So, You Want to Start a Nonprofit


If you have uttered the words
I want to start a non-profit

Read this before you take another step.

A lot of people call me because they have already paid an attorney to set up a non-profit and now, they have NO IDEA what to do with it.

-They’ve found that fundraising is hard. (Yes it is.)
-They are surprised that the nonprofit world is incredibly competitive. (It's not all peace & love).
-They’ve learned the IRS term “unrelated business income tax." (Buzzkill)

If you are like a lot of kind-hearted people who want to help people/animals/the planet, you consider starting a nonprofit organization.
But here’s the reality.

There are many options these days that can be leveraged to make a difference.

Non-profits are no longer the only option.

Over the past decade, several alternative structures for social change initiatives have become available, and they are changing the way the world thinks about charity and philanthropy.

Here are three of them:


Social enterprises use business principles to bring about financial, social and environmental impact in markets and communities where traditional markets and government are not meeting the needs of all people. Social enterprises can be for-profit, non-profit or a hybrid.
The Skoll Foundation has some great information and resources on all things social enterprise.


You’ve probably heard of impact investing, but did you know that there are now “lenses” you can put on impact investing?
My favorite is Gender Lens Investing, the practice of investing for financial return while also considering the benefits to women, both through improving economic opportunities and social well being for girls and women. (Wikipedia:Gender Lens Investing).
Here’s a list of resources put together by Tuti Scott of We Are Changemers to get started with Gender Lens Investing


B Corporations (Benefit Corporations or B Corps) are certified businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. 
Here’s an inspiring list of women-owned B Corps.

There are so many ways to move the needle on social, economic environmental issues. 

What are you waiting for?

Schedule a call with me and let's get your idea for your life-changing next act moving. 

A Rash Fiverr Purchase & Redefining Success


One night, after a couple of glasses of wine and too much popcorn, I was poking around on Fiverr and found a package of 100 Women-Empowerment Quotes for $22. 

The package should have been called

100 Interesting Things Women Have Said + Some Gender Stereotype-Promoting Images

Because I hate to waste money, I’m using the quotes in a #100daysofquotes series on Facebook.

(What is Facebook good for if it isn’t for promoting cheesy inspirational quotes).

Today’s quote got me thinking. 

One of the pieces of advice that I wish I had been given when I left my career to launch my own business is to

be prepared to redefine success for yourself.

Reinvention can be scary. The fear of losing or shifting your identity is very real for many people.

The associated stress and paralysis can be particularly challenging for women who built their careers in the 1970s through the 1990s.

This is true whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a tenured professor at a local community college.

You earned your title(s), and your identity that goes along with that title. Giving that up to take on a new challenge can be disorienting, to say the least.

As you move into your next act, give some thought to how you will define success going forward

It will help ground you as you uncover your new identity and will help prevent the very real comparison-induced spiral towards “I can’t do this” of career reinvention.

Here’s some questions to guide you:

  1. Do I need money in order to feel successful or am I just used to defining success through money?

  2. Do I need to be in the spotlight to feel successful or am I comfortable with being behind the scenes?

  3. What are five potential non-monetary indicators of success for me?

Not getting a paycheck hurts


Three years ago, I spent my last day as an employee. I haven’t received a paycheck since that final direct deposit hit my bank account. 

Not getting a paycheck in my late 40s is a B.I.G  F.R.E.A.K.I.N.G  D.E.A.L. I’ve received paychecks since I was 16 working at Orange Julius in the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY.  

To be clear, I make money. My clients pay me to help them get the career and life they want. I get hired to speak. People buy my book. But it is not the same as knowing that a certain amount of money is going to hit my bank account every two weeks.

Not getting a paycheck can be pretty scary. It’s the number one reason why people stay in jobs they hate.

Luckily, I have a wife who is able and graciously willing to pick up the financial slack during slow times in my business. But that hasn’t been easy for me. Asking my wife for money is really hard on my ego and punches my vulnerability buttons

I’m sharing my story with you because I want you to know that reinventing yourself means you have to be willing to be vulnerable.

Whether it’s not getting a paycheck (in the short-term), spending money on a coach, overcoming your fear of speaking in public or giving up your fancy professional title, you will have to open yourself up to your own fear in order to embrace what is possible. 

And that’s not easy.

Google says, vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

That sounds HORRIBLE! Why would anyone do that?

Because IT’S WORTH IT.

Brené Brown, the queen of vulnerability, says, “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” 

Amen, sister.

Through my experience of not getting a paycheck, I found a way of showing up in the world that fits me.

It took me months (years?) to allow myself to say to my wife and friends, “I need some time to build this thing that I’ve been dreaming about and I need you to hold me up for a while.” 

But when I did, everything changed. My relationship flourished, my stress level improved and I was able to better help my clients because I viscerally understand what they are going through on their own paths to creating their next act.

Will you do me a favor?

If you know someone who is sitting in a job they hate or someone who is sitting on an idea to create a new career, business or nonprofit that