Posts tagged ‘passion’

Six Words to Make Ideas Scale

ScaleIdeas are born everyday–big ideas, little ideas, ideas born from one person and ideas born through thought and application. What makes one idea stand out from another and what makes the idea stick, gain traction and create a movement? Here are six words to help make ideas scale:

1.  Fire: Someone recently offered me some good advice. The said the key to “success” was to always know your end goal. The more you fuel this goal, the more you’ll believe in it and the more you’ll believe in yourself. A blogger I truly admire has been chewing on this lately, and you may relate–I know I did. For me, it’s not just a case of knowing my end goal, but knowing why that’s my end goal. To me, the why over rides the what and is what will drive success. We all have goals–but why do you have them? That is the tougher question, and that is what will get you through the droughts.

2.  Simplify: Life is complicated enough–people don’t need more complication. Identify ideas that simplify tasks (without the use of a 30-slide power point to explain it). Identify ideas that are focused. Here’s a sign that you have overcomplicated your idea: You experience paralysis by analysis. This is a problem for tenant number 2–because it stops you from executing.

3.  Stop: We’ve heard of growing pains. There will come times that you may need to stop. This could mean that you need to simplify the juggling act. Or, it may mean that you stop a product line or stop the way you do something and find a new way. It could mean that you need to stop starting new ideas–and re-focus back on the original idea. As, if we keep starting new ideas all the time–then we aren’t committing to what our end goal is and are spreading the fire too thin.

4.  Execution: My mom always told me, “Don’t try. Do.” Take two seconds and reflect on what you’ve been doing and what you want to be doing. Do you see how much “trying” sneaks up on us? Chris Brogan recently wrote about this in his e-newsletter as well. For those that want to do, we need to eliminate try. Those that make ideas become realizations, just do it. There might be success and there may be failure. But they did it. They learned, and they keep on doing.

5.  Build: There are an infinite number of ideas right? Well, there are perhaps just as many people coming up with those ideas. You see–lots of people are “ideas people.” Everyone seems to have the next big idea or the next big thing. Repeat this to yourself: Being an ideas person does not make you different and will not bring success. If anything, this means you need to connect with more builders. Builders are people that have vision while also being able to plan and make it happen. Builders are the people that fill in the gaps, aren’t afraid of getting messy, and are resourceful.

6.  Contagious: Be contagious–in your thinking, speaking, doing and giving. It’s important to note that being contagious happens naturally–it’s not forced. You and your idea can also be contagious without you knowing it–at any time of the day. So be on the lookout for opportunity, for fellow builders, and fuel for the fire, you never know what might happen. As Seth Godin says, “Great ideas aren’t anointed, they spread through a groundswell of support.”

Bonus Track: These aren’t rules, but they are guidelines. If you like rules, then check out Seth Godin’s post “Rules for Ideas Worth Spreading.” My fav: “Don’t poll your friends. It’s your art, not an election.” Or, check out the book “Made to Stick” to learn some more words to help your ideas spread. Now, go build your fire.

What words help you focus and make ideas scale?

flickr credit: maniwa_pa

A Single Thought for 2010

This thought actually echoed across the channels in 2006 when Randall Pinkett won Donald Trump’s Apprentice. I’m passing it on to you as a mentor shared the thought with me–with a bit of a twist.











Chew on it–and go. How’s that for a typical “Ode to 2009/New Year’s Post?” I hope not typical.

What Shel Silverstein Knew About Social Media

“If you are a dreamer, come in.

If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer.

If you’re a pretender, come site by my fire, for we have some flax golden tales to spin.

Come in! Come in!” -Shel Silverstein

Upon reflection tonight (while making mini-funfetti cupcakes) the above poem came into my mind, as its one of my favorites that I often think to myself. That’s when it hit me.

Shel Silverstein knew all about social media before it even existed. Social media gives the same invitation that Shel’s poem up above does, because the technology is a means to an end. It invites us to join with others and pursue our passions, interests, and beliefs no matter what the occupation or desire. No matter who you are – “dreamers, bakers, hopers” – social media invites you to join in.

On the same note that Shel invited all to follow their own path, he also added a similiar warning that most today are still afraid of missing: their opportunity, in his poem, “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.”

“All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas,

Layin’ in the sun,

Talkin’ bout the things

They woulda coulda shoulda done…

But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas

All ran away and hid

From one little Did.”

