Who I Am: Hey there! I’m Josh, and I'm the Chief Inspiration Officer at SCN. A quick bit about me – I became a change agent the ripe age of 18 when my then college dreams (rushing off to the big city and becoming the next Matt Damon!) collapsed through a series of rejection letters from theatre colleges… for an 18 year old small town kid with big dreams, this was about as crushing a blow as I could’ve imagined.
But it became the single thing that has shaped my destiny and my path. You see, as a result of those rejections, I was redirected to a year of service through City Year. Assigned to Cleveland, OH I was confronted with poverty and inequality like nothing I had ever witnessed in my tiny Kansas town…the experience drastically changed me. I refused to forget the lessons I learned that year, and they have continued to thread through each and every experience I’ve had since then.
And that’s why I exist today – that is my mission in life. Why am I here? I’m here to help build a community – a NATION of sold out change agents who are shifting the course of this world through their businesses, their work, their for purpose organizations and any other networks that folks are using to change the world. How does that happen? I create podcast interviews with business that makes a dollar AND a difference. From those podcasts, I develop all kinds of resources (books, classes, webinars, anything this nation finds helpful) so that you can become an agent of change in the way that fits you.
So, now you know why I’m here – you should also know that I love Ben and Jerry’s Phish food Ice Cream, am an eternal optimist, wannabe triathlete, soon to be holder of a PhD, lover of food, adventurer, and a fiend for good times with family and friends (preferably over great coffee or wine).
Finally – you should know my complete philosophy of life – it’s below, and it’ll tell you everything else you need to know about me.
1) I am religious. For me, that means I’m a Christian. Now, I’m certainly not one to claim my religion as the only way – to the contrary, we at change nation look to a multitude of religions and philosophies for guidance – but for me, the life that Christ led, his selflessness, compassion, godliness, and ultimate sacrifice represent an incredibly beautiful message. For me, that message is at the core of who I am, so don’t be shocked when you see that shine through in this community.
2) I know we’re not doing enough. It only takes a lot of people doing little things to bring about big change, but we’re just not doing it by and large. And I’m not pointing fingers – I struggle with this too, and sometimes just am not doing anything to help… bottom line: I need this project to help me along my own journey and to help you along yours.
3) I know everyone has a cause they could commit themselves to. You have a social cause that you are passionately committed to. You may not know what that is yet, but bottom line, there is something that lights your fire – and sparks social change. My mission in life is to engage you in this community and help you figure out what that is.
4) Everyone can be that ‘one person’. Ask any kid who makes it out of a tough upbringing, and 99% of the time they’ll tell you the story of that ‘one person’ who believed in them, showed them another way, and stuck with them through the good and bad. What do you think the chances are if you volunteer for 5 hours bi-weekly with a child through big brothers/big sisters (or a similar org) that you could be that ‘one person’ who makes all the difference? I know you could be – and my life’s work is to show you how.
5) I’m not afraid to cry. Or to get upset, or to yell when I know something is wrong. We as humans were made to do this – it is the rough times that allow us to appreciate the great times. So I’m not going to shy away from, or be afraid of getting emotionally wrapped up in my cause. You’ll hear my emotion in all the content I produce – this is because I passionately believe in what I’m doing and am passionately against those who would undermine the work of CHANGE NATION.
6) I don’t have all the answers. Far from it – that’s why I focus much of what I do on interviewing others who are sparking social change. We humans are a community – constantly learning and growing from each other. I want CHANGE NATION to be just that, a nation of people focused on exchanging ideas and learning from each other.
7) I will admit when I’m wrong. I make mistakes – I’ll interview the wrong person, get up on a soapbox when I shouldn’t, and just generally do some bone headed things. I know that about myself – in these situations I will make a genuine apology. A genuine apology has three parts: I’m sorry – I was wrong – how can I make this right?
8) I am here to spark change. I refuse to accept the status quo – that is something that has been true of me my whole life. There is too much opportunity for compassion, for innovation, for change to sit back and take things as they are. So, why am I here??? I am here because everything in my life – every success, every failure, every experience has led me to know that a community of like minded individuals is the most capable entity for creating social change. I will not rest until we’ve created that here.