You have three seconds.

In three seconds, your story has to align with my needs.

The only reason a person who doesn’t know you is interested in you is because they’re interested in themselves, and they want to know how you will help them.

Your proof is your obsession. Your work shows me whether or not you care.

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7 sins of crowdfunding

My recent indiegogo campaign has elicited a flurry of emails from people looking for support and advice on projects of their own. I’ve attempted a few fundraising efforts — one that failed, one that supported inner city kids (and got me to Everest Base Camp), and another that had me running the 2011 NYC marathon (never again!). I’ve noticed a few patterns surrounding the psychology of asking…

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A call could change your life

I can guarantee it WILL change the life of others.

For the next 48 hours, I’m offering a special incentive. Those who donate a minimum of $100 to the Light Campaign will receive a free one hour phone session with yours truly.

Things we can talk about:

What you say matters just as much as how you say it

March 03 2014    Tags: , ,

You can have the best concept in the world, but if it’s delivered in the wrong way, there’s a good chance it will end up going nowhere. When you align your message and the way you communicate, you increase your odds that the right people will receive your words at the right time — and do something. This “something” is your desired outcome: buy, share, discuss, donate, publish, apply,…

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3 steps to writing anything important

Marketing collateral, an investor pitch, your Best Man’s speech, donor thank you notes, a love letter… writing is everywhere and often holds weight of daunting implications. The mere act of putting pen to page can result in temporary paralysis. To alleviate some of this stress, I’ve outlined basic steps to push your writing forward.

Think about WHO will be reading (or hearing) it.

You want your writing to be applicable. This is hard…

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A coffee riddle

December 17 2013    Tags: , , , , ,

Which costs more?

Coffee #1

Before you reach the counter, a wide grin flashes at the sight of your arrival. You’re greeted, “Hello! How are you, sister?”  and asked if you’ll have your usual order — black coffee with sugar, no milk.

As your coffee is prepared, you settle in at the table overlooking the outdoor market. There are three additional chairs surrounding the table; sometimes you’re joined by others. Today you’ve brought a…

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Write a research paper: a lesson in empathy

During the past week, I’ve taught my most advanced students how to write a research paper (for more about my time in Nepal, visit here and here). The sixteen- and seventeen-year-old monks have never heard the term research before, and words such as “references,” “introduction,” “outline,” and “conclusion” are new additions to their vocabulary.

When I first explained their assignment, their charming smiles hid…

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My top 6 fundraising tips

When I signed up to raise $9,000 for the Discover Outdoors Foundation, I figured it was going to be work, but I didn’t realize how much. Fundraising is hard. Really, really hard. And it takes more time and effort than you think. A few things I learned:

1. This will be a focused commitment.

You’re fooling yourself if you think people will simply hand over money. They…

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It’s easy to hide

We’re exposed now more than ever before.

Our steps are easily trackable, our buying decisions traceable with the click of a mouse. We document our lives on film for our friends and the world to see. We post our professional accomplishments on open social networks. We look for validation and response from what we show the world, from names printed in magazines to recognition in the neighborhood coffee stop.

Yet we…

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Disappointing relationships? It could be you.

I often hear the following:

  • My relationships aren’t fulfilling.
  • I’m not meeting the right people.
  • I’m not as connected as I’d like to be.
  • My employees don’t respect me.
  • My team isn’t as close as when we first began.
  • I’m not introduced in the way that I’d like.
  • I can’t find people who share my interests.

It’s easy to place the blame on outside factors and fault something external, something beyond our control — a difficult situation,…

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