Making a difference and embracing social entrepreneurship does not have to be a grand gesture. Instead, think small and one program at a time. For example, an artist friend shared that he wanted to bring photography to the homeless population on a big scale. We discussed some of the steps needed to do this big scale project including sourcing cameras, raising funding, gifting cameras, giving lessons, seeking opportunities to display in galleries for them to potentially make money and more. Then he followed with the reality check, and the disclaimer expressed by many, saying, “I don’t have time…I’ll do it later.”
I pondered the very thoughtful vision of my friend and all of the responsibilities to create and execute the steps toward his big scale goal. And then I suggested, “Why don’t you start small? Take one step towards the goal and gift one camera to one person. Pay for it yourself. Choose one person who is homeless and give them a camera. Hang out with him or her occasionally and teach them how to use the camera. Build a trusting connection with them and learn what he or she would want to photograph. Then put one of his/her photographs on the gallery wall next to your own collection.”
My friend lit up and said, “I could make time for that.” So what shifted? Perhaps it was a relief to him. Perhaps he recognized he could redefine big impacts by starting small. I challenge you to do the same. Implement a big scale vision with one recipient. Then, see what happens next.
Keep dreaming big, however consider starting small. The impact and difference you make in just one life IS a really big thing. And it may lead to that big scale goal in ways you cannot even imagine!
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