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It is our vulnerability that connects us. It is our doubts that make us question what is and prompt us to dream what can be. ~ Schwenkism

It feels like forever ago I hinted at moving in a new direction. Forever ago I boldly announced I was going to follow my dreams, even if no one else believed in them. Even if their direction meant I’d be swimming against the current.

Big words. Big dreams. Yet empty and void as far as taking action. I’ve been dragging my butt and thinking up a million other things I could be doing just to avoid these next steps. I’ve come up with a million excuses as to why my dreams are foolish to protect myself from failure.

I admit it.

I’m not always as tough as I let on. I’m not always as ‘together’  and self-assured as I appear (or try to appear).  And it’s entirely possible, the only person I have fooled in the last few months is ME.

So here I am. Naked before you. Vulnerable. And that’s OK.whiteboard

And amazingly enough, it’s no where as scary as I had imagined.

In fact, it’s a good and honest place to start!

And starting is exactly what I have begun to do.

My first step was to buy a whiteboard. I’m a visual ideas person and when I’m not able to brainstorm with a team, I use a white board.

It helps me plan. It facilitates a creative process for me: I write on it, step back, read what I’ve written, erase, write some more…well you get the picture!

Ultimately my goal is to develop a plan that will lead me into the next phase of my career and personal life.

Thankfully, I already have my vision and mission statement. So this week I spent some time reflecting on and documenting the following:

Things I love

  • brainstorming
  • public speaking
  • speaking to media
  • recognizing and utilizing the gifts in others
  • meeting people
  • listening to varying perspectives
  • exploring new ideas
  • telling stories
  • being active, getting enough sleep and eating right

I am

  • genuine
  • a collaborator
  • community builder
  • spontaneous
  • risk taker
  • team player
  • leader
  • generalist/applied visionary
  • mission driven
  • passionate
  • persuasive
  • encourager

I thrive

  • within a team
  • in a creative and open environment
  • appreciative inquiry
  • quick-paced environment
  • when free to manage my time

Skills and strengths

  • Direct mail campaigns
  • relationship building/stewardship
  • donor centric written/verbal communication
  • project strategies
  • analysis of appeals and response rates
  • mediation
  • team building
  • mentorship

This is not an extensive list by far and I’ve only intentionally included the things I enjoy. It is a first step, an inventory of sorts that will eventually propel me to the way I want to live, love and work.

My next steps include:

  • combining and looking for themes in the feedback graciously given to me by my colleagues at my previous positions and incorporating that information.
  • The Vision, Mission and Philosophy of a new blog I will be launching (soon I hope)  called The Other Bottom Line.  This blog is meant to be a resource for those in the non-profit world and may include discussion formats, best practices, guest bloggers, interviews, etc. More on that in a later post.

As a Doer, I’m excited to be moving on this and will use my Wednesday Hump Day Chronicles  posts to keep you updated.

I would be remiss if I did not thank all of you including, but not limited to Elizabeth and Kina for your vulnerability, courage and action, Bulldog for your guts in starting a new business, mrsfringe for your perseverance to become a published author, and Louise your recent posts gave me that final push I needed to get the ball rolling. Thank you ALL so much!

It is my hope that sharing my process for the next little while will be just as inspiring to someone out there as your journeys have been to me.

To all of you let me leave this final thought: As awesome as your achievements are, it is your struggling, your doubting, your continuing anyway-ness that make you inspiring and remarkable.


I am SO open to your thoughts and tips

Feel free to leave them below