The point? Social media offers numerous opportunities no matter what your passion or believed purpose, so join in, explore, ask questions, seek knowledge and ACT, so you aren’t left repeating Shel’s poem, and instead can say, “I DID.”

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Be Inspired by this Week's Blogger Neighbor: Stacey Monk @ EpicChange

Continuing my weekly “Blogger Neighborhood Series” in honor of the great Mr. Rogers, who called us to “Get to know our neighbor,” I welcome Stacey Monk from Epic Change, who continues to leave me inspired.

Stacey is an amazing writer, showing both her contagious passion and gracious, sincere personality through every word, so I’ll let her tell you about her journey, mission and how she’s gotten to where she is…


Blog Name:

The Epic Change Blog

Blog Topics:

The Epic Change Blog is a diary of our experiment in social entrepreneurship and an organization I recently founded called Epic Change. We started it just after we received our 501c3 determination last September, and we blog whatever we’ve experienced on the journey since then, including:

We try to give a complete, transparent picture of what we’re working on so that our supporters can feel engaged in what we’re doing, and so other folks can learn from our mistakes and successes. We also try to provide regular opportunities on our blog for folks to get involved. Last week, for instance, to celebrate National Volunteer Week, we provided daily opportunities for our readers to perform 10-minute volunteer activities.

About the Author:

I’m a nerd, a recovering military brat, a perpetual nomad and a total sap. I believe the world is what we make it. I started my career managing a performing arts series, moved into public sector consulting for Deloitte, then worked in IT strategy & change leadership at Genentech and, finally, launched a small change management consulting firm called Funken Consulting. Last year, I left for Africa, came back, stopped working for money & founded Epic Change, a nonprofit that “helps hopeful people in need tell their epic true stories to acquire the resources they need to create change in their communities.” I have a BA in Philosophy and a grad degree in performing arts management from the public policy school at Carnegie Mellon. I like to think that artsy background helps me be more creative in my approach to social change. You can check out my street cred on LinkedIn.

If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?

I’d live where Hope, Audacity, Authenticity, & Gratitude intersect because I know I’d like the other people who live there. [This is my favorite quote of the week!]

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

Any man who can sing. For today, let’s say John Mayer. His song Say is stuck on my brain. Or maybe Josh Groban. His voice makes me feel like I’m in the presence of an angel.

If you were in charge of the planning the neighborhood’s block party, what entertainment would you plan?

Ditto, previous question. Or I’d plan a performance by a dance troupe that I love like Alvin Ailey or Momix. Or we’d dance ourselves, which might be the most fun. Despite my chubbiness, I love to dance. I’m certified to teach ZUMBA and Shake Your Soul.

If you customized your own license plate, what would it say and why?


What would you gift to a new neighbor as the perfect welcoming gift?

Blueberry Pie. Despite 1950s connotations, pies = love.

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

I’d like to point to something brilliant by someone else, because I’ve taken so much as inspiration. Right now, today, though, I’m really wrapped up in what’s unfolding as a result of my recent, totally random, guest post on the Go Big Always blog of Jive CMO Sam Lawrence. I met him totally randomly on Twitter, and last Wednesday after midnight, when he was tweeting that he didn’t feel like posting to his uber-popular marketing blog, I offered to take his place. He, probably in jest, wrote back “Go for it ;)” and I did. That single post has led to a flurry of others, including one on ZDNet, a tweet by @Scobleizer, and a connection to social media giant Jeremiah Owyang, as well as a drastic increase in the number of people interested in our cause. So for today, the Go Big Always post is surely my fave, despite the fact that it begins with a reference to feces.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging?

Be authentic.

Past Blogger Neighbors Include:


This continuous weekly series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @

The Blogger Neighborhood: Meet the DigiActive Team

candle lightGet out of your comfort zone. This includes myself, often I am use to comfortably perusing my usual blogs in my RSS reader, however, when I first found DigiActive over the summer, I immediately knew I needed to get out more. DigiActive brings together a team of international bloggers from SIX continents and offers great content from diverse perspectives. The change movement knows no boundaries.

I must also give Amine, from DigiActive the award for patience. Amine and I conversed at the end of August, and I am just now getting up their interview. Thank you Amine and the DigiActive team for your world-class patience. Without further adieu, enjoy!


