I was speaking with a start-up founder this week and it was if I experienced de’ ja vu. Ken was telling me about the advice he was getting and in my head I was shouting, “Don’t listen to them! Every experience is different! They aren’t an expert and don’t know what they’re talking about!”
There’s something about milestone moments in our lives that invite people with advice to come out of the woodwork. Whether it’s having a child, buying a house, or making a major employment or business decision, everyone wants to share their story and share with you some helpful “tips.”
I remember being flooded with stories and advice when I was expecting my first and only child. Even 20 years out, I am no different. Even I am tempted to share my stories about childbirth, nursing or sleeping through the night. There’s something about sharing our experience with others that brings us together in a common bond. But, the one piece of advice I try to stick with when talking to parents-to-be is to remember that their experience is unique. I encourage them to find an amazing pediatrician who can answer their questions about the important stuff.
I think that’s good advice for a founder of a new charity. A lot of people will weigh in with advice that isn’t relevant to your situation. Just because they know something from their experience doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do (really, how often do you disagree with the way other people raise their children?)! You can’t know what you haven’t been taught. You wouldn’t go to cosmetology school to learn auto mechanics. Make sure you get training about starting a charity from a professional qualified to teach it.
Mentor Kimberly Massey
In addition to my work in the social impact field, I have a great husband of 27 years and an incredible 20 year old daughter. Our family lives in central Mississippi and we provide a loving, but sometimes chaotic home to two awesome dogs and a turtle.
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