The nonprofit life is not for the faint of heart.
Most folk who work for a nonprofit organization wear about 12,000 hats a piece. People work hard to do good and frankly, you got have a great deal guts to stick it out. Because...the bad days can feel pretty, pretty poopy. (Pardon my language.)
If you ever wanted to hide yourself in the supplies closet and eat 3 tubs of Ben + Jerry's Cherry's Garcia ice-cream because the organization just lost its top 3 major donors... trust me, you are not the first one to do so.
If you ever wanted to change your name, move to St. Lucia and sell beaded key rings to tourists because dealing with all the personalities on the board is costing you a lot in therapy... dear friend, there are so many of us, we could start our own support group.
If you ever wanted to bang your head against the wall and then feign temporary insanity so you could throw staplers at the office water cooler to relieve the stress from yet another failed fundraising event... brothers and sisters, please know, I hug you all in my heart.
This nonprofit life is no joke.
But its worth it.
So, what DO you do when you want to bang your head against the wall?
1. Call a friend. A nonprofit friend.
It's important to have friends who work for other nonprofit organizations. It's more than important. It's critical and your nonprofit sanity depends on it! So, if you don't have a nonprofit friend, get one. If you need help making a nonprofit friend, have no fear! I wrote all about in this article.
A nonprofit friend understands the nonprofit woes and can talk you off the nonprofit ledge. So, call this nonprofit friend and offer to take them out for breakfast in exchange for 30 minutes of a proper vent session. No one can ever say no to breakfast.
2. Connect with a nonprofit mentor.
Every nonprofit Jedi needs a nonprofit Yoda. Find a mentor and make time to glean from them. Would you allow me to make one controversial suggestion? Thank you.
Be willing to pay your nonprofit mentor for their time.
I hope we can still be friends .... but I do believe that you you get value when you are willing to pay for it. A mentor will help you target the specific areas that are chronically causing the nonprofit battles you are up against. One on one coaching is always worth it. All you got do to find a nonprofit coach is google: "non profit coach" and the internet will give you all the answers you're look for. Of course, I am always here for you. I would be honored to be your Yoda.
3. Call out the next day.
Many nonprofit leaders are working nonstop to keep the mission afloat and sometimes the antidote to their frustration is simply: a day off. It's okay to call out in order to preserve your sanity and spirit.
But you got to me promised. You got to promise me to REALLY take the day off which means NO "from home" meetings or checking emails or doing any work of any kind. You must promise me that you will be very unproductive and indulgent.
A day of true rest can put you in a position of strength. Don't be afraid to utilize this secret weapon every once in awhile, young Jedi.
Remember, we all have days where we want to bang our head against the wall. It's a hard knock nonprofit life after all. But in the words of our orphan friend, "Annie".
The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
Come what may
I love ya tomorrow
I'm cheering wildly for you with colorful kazoos and streamers.