to thank you for helping me with the way I approach donors. Because of your generous sharing of knowledge, I got a bunch of smaller donations today…and $2,500, $5k,$10k and $30k donations. WOOHOOOOOO! Those are MAJOR gifts for a small nonprofit like ours! One even gave us the opportunity to use their contribution as a matching challenge. The info that you share, and the dynamic way in which you present it, make fundraising easy and fun!”
Because my advice works, word is getting around about this!
And now I’m looking forward to spreading the wealth around by launching a membership site where people can get my e-courses and gain more community, and get more prosperity for themselves and for their causes too. So it’s win-win for everyone, really.
Last year, 2012, was kind of a flailing year. My grandparents house burned down. My family was in disarray. This year, in 2013, we sorta picked ourselves back up again. We talked out our differences. People started to gain understanding about what was really going on. And that was a very good thing. I had the most wonderful birthday where people actually talked about my grandparents house and financial situation. I hope in 2014 we can continue to talk, and maybe even get them the help that they need with cooking and cleaning and their humidity problem. That would bring me so much joy. I think what really creates joy, for me, is talking about the difficult stuff.
(In 2014 I want more joy, also, by doing more dancing!)
I am in AWE. Why? I have had so many good partnerships this year, that I just can’t wait to continue for next year! Partnerships with my new mastermind group with Claire Axelrad, Vanessa Chase and Shanon Doolittle! Partnerships with government and bigger nonprofits and companies like Fundraising Success Magazine, the Oregon SBDC, the National SBA, Nonprofit.About.com, Volunteermatch.org, Guidestar.org, Progressive Business Publications, Blackbaud and partnerships with small nonprofits like HOPE Inc and The Global Autism Project too! I am so much in awe that people actually want to work with me. I hope that my awe continues to grow in 2014! I think it will, because I’ve got lots of people who are going to do webinars for me and my new membership group, and I can’t wait for it! People like John Lepp of Agents of Good, Simone Joyaux (one of the founders of the CFRE program), Pamela Grow, Gail Perry, and many others!
One of the true joys I had in 2013 was getting to know new friends! One of my new friends is an entrepreneur named Toku, who is the owner of Mind Fit Move. He used to study at Great Vow Buddhist Monastery and he learned something there called “Character work” which is like Nonviolent communication. So, one of the principles he learned was how to offer compassion to yourself in difficult situations. He taught me to put my hand on my head and ask myself what I need in a moment, and then just feel that. So having compassion for myself when I fall short of the mark, or when I am sad or angry but don’t want to acknowledge it, that is what I want to grow in 2014.
How about you?
What are YOUR words for 2014?
Please leave a comment with your words. And now, I leave you with motivational Penguin!