No More Color-coded Optimism.

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I’m a list maker. I like journals, notebooks, whiteboards and post-its. Any method to pen my ever-growing, ever-changing list of to-dos and ideas… I love it. But I learned something tonight while discussing goal setting with my altMBA peers – the things that are easiest to jot down are usually not worth pursuing. It’s likely that you’d complete those tasks even if it were never written.

It’s the things that are hard to talk about, scary to share, difficult to articulate to your peers – these are the things, that if birthed, will make us the game changers that we all so eagerly desire to be. So instead of drafting my typical list of color-coded optimism, I’m going to be real… with myself.

What you’re about to read is full of fear and apprehension. It wasn’t easy to write, much less publish to the world. It will not be any easier to accomplish, but that’s not why I joined altMBA. I joined this mishmash of misfits to push myself, to encourage my peers, to inspire those around me and to make an impact that matters. I don’t have to be world-renowned, but I want to be worth knowing.

May you hold me accountable, and may you hold yourself to a standard that incites enough fear and angst that the only option is to make change.

With that, I give you my goals.

Goal #1: I want to create compelling humanitarian content that provokes people to move from inaction to action on behalf of those in need.

List the benefits from reaching this goal:

  • To help people in need.
  • To know that my life’s work aligns with my belief of helping others.
  • To use my skills as a storyteller to create content that is meaningful.
  • To create a ripple of life-altering change for those in need.

List the major obstacles and mountains to climb to reach this goal:

  • A platform to create and share the stories needs to be created.
  • A specific people group in need has to be identified.
  • The audience has to have a reason to engage and be moved to action.

Skills or knowledge required to reach this goal:

  • Knowledge to operate the chosen platform for creating and sharing the stories.
  • Skill to properly tell the story of the individual(s) with dignity and justice.

Individuals or groups to work with to reach this goal:

  • Fellow content creators.
  • altMBA peers.

Plan of action to reach this goal:

  • Identify the people in need whose story I would like to share – July 15, 2015.
  • Connect with these people and interview them – August 31, 2015.
  • Build the platform to share their stories – September 30, 2015.
  • Write the content of their stories – October 31, 2015.
  • Create a way for the audience to take action in response to the stories – November 30, 2015.
  • Share their stories with the world – December 15, 2015.

Completion date:

  • December 15, 2015.

Goal #2: Be a speaker at Plywood Presents 2016.

List the benefits from reaching this goal:

  • To be known as a problem solver.
  • To further the message of my humanitarian-focused content.
  • To build a network of like-minded individuals who support my endeavors.

List the major obstacles and mountains to climb to reach this goal:

  • Fear of public speaking to large audiences.
  • Solving a problem worth solving.
  • Building a platform that is worth presenting.

Skills or knowledge required to reach this goal:

  • Ability to present a coherent, engaging, succinct story to a large audience.

Individuals or groups to work with to reach this goal:

  • altMBA peers.
  • Jeff Shinabarger of Plywood People.
  • Community leaders in Atlanta.
  • Former Plywood Presents speakers.

Plan of action to reach this goal:

  • Successfully create and launch a humanitarian-focused content platform – Dec 15, 2015.
  • Connect with community leaders in Atlanta – March 15, 2016.
  • Practice my presentation skills with a coach – now to August 2016.
  • Speak at smaller venues to gain experience – April 1, 2016.
  • Pitch my idea to Jeff Shinabarger – April 15, 2016.

Completion date:

  • August 31, 2016.

P.S.

I may have been too quick to say that easily established goals are not worth the time. Some individuals are able to articulate pertinent and impactful goals with ease and clarity. I was only speaking to my tendency to jot down insignificant to-dos as a means of feeling accomplished and organized, while my true passion-fueled goals stay hidden in my head and heart. The goals shared are my way of eliminating the insignificant clutter in order to focus on things that will creating lasting change for myself and others.

To me “compelling humanitarian content” is stories about the human condition that require change, assistance or impact by outside forces for a positive outcome. The method that I want to initially convey these stories is through photography and written words to be shared via a website that I will build. I want the focus to be on the wonderful humans of Atlanta, GA. I will connect with my church, leaders of local organizations and other city leaders to seek out a need that I can have the most impact on through storytelling.

All of this is driven by my faith as a Christian. My desire to care for and help those in need is my fuel and my focus. My Christian values will be my filter for making decisions as I strive to accomplish this goal.

One additional note is to better define what the Plywood Presents conference is. It’s an annual conference in Atlanta that is, “The Gathering for Social Innovators…. entrepreneurs, creatives, and activists join for a gathering rooted in a generosity of connectedness. A unique environment where inspiration can be found speaking into a microphone or the seat next to you. A space where authentic doers share wisdom and tension they are learning and wrestling through today. Share your voice and project into a community of problem solvers.”