Why the Right People Don’t Care: Part 2

You got 'em!  Wait...You lost them.

You got ’em!
Wait…You lost them.
Photo credit: http://benedikawidyatmoko.wordpress.com via Bing

Last week, I posted 3 of the 6 great reasons the right people don’t care about your cause. If you missed them, read more here.

Today, I share the other 3, and one crucial thing everyone misses when looking for a sponsoring partner.

Who are the right people?

They are people with a) connections you need, b) the resources your cause requires or c) the talent that will take your cause to higher level of contribution to the community.

As stewards of their resources, they won’t invest in your cause without thought.

And you can’t change the world alone.

Don’t make these mistakes:

4.            You’re telling the wrong story.

Successful people and companies will not waste their time with someone who isn’t working on the things they care about. Once you get yourself in front of the right people, are you telling them the story that most aligns with their own vision?

5.            You’re depressing us.

Telling the most depressing story about your cause is not going to win you a deeper contribution. It will make a funder feel like they are dropping their talent or resources into a black hole of despair. Why should we invest if what you’re doing is hopeless? Find the light.

6.            You have no space for us.

This is the most important. You’re standing in front of the right person, you’ve wrapped us in a compelling, hopeful story, and your organization is going to save the day! Great!

Then why do you need us? Somewhere within your story you need to find a space for that right person. If not, you just told us a great story, and raised our awareness, but didn’t give us room to be a part.

Here’s the crucial thing that everyone people misses. Ask for a referral. Birds of a feather flock together. If you’ve won over one company (and even if you haven’t), they may know another organization that will also believe in your work. Ask to be introduced.

My hope is that these tips will help you make the connections you need to continue your great work. Click on the title above, and comment!

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3 smart insights to lessen next year’s holiday hangover

This is the tree, and yes, I'm wearing antlers.

This is the tree, and yes, I’m wearing antlers.

I have a humongous Christmas tree in my house this year. It makes me giggle when I look at it every morning, but it also made me wonder if there were other motivations to my getting a big Christmas tree.  As a nation, we overdo it every holiday. Why?

1.        We’re not supposed to give freely during the year.

Giving freely is looked at suspiciously, or with pity. So many movies in New York begin with the main character helping others in the street, wide-eyed and heart open, while muggers look on with glee. The world has been molded to take advantage of givers. If you put it out there for free, why? That’s like the fisherman who gives the fish free bait. It comes with a catch. (ha!)

If you give on a constant basis, people think you’re an easy mark. If you have a business and give without restraint, people think that you don’t have any business sense. But during the holidays, tidings of cheer and good will negate every one of those rules.

If we’re honest with ourselves, giving is an inherent part of our being. It’s unnatural to hoard and be stingy. But when you’re an adult, open displays of love and appreciation are seen as suspect.

When a child runs up and hugs you, there’s an “aww” moment. When an adult runs up and hugs you, we signal for security.

During the holidays, we speak kindly to strangers, we enjoy ourselves and spend more time with the people we love. We can give and overwhelm them with the love we’ve felt for them all year, and no one will think we’re weirdos.

Giving is a part of us we’ve learned to hide and protect. During the holidays, we can give in to the love we’ve hidden all year long. This is why we overdo it for the holidays.

2.    Traditionally, we’re defined by what we do and have, instead who we are.

50 weeks out of the year, most people spend their days in a job defined by a company. That company gives you a salary, benefits and even a community of others working to make sure that everyone is successful (so that you can continue to get paid).

If you work at your own business, your schedule may be 365 days a year. All that time away from your family better be worth it. So we buy a nice house, drive a decent car, and well, during the holidays… we’ve got to make up for it somehow. We even get competitive about it, giving bigger and more things to show that we can keep up with the latest trends and we love our family the most.

The funny thing is, children like the technology and the pretty dolls, but they love your funny stories and affection even more. They settle for what you give them because, well if it’s not the real thing, at least it’s something.

Think about it. We don’t describe our favorite uncle as the dude who always brought the great gifts during Christmas. He’s the one who always listened to you, and told you the stories that ignited your imagination. The people who make the greatest impact on you are the people who shared who they are.

There are pictures of me in my childhood by a Christmas tree. I’m surrounded by paper and boxes, and always, I’m in a fluffy dress. I don’t remember ANY of the presents. Not one. What I do remember is feeling completely surrounded by joy and love. My family was together, music was playing and everyone was telling a story. I couldn’t wait for my favorite aunt because she always hugged me up and chatted with me. She always made you feel like the most special person in the world. She greeted people in the way that they needed and spent time with everyone. I cherished anything she brought because I knew she cared for me.

Which leads me to number 3:

3.        It’s easier to share a gift than it is to share yourself.

Your favorite people are those who willingly share themselves with you. They show you their faults, and they’re honest about how the world has affected them. They have what’s called “character”.

It’s hard to show people you care for them when everyone has been hurt in some way or another.  Being connected and intimate with others makes you vulnerable. Feelings of love are wrapped up in feelings of disappointment and resentment. That complex bundle of emotion can’t be dealt with in a few hours, and that may be the only time we see the people we hate to love.

Instead of bringing Iyanla to fix us, we bring guilt and we bring gifts.

Anything is better than the awkward conversation that comes with trying to heal years of familial misunderstanding. Or you could just wait til this happens and leave.

But it’s like that every year, isn’t it?

Next year, let’s think about giving in to the giving spirit more than once a year. But give fewer things and more of yourself. We follow people like Richard Branson and Marie Forleo not because they have lots of money, but because they freely share themselves in all they do. Not just on special occasions.

Set up some time randomly during the year to hang out with those people you overwhelm with gifts during the holidays. It’s easier, and you’d be surprised how much they appreciate that more.

Do you “binge-give”? Is it worth it? Comment below.

An Empty Shampoo Bottle

I was in the shower the other day.

Well, I take a shower EVERY day, but on this particular day, my favorite hair product was almost finished.

I felt a bit disappointed, and squirted only a little bit out. Now I’ve got a lot of hair, and that little dime-sized portion they talk about just doesn’t cut it.

The Empty Bottle

This is how we live life, y’all.

But then I remembered that I was going to the mall and I could pick up some more easily.

I squirted a healthy portion and got busy styling my hair.

This is how we live life, y’all.

We have a whole lot of love and talent and genius to give to one another. We’re so stingy. We wait for the right moment, the right person or the right opportunity.

God help us if the person we gave our gifts to uses them in a way that we didn’t plan for. Our feathers get ruffled, and we get self-righteous.

That’s because we think we have a limited amount of brilliance and love to share. We hoard it, because we forget how much we continuously have to offer. Your talents don’t disappear. You have more love even when your heart has been broken.

hair, beauty

My Fabulous Healthy Hair with Plenty of Product

And despite reports to the contrary, people still give to great causes. You just need to tell a story that speaks to your givers.

Give inspiration and honesty– don’t hoard yourself– and the right people will respond.