Often, we think about our place in the world and aspire to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. We donate, volunteer, learn. We believe small acts have the power to bring change.
Do you wonder what it takes to make change on a larger scale?
You may be driven by a socially conscious mindset, whether you want to sustain a small but meaningful effort, or want to lead a non-profit of your own.
It may look daunting to lead efforts for change, but let yourself be inspired by stories of people who began just like you. People who looked around them and showed up to help. Many have gone on to transform their small efforts into fulfilling full-time careers.
Nichelle Walker: Changing the World Through Community Service
Nichelle Walker is involved in many diverse community service efforts. She is a volunteer with Built by Girls, an organization that connects students with mentors in the careers they want to pursue. When she has time, she buys toiletries for, and provides encouragement to, people in local domestic violence shelters. She has also started her own photography business. There is much more, but one single reason drives Nichelle.
Think about your own “why”
Nichelle is a survivor of domestic abuse who now helps support shelters and people who are escaping domestic violence. Her focus on helping young people is also motivated by her own experience: her mission is to affect change that helps prevent domestic abuse in the first place. She mentors girls to increase their self-esteem, empower them and help them navigate their careers. Recently, she has been mentoring a young woman in photography as part of her business.
These are all ways to build her mentees’ confidence, so that they can feel empowered to leave relationships that become abusive, or avoid abusive situations entirely.
Nichelle calls this “intentional service” that is motivated by something close to your heart. A single passion can become the spark for a myriad of ventures.
Natasha Nurse: Empowering Women Through Fashion
Another mentor who focuses on women, Natasha is a licensed attorney who started a blog about fashion.
Dressing Room 8 is her blog and coaching service, driven by the mission to empower professional women through fashion. Natasha believes that fashion has the power to make women feel and communicate confidence. Her efforts for change are directed through this love of fashion.
What makes you, you?
Fashion is important to Natasha, as someone who has used self-expression to fight self-limiting beliefs. She used her own interest and experience to help others like her.
You too have something that is uniquely yours, that makes you, you. It’s intrinsic to you, so you can do it better than anyone else.
Community service and efforts to make change can take many forms. Be creative! What is a passion or skill you can use to help others?
Natasha's story shows that to affect change, you have a lot of options available. You can think beyond the traditional venues of donations and volunteer work.
Kuda Biza: Making Social Impact Through Business
Kuda is a serial entrepreneur who started six businesses over the course of 10 years, and started his very first business as a 9-year-old living in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Kuda is as socially conscious as Natasha and Nichelle. He has chosen to incorporate "giving back" into his business by leveraging what he was already building to support his charitable giving.
Leverage what you have
Entrepreneurship is Kuda’s strong suit. He first realized this as a child, when he started a window-washing business to earn his own money to buy ice cream. As a college student in the United States, he set out to establish another business, and he and his co-founder decided to donate 20% of their profits. This is how Kuda’s journey of socially conscious entrepreneurship began.
When Kuda co-founded a baked-goods company called Nunbelievable, he incorporated donation into his business model. Nunbelievable donates one meal for every box of cookies sold. Kuda had eyes on the US hunger problem, and is using his business to affect change.
Kuda is also a founder of the Amani Hope Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides scholarships to underprivileged students. This too was the product of entrepreneurship: he founded a clothing company dedicated to donating its profits, then started the non-profit to make a measurable charitable impact.
Kuda’s socially conscious business model shows that you can pay attention to what you already have, and leverage it to fit your giving philosophy.
Beyond 6 Seconds is home to many other stories like this, featuring everyday people who had a desire to affect change, and are now making a difference. Subscribe to the Beyond 6 Seconds podcast on your favorite podcast platform and sign up for the free newsletter.