Pot of Foolishness

What is in YOUR pot of foolishness?

Recently i went to the Seattle art museum with my friend Vanessa Chase. This is a picture of one of my favorite exhibits, made with the active participation of people whose culture this is. In the Okumpka culture in Nigeria, the ridiculous mistakes don’t hide! Instead, an open pot is carried into view by a masked spirit who announces his name, and offers a speech or song explaining why he is the most foolish man of all. Often his boast isn’t immediately accepted and he is urged to defend his claim, thereby revealing more and more of his blunders. Others continue to vie for this title and confess their own stupid actions. Leaders ultimately decide who gets the title of most foolish, an honor that conveys the pride in facing ones own folly.


Did you know that Maslow stole his hierarchy of needs from the Blackfeet people? It’s true!

Well, if you’ve believed that Maslow came up with that all on his own all this time- then-hey. I can share with you more of MY mistakes too!

My mistakes of 2018-I hope this will be a short list, but who knows?

1. I thought I was done with government contracting. Then I got a contract with Metro!  This is less of a failure than a false assumption. 🙂 YAY! I taught how to improve your business website’s effectiveness, how to make the most of your email list, and how to make a communications plan. We have had an enthusiastic response to these workshops. It has been so fun to teach for this government agency this year. I hope they ask me back to teach again. So this is actually a happy mistake!


2. Haunting. I didn’t realize what this was til I saw this in an article from The Bustle. What’s haunting? It’s going to the social media profiles of your exes and just seeing what they’re up to. Low level stalking them online. Basically after I break up with someone, I sort of try to keep internet tabs on them… for years. It’s really embarrassing and I’ve never admitted it before. Why can’t I just let go? What’s going to be gained by my googling and stuff? I don’t know… curiosity, schadenfreude? I even do this with people who I feel superior to in some way… maybe to just see what terrible thing is happening NOW? It’s… not healthy. So 2018 is the year that I hereby announce I am done with it. And if I feel tempted again, I will go read a good book.

Mazarine Treyz

Mazarine in camouflage mode

3. Tamping down on who I am to try to be with someone.

So, if you don’t know me, here’s what I’m like. I love talking about psychology, leadership, human development, spirituality, poetry, art, nonprofit worker empowerment, how the sector can be better, how the world can be better, and goals, and what we’re doing to work towards those goals. I love using big words. Also, I love talking about why we behave the way we do. Things I do not care about include: watching sports, card games, board games, online gaming, playing sports, also TV shows, animation, camping. Well, I started going out with someone who cares about all of the things I don’t care about. Who doesn’t care about anything that I care about, with the exception of art. So we made art together. I worked hard to try to be interested in these other things. I played sports with them, cards, board games, and watched sports with them. What I learned was to NOT tamp down who you are. Be yourself from the JUMP. and do not compromise on what you are super passionate about. Talk about it until they either say NOPE or say YES give me more!

Don’t think you can change someone. Or compromise who you really are.  Also, this tweet, very much this tweet.

5. Being too focused on work, and not enough play. Realizing that I used humor as a mask, for things I didn’t want to talk about. And I also used work as a mask, to help keep myself too busy to think about what was right or wrong for me in relationships. So for the last 9 years, I could have played a lot more, and had WAY more fun, but instead I was with the wrong person, focusing too much on business all of the time. This last year I have done more play… than in a very long time. I have gone to the coast and the mountains more. I have gone hiking more. I have gone to the woods and the waterfalls more. I have gone rollerskating! And made art just about every single week. I’ve written TONS more poetry. Journaled a lot more. Thrown art parties. And had a poetry reading in my living room! Gone to a Jodorowsky study group! Watched a lot more movies. Gone to a spiritual meetup. Read more books! And i got less work done. But life is about more than work. And you already are enough.

6. Not getting the affiliate marketing materials out early enough for the summit. I really could have done better with that. So I did it later… got extra webinars out to make up for it.

7. Not having clear enough messaging for the summit. Is it leadership, or is it fundraising, or is it both? Is it really about trust, mainly? We had the fewest people ever this year at the summit. But I learned that I need to pass it off-I need to get clear on what feeds me and doesn’t feed me- and do more of the things that bring me joy in my business.

8. Vulnerability is hard! Learning that I am really bad at actually confronting a romantic partner with what I actually need. Because i never got taught to say this is what I want, and this is what I need. But I can do it! It’s hard to be vulnerable that way.  Oh yeah, then I hurt my knee, and I had to ask for help! Wow, did that suck! But it was awesome to see my friends come through for me.  Vulnerability- On the other side- is lightness of heart.


9. Putting a paywall on my site. I tried it, it didn’t work. I took it off.

Mazarine Treyz Art

Mazarine Treyz art

10. Dissipating my energies and having TOO MANY things going on! Check it out.

  1. E-courses – 10 of these on every aspect of fundraisingYou can find them all here
  2. Masterclasses – One on annual reports. One on Year end Appeals. And doing masterclasses for different associations as well.
  3. Online Conferences. The Fundraising Career Conference and the Nonprofit Leadership Summit! And trying to reach out to different associations to partner with this effort as well.
  4. Webinars – every month, on a variety of topics!
  5. Speaking gigs- all over, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Reno, Toronto, Seattle… I want to do more of those! I’ll be speaking at AFP ICON and Orcas Island next year.
  6. Government Contracting- helping MWESBs market themselves, which includes teaching and doing one-on-ones with businesses, that’s been super fun
  7. Workers Rights/Agitating against 3 Pillars of White supremacy/Capitalism- With blog posts, on here and on Bloomerang and I want to get grants for this.
  8. Career coachingWild Nonprofit Leadership
  9. Leadership + Fundraising Coaching- I really enjoy this and want to do more of this
  10. Membership site- Wild Woman Fundraising School-It never really took off, to my chagrin!
  11. Put together a product bundle called the Summer of Professional Development as well! That didn’t do well.
  12. Plus I make art and had a solo art show in August! That made me really happy.
  13. I had a poetry reading at my house! And went to more poetry readings. And I write poetry. And I’m working on putting 2 books of poetry together.

So I decided to do more coaching, and less conferences. More selling of my e-courses and masterclasses, and less membership site. More government contracting and less chasing little money.

Oh god, that was a long list.

I’ve got an annual report coming your way soon!

What are YOUR mistakes of this year? Feel free to share!

BTW -Know Chloe and Halle? If not, check their new album out. They’ve still got popcorn! Do you? Still want to see the many mistakes I’ve made? Here are my mistakes of previous years

Failures of 2010-2011
My failures of 2012
My mistakes of 2013
My mistakes of 2014
My mistakes of 2015
My mistakes of 2016
My mistakes of 2017

Check out my annual report next week!