Article: Have I Sold Out?

    It's a fairly common phenomenon. The idealism of youth fades somewhat with the experience of life, and hopes and dreams change along with them. Or maybe the practical day-to-day demands of life demand some priority, and other issues get pushed to the back burner.

    Either way, if you're spending your time now chasing the money train, rather than the volunteer or more idealistic work you used to do, you can start to feel like you “sold out”. Some people do, and they should feel that way – no question. But it IS possible to make a living, even a good living, AND do positive work that makes the world a better place.

    For my own situation, I've been volunteering with a number of organizations over the past 14 years that have been trying to do good in the world. I've served on two non-profit boards, and I've done some key organizing work for some small local groups.

Life changes

    Now, the familiar story kicks in, and my changing life situation requires me to make more income. I could be tempted to follow the money, and find whatever it is that will make a quick buck. Or, I can follow my values and ideals, and see where that leads.

    So I've started a business, helping other small businesses and non-profits to improve their websites. It sounds small, and it is right now. But there's potential there for social change.

    There's a lot of small businesses out there trying to do their bit to change the world. Some are doing well. A lot aren't. They've got fabulous products, and great service, but their marketing isn't doing what it should. The same is true for many non-profits, and their fund raising and volunteer recruitment.

     That's where my business comes in. People can download my workbook and help themselves, or I can give them the support that they need, for a minimal fee. That helps them, but where's the social change?

Small Changes Can Bring Social Change

    The more businesses like this out there that are thriving, the more choices people will have to choose more ethical and environmental products, and the less influence the big bruiser companies will have to continue their social and environmental destruction. And, hopefully the success of current small businesses would encourage others to get involved.

    If there are more resources available to small businesses and non-profits trying to do good, then they will be able to invest more time and money into improving their communities, and can even become more politically involved to achieve some changes there.

    So there's two points I'd like you to consider:

    One is to let small businesses and non-profits that you're aware of know about Pages from the Heart. I'm at www.pagesfromtheheart.com. I can work with them to get more effective web content, and get more people to sign up for their e-mail list.

    I also encourage people to move their web site to an easily editable online service (there are a number to choose from), so they can edit it themselves from anywhere. It's so important to keep your web site well maintained, and to add content, both for your customers, and to give yourself a boost with the search engines.

     The other point is to think about your own career. If you'd like to be changing the world, and you don't feel you are, maybe it's time to make a career change, or failing that, to take up a part-time vocation. There's a free e-book you can get at myoccupation.org, which gives you tons of ideas to work with!

    I'll be updating my links page with other resources, so please stay tuned!

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