Like it or not, everyone has limitations. I know we try to be good at everything, multitask 100 percent of the time, and stress ourselves to the max. But, if we’re going to be successful, we need to start acknowledging the things we can’t do, and the things we pretty much suck at.
Why is that important? Well, the moment you start working with a non-profit, they’re going to ask you to do all kinds of things. That’s their game plan. You donate a box of cookies and next they’ll ask you to hand out the glasses of milk. Then they’ll ask you to donate the ice cream for their next social, and so on and so forth until you wind up with a position on their Board and a commitment to pay Board dues. And most of us are just not ready for that yet.
I know how this works. I’ve been the one asking for the donated cookies and ice cream for over a decade now. I will take every opportunity to get you more engaged the moment you show the slightest hint of interest in our work. While I, and some of the more experienced leaders in the non-profit field, will tailor my asks to your interest and commitment level, there are some non-profits out there that just aren’t as big and savvy. They’ll ask you for anything, and you, being the lovely bighearted person that you are, will do it whether it’s your forte or not.
And why wouldn’t we take that opportunity? We Millennials love to help others. We love social impact. We’re actually re-shaping the way that non-profits talk to and engage their donors. Millennial donors won’t give more than once if the organization doesn’t clearly communicate their impact - i.e. how the donation changed people's lives. We want to know what our money and our volunteer hours are contributing to in the world.
If an organization can really get under our skin, lure us in with their sexy impact talk and data and stories that make our little hearts beat faster, then we’ll go the extra mike for them. However, if we’re going down a road that we’re not really good at or well-equipped for, that extra mile will be for nothing.
So, let’s make sure we know ourselves and our capabilities right from the start.
Make a list of the top ten things you hate to do or you’re not really good at. I’ll do it with you.
Things I’m not good at:
1. Being subtle
3. Being micro-managed
4. Detail-oriented data entry
7. Attending evening or weekend meetings in person….if I can’t call or skype in, count me out
8. Protesting…I got a kid to raise
9. Anything that requires a large amount of physical activity
10. Doing anything that requires substantial travel.
Your turn. It might feel painful at first, but after you get it all on paper, you’ll feel better at having owned up to your limitations. Write it/type it up and put it wherever you have the worksheet and exercises from last week.