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So, being that I’m the Chief Inspirer around here, I’ve made an executive decision, and we’re going to be jazzing up this weekly newsletter. And being that you’re an agent in change nation, I’m also deputizing you to tell me if any of these new ideas suck. I mean it. If what we’re doing isn’t working and you want the old way back, hit reply and let me know.
Anyway, I wanted to shift this around because I’ve been feeling like things are getting too impersonal around here. I feel like I was just sending out these polished emails every week that fit into a nice little box…I know the podcast and content is helpful, and you’ll keep getting that, but I need to do it in a way that is more real – more genuinely me. I hope you dig this – I’m just going to write a new email to you every week that does a whole lot more than just recap the content we put together. We don’t need a flashy logo or newsletter style design in each week, rather, I want to write an email directly to you, I want to go deeper with my thoughts, and deeper with the tools and stories that’ll help you make a dollar AND a difference. You dig?
Let me also state the obvious – yes, you’re getting this email because you signed onto my list. I know the very mention of that word sends chills down your spine…It does mine too. But I promise you I only do this because it makes it easy for you to stop hearing from us if we ever stop delivering content that is relevant for you. You are not a list. You are you, and you’re a valued part of change nation. So, I want you to treat these emails just like you would an email from a good pal. A pal you can respond to, call out, or just shoot the breeze with. Seriously, I want you to hit reply anytime and start chatting with me.
Alrighty, so let’s get rockin’ on the content for the week. Here’s our theme for today: Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Social Change.
I have had my share of all three these past few weeks, so I’m going to share that story with you and talk about the lessons these things taught me as a startup social entrepreneur.
First, on love… Are you sitting down? On May 19th, I dropped to one knee and asked the love of my life to marry me 🙂 We’ve been on this journey of life and social entrepreneurship for some time now, and there’s noone else on the planet who gets me like she does. Her name’s Brittain, she runs Hostel KC, and is one of the hippest chicks I’ve ever been around. Btw – those of you who saw the videos I emailed out will recognize her, she joined us for the videos on crowdfunding and branding! Oh, and I almost forgot – she said yes!
Here’s a pic from just after I popped the question:
Wedding’s gonna be sometime in Spring or Summer in Kansas City, and it’s going to feature a barn, groomsmen in suspenders, and probably a cat for a ring bearer (if you watched the videos, you’ll know the cat I’m talking about 🙂
Now, on life…I squared up my grad degree at Kansas U. Not sure if I’ve told you this lately, but I’ve been working on an MA in social entrepreneurship as we’ve built SCN, and I graduated on May 17th! At the end of the day, I’ve learned a bunch more from the podcast interviews than I ever did with my schoolin’, but it was a solid experience overall and I know a ton now about some higher level social entrepreneurship stuff.
The most meaningful part of the experience with me was that I got to ‘walk the hill’ (a KU graduation tradition) with my dad. He graduated back in ‘79 but never got to walk. We walked the hill together as father and son in full regalia and It. Was. Awesome. Here’s a pic:
And finally, on the pursuit of social change… Right after I got engaged, my new fiancee and I took off and hit up the place that Hostel KC serves: Jamaica. Yes, there was a bit of beach time while there, but the main focus of our trip happened far away from the beaches and resorts in a tiny community called Balaclava. There, most residents don’t have running water or indoor plumbing, and few have ever seen the very beaches that their country is known for. These are the people that Brittain and I have chosen to serve with our businesses. They are some of the most kind, genuine, and faithful people I have ever met. They are hindered only by the place they were born into and nothing more. It is this reality that Brittain and I will devote our lives to changing. Our trip was dedicated to finding the best way to do that.
My trip to Jamaica created all kinds of new thoughts and new emotions for me, and these are experiences that I will be sharing with you very openly as we connect over the coming weeks. But I’m not going to share them with you in the typical way that you may have heard others doing. Lots of people go on these trips, get humbled by the experience, and then quickly get back to their lives. That’s not how we roll in change nation. Experiences like the ones I had in Jamaica are meant to be sustained, and I’m determined to find a sustainable way to continue helping Balaclava. As I take you on that journey with me, we will discover the best ways to build a venture that operates on profit AND purpose. Stay tuned for a lot more on that trip…
If you’ve made it this far…I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I shared these parts of my life with you so we could get to know each other better, and also because I’m going to weave these events into a lot of the emails I’ll be sending you over the coming months. I want to use my journey and the lessons I’m learning to create tools that will help guide you on your own quest to social entrepreneurship. Thanks for tuning in this week – I’ll catch you on the flipside.
P.S. Since you stuck with me this long, I’m going to let you in on a lil’ secret: we’re launching an all new podcast this fall! It’ll still be all about the world’s greatest social entrepreneurs sharing their story, but it’ll be in a radically innovative (and fun) way. You’ll even get to be on the podcast if you want!