I’ve been in sales my whole life and I love it. If you think you’re not in sales, you’re wrong. We’re all in the business of selling our ideas, our thoughts and our way of doing things to someone else. We’re all trying to get someone to see it our way.

One of the things I like to do as a business leader is to get pumped up. Yes, even though I’ve been incredibly successful, I don’t live in the world by myself and I enjoy listening to what others have to say.

Recently, I watched a video by Grant Cardone. It was great. Motivational and sales videos are usually hard charging. Cardone’s video is about as hard charging as they come. If you work in business, the nonprofit sector or social enterprise, watch it by clicking here.

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Every day, I work with nonprofits. I do this because I care about doing social good. But, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s a lot of fear in that sector. Fear of doing something different or failing, which keeps the vast majority of nonprofits locked in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders are too afraid to ask donors for money, lots of it. Leaders are too afraid to try something new, so they stick to the status quo. Leaders are too afraid and no one wants to rock the boat. Leaders would rather do anything else than fail fast, often and quickly.

That’s the wrong mentality for the nonprofit sector and it’s certainly not good for business. By the way, as a reminder, nonprofits are a business.

Dominate The Space

Success and fortune favor the brave. Cardone talks about “domination of space.” He talks about not being satisfied to just compete. Competing is a quaint idea. Apple did not get to be where they are because they were looking to compete. Steve Jobs was looking to dominate. Facebook did not become the king of all social media because it was looking to compete. It was looking to dominate all social media. The best companies are looking to be the best. And, the best dominate.

The same is true in the nonprofit space. Nancy Brinker was looking to dominate when she funded Susan G. Komen. She might never have said it, but that’s why Susan G. Koman dominates today. The same is also true for United Way, The Salvation Army, and the Mayo Clinic.

They dominate by practicing. They dominate by trying new things, failing, learning and becoming better. They dominate by never being satisfied with the status quo. They dominate by looking to be the best provider of their services–always.

Nonprofits that address poverty shouldn’t be looking only to help feed someone. While that’s noble and charity is important, there should always be a bigger vision. Recently, Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said this generation has what it needs to eradicate poverty. We have all of the resources to do it now. Period.

If you have companies and nonprofits like Apple, Facebook, Susan G. Komen and Tesla that are looking to dominate their industries, you have visionaries like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Nancy Brinker and Elon Musk. You have the vision of leaders who see what the world could not once see, but what it would ultimately see. That’s how these organizations came to dominate, consistently. They are not looking to compete. They are looking to be the best. They expect excellence, hard work, innovation, failure, discipline and disruption of the status quo.

Go Big With Vision

Did you ever think why approximately 95 percent of nonprofits never have budgets that exceed $1 million? Did you ever wonder why the majority of nonprofits remain living hand to mouth? Did you ever believe, what can be done if we completely disrupt and innovate?

What can we do if we say we don’t just want to feed 1000 families, but we want to eradicate poverty? What can we do if we decide, we don’t just want kids to be educated, but we want each child to get the best education possible? We want to help form the minds of the next generation of parents, social activists, presidents, scientists, engineers, business people, educators, etc.? What if we said, collectively, we don’t just want to support those who have cancer? We want to eradicate this terrible disease?

Think about it for a moment. And, before you start with all of the reasons why something can’t be done–stop. Forget all of the reasons why we can’t do something. Visionaries and leaders are actually showing us that we can.

So, if you have a nonprofit, business or social enterprise, clip the chains that are binding you. Stop with all of the reasons why you can’t do something. If there are reasons, then change them. If people are getting in your way, then get them out of the way. Work with them, around them or through them, but don’t let anyone or anything stand in your path to success.

Go big with vision. Don’t just compete with others out there. Dominate the space. Someone’s going to be the leader in what you do. That’s a fact. Why shouldn’t it be you?

 

Author of “The Rise and Fail of Charities In the 21st Century: How The Nonprofit World Is Changing And What You Can Do To Be Ready”.

 

© 2015 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.