Quiet Changemaker Project: update, resources, meetup

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Tonight I had the opportunity to meet up with four other quiet changemakers in Vancouver (much discussion over the word “changemaker”). I heard refrains of “it was nice to hang out with people who don’t exhaust me” or “it was nice to not have to struggle to be heard”. We all happened to be people who work independently in builder/helper roles–ones that create, hold things together, and make them better. Not all of us identify as introverts but we definitely identify as quiet. People who make an impact without waves. Nice folks :)

Previous blog posts you may be interested in

You also might be interested in…

a few interesting resources that came up in conversation. I don’t remember them all, but here are a few to get you started. What have you read or listened to lately that has helped you be a better quiet changemaker?

Caring for Your Introvert (article from 2003 in the The Atlantic by Jonathan Rauch)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (book and TED talk by Susan Cain)
the book is a dense read, but shares interesting research and anecdotes

Introvert Advantage (Dr. Marti Olsen Laney)
this book was recommended to me when I first learned about being an introvert back in 2006, and it really helped me in the ways I think about work, life, and relationships with others

Future meetups

We thought having a meetup without commitment would be great. No pressure. Bring a book or something to listen to. If no one else shows up, it’s OK, you have some time booked off to yourself :) Dates TBA. If you would like to do something similar in another city, let me know.  

Working on chapter 1

The Quiet Changemaker Project was first envisioned as a book, and I’m working on Chapter 1 so that I can shop the idea around. What would you expect to see in the first chapter?

PS…

I’ve started a podcast on trends and issues facing nonprofit leaders and social innovators. Search for the Do Good Better Podcast on your favourite podcast app.

Everyone is faking it

Quiet Changemaker Project Logo

Many quiet changemakers I speak with compare themselves to other changemakers in the media or who are known in their social change/entrepreneurship/innovation circles, and feel like they don’t measure up.

What’s the secret to the uber-successful?

They are faking it.

Faking it until they make it. Presenting themselves as they hope to be, not necessarily who they are now.

Talking about a project as a done deal, when really it’s in its infancy and funding is sketchy and the board of directors is in chaos and their full time job is pulling them away from achieving true success.

Acting the entrepreneur, working independently/consulting, when really they still hold down their old job, they have few/no clients, and they have no idea how they are going to pull it off without going into debt.

This isn’t bad, it’s just doesn’t present what it’s actually like to move an idea forward. It’s like Facebook, where everyone share the best of themselves, leaving the vulnerability and sadness in the dark, leading to us feeling that we don’t measure up to friends, when the truth is we’re all just trying to survive in a world of uncertainty.

Doing great things isn’t easy. It takes time, effort, failure, try-trying again.

Spend less time on your issues, and more time on your purpose.

It means being vulnerable. It means understanding that many of us feel like impostors. It means deliberately making mistakes in order to move ahead. It means getting your stuff out there before it’s perfect.

Fake it until you make it.

Am I faking it with the Quiet Changemaker Project?

You betcha! In reality, I have little idea what I’m doing here with Quiet Changemaker Project. It’s an idea I had, that, when shared with others who I identify with, drew interest and excitement. It seems to resonate with people.

I want to write a book, because….introvert. I enjoy having intimate conversations with other people ‘like me.’ While I sort out what a book might look like, I thought I’d build a website, learn and share with others I might not run across in my interviews.

Sometimes the rest of my life pulls me away from spending the time I’d like to spend on this project. Also, this is a passion project, and doesn’t pay any bills.

So, I’m just muddling through like most people, trying to focus on my purpose. And, as most people, I appreciate the support.