When Start With Us came out in December, I crashed. It was natural and almost expected. The immediate crash involved days in bed, some very tearful conversations, and a body in revolt of poor treatment. The worse part was the impact on my mind as creative energies seemed extinguished, or even drowned.
About a month ago, three months later, I started feeling increasingly passionate, excited, determined, and ready. I was resurfacing.
Well, now that I gear up for my birthday, I feel that I have resurfaced.
So what’s coming?
I Have Hope is at a crossroads. We have an amazing team working everyday to further our goals and work towards our vision. Our vision is exciting and while we work on getting better at communicating it, those who know it truly love it. When I met Craig Kielburger when I was younger, I told him an idea and it sparked this organization. Yesterday, we met again, and he drilled me on my pitch to corporations, foundations, grant readers, and VCs. He offered advice on what we need to work on, how to focus our resources, and also what not to worry about just yet. He reassured me that the direction we are taking is the right one and that we’re on to something special.
The next six months are going to pivotal for I Have Hope in establishing itself, as well as sustaining itself. With partnerships being developed with Me to We, CANFAR, and other organizations, I feel incredibly excited about where things are moving. I am also excited about the potential reach of our materials, how incredibly Connect Cambodia went, and about the team that building at I Have Hope.
I Have Hope is moving in the right direction. We know what we need to do in coming days, months, and even years.
The first challenge: surviving the next month.
The work load at the moment is crazy.
Trying to balance I Have Hope and school has become the hardest that it’s ever been. Today, I sat down with Dean Hughes of the CME at the University of Guelph to go over a paper proposal. On Thursday, I have a third year paper due. On Saturday, I’ll be alongside Trillium Foundation and some incredibly inspiring social entrepreneurs to talk to grant evaluators and Trillium members about changes in the public benefit sector. On Friday next week, a draft of my paper for Dean Hughes about Tribal Leadership in Start-Up Organizations is due. Tomorrow happens to be my birthday and the Persian New Years, which my family celebrates. In about ten days, Mom gets married and family visits. By April 2nd, a social enterprise business plan grant application is due. Exams hit and another paper comes by.
If this all had come this way just one month ago, I probably would have been completely overwhelmed. But, instead, I feel like it’s time. This coming month is going to be testing me for the hardworking months ahead.
It’s time to step it up.
While I personally dubbed the year of 21 as the year that was supposed to be the best yet, the most fun, and the most exciting (which it was), I am taking a different direction for this coming year.
I’m ready for the most productive year of my life, where I truly commit 100% (without any distraction) to I Have Hope, to developing a sustainable revenue model alongside an incredible team, and working towards our vision. Time for risk, time for sixty-hour work-weeks, time for focus.
Two other focuses for the coming year are as follows:
- Finish projects that haven’t been completed. Specifically, it’s time to finish writing the book.
- Health as a whole. When school finishes, I may start a no-wheat diet, which I want to compliment with an active gym regiment. I’m not trying to get tanked (because, that could obviously happen, right?), but it’s time to get back into shape and specifically, it’s time to beat my big brother in a footrace.
I will not run myself down, I promise I’ve learned from that in the past. This coming year, I will strategically be pushing myself physically to get in better shape, and similarly pushing myself artistically and intellectually to make a difference.
Friends and family… I hope you understand and I hope you can continue to put up with me! Your support, love, friendship, and constructive criticism are all key to every single little victory along the way.
Time to rock it out.