Blog Name:

Blog Topics: Being the Intersection of Technology and Grassroots Activismfacebook-guide-cover300px

Blog Explained: The group blog at is part of DigiActive’s overall mission to help grassroots activists around the world use technology to increase their impact. DigiActive also publishes guides, such as “A DigiActive Introduction to Facebook Activism” and maintains a digital activism map. DigiActive is also in the process of launching a research program (R@D), which will provide actionable analysis for the benefit of digital activists around the world.

About the Author(s): The site features an international group of bloggers from six continents from countries including Iran, Morocco, China, Cameroon, the US and Germany. We come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions. Some of us work for NGOs while others are students or journalists. All our bloggers are volunteers and write for the site because of a passion for digital activism.

Why do you blog? A few answers from some of the DigiActive team members include:

“I love to write about things I love” –Kate Brodock

“I write for DigiActive because it gives me an excuse to keep up to date on the cutting edge of digital activism. Activists “hacking” online applications, creating new uses for platforms like Facebook or Google Earth and turning them into tools for change, that’s what gets me up in the morning.” – Mary Jocye

“I’m blogging for DigiActive because I have a crush on digital activism. Blogging let’s me share the product of this splendid connection with a global community, which is another thing I will never really understand, but always be amazed of.” – Simon Columbus

“It is a fantastic opportunity to investigate and learn about this increasingly important movement. I work in a part of the world where these tools are underutilized but needed with urgency, and I use my work to educate and involve the people around me.” – Tamara Palamakumbara

What first prompted you to blog? DigiActive was started by Mary and Amine, who met on Facebook and built DigiActive together before ever meeting in person. Our ambition was “to create a center for the global digital activism movement.” With an ever-increasing number of partners, we are still working to achieve that goal.

Why digital activism? What is it, and how do you know when it’s successful?

Digital Activism is defined as digital actions taken by grassroots organizations or individuals to achieve a social or political change. It means taking the power of the new global reach of user-generated content and turning it towards the purposes of social justice.

It’s hard to know when digital activism has succeeded. Clear-cut cases of digital success, like the Help Fouad campaign in Morocco are rare. Even when a goal is achieved, it is often the result of multiple campaigns, not only digital ones, and often it takes years to achieve these goals. I don’t think there’s a clear formula for success. Digital activism is not about quantity of people you can reach, but it’s about the quality by which you reach them.

What’s the impact digital activism has, or could have, on our community?

One of the greatest strengths of digital activism is that it allows people to collaborate closely regardless of physical location. As mentioned previously, Mary and Amine developed the idea for DigiActive and built the site without ever meeting. In fact, they still live on different continents. Talia edits for the DigiActive blog from Boston, even though our correspondents are dispersed across the globe. I think the two biggest technical advantages that digital activism has are 1) the speed at which technology is being introduced, improved upon, and made widely available and 2) the number of tools that are available, which enables users to use the one that best suits their situation. It’s not a one-sie-fit-all. It’s a custom-tailored approach. The biggest qualitative advantage of digital activism is, as mentioned, the ability to connect to so many people and get yourself in front of large number of eyes and ears!

If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?

“Hope Street” – Simon

“The Beginning” – Kate

“TechCanHelpUChangeTheWorld Blvd.” – Mary

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

Some of the answers from the DigiActive team include: An international group of passionate grassroots activists, committed to the goal of realizing the human dignity of all the world’s citizens. Dalaid Lama and Dave Barry. Maybe Jon Stewart too.

What was the last URL you added to your RSS feed?

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

Successful digital activism campaign are always fun to write about. Whether it be about young Egyptian activists using Facebook to organize a country-wide strike, about Jamaican gay rights activists who use blogs and the internet to fight to get into a UN AIDS meeting or about activists in Morocco who used the web to coordinate a successful international campaign to free the “Facebook Prisonner”. However it is also important to consider the limitations of digital activism and provide useful information and guides on how to best harness its potential.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging?

  • Don’t be afraid to express yourself – everyones experience and opinions count.
  • That it takes a global village to write a blog.
  • It’s a great way to meet and to get to know incredible people from around the world.

Liked what you read? Feel free to share with others: Bookmark and Share


Past Blogger Neighbors Include:

This continuous series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @