Today we bring you a guest post from my friend Brad Voigt, 15 year veteran of Young Life AND owner of Factory Media Network. Brad has some great thoughts to share from his own experiences as he found financial freedom and greater ministry satisfaction by turning "If" into "and". He's a bit of a one-man Charity Enterprise, putting together his marketing savvy, coaching ability, and ministry passion of reaching kids for Christ.
If you've had a full time role in the non-profit sector you've experienced this situation: You'd like a raise and you can have it IF you raise the money to cover it. "If" is the most frequent obstacle in the non-profit sector.
"We'd like to go build more wells for people in this country IF we can raise the funds."
"We'd like to update the technology in our office IF we can find the donor to support it."
"I'd like to go and feed the poor in this third world country IF I can raise the money to go."
"I'd like to start this job for this non-profit IF I can raise the funds to be hired."
Eventually, I got tired of IF after 14 years.
And one day it happened, I introduced myself to someone and I said, "I'm a non-profit director AND a business owner."
Do you know what it's like when you try to communicate to a dog and you say, "Let's go outside!" but all you get from the dog is a slight head tilt and zero change in body language? More often than not, that slight tilt of the head is what I get when I tell someone "And." It confuses people.
When I see the disorientation I pile it on, "And I'm a football coach. And I'm a woodworker. And I'm a writer." It's true, in the last year I've been paid for all these "And's".
Here's the question I have for you: Why would you allow your profitability or work satisfaction be limited to a single role?
We stand right on the brink of this single profession era coming to an end and this might be the best news someone in the non-profit sector can hear. I say this because when we discover a talent or skill that is profitable, and we combine it with permission from our organization to explore these gifts, we become more focused instead of distracted. What I have discovered is financial gain in another arena creates the freedom for me to focus on what I feel called to do.
Jeff Goins nails it in his book The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do describing what he refers to as the Portfolio Life. Jeff writes,
The basic idea of a portfolio life is that instead of thinking of your work as a monolithic activity, what if you chose to see it as a the complex group of interests, passions, and activities it is? And what if instead of identifying with a job description, you began to see the whole mass of things you do as one portfolio of activity?
We're on the precipice of the portfolio life becoming the norm for everyone but we should really lean in if we consider ourselves part of the non-profit work force because what if we're more than non-profit employee like Jeff suggests? What if our actions or reach or resolve or employment wasn't limited by IF you can raise the funds. Could it be you owe it to yourself to investigate your profitability outside of a single non-profit paycheck so you can make the impact you feel called to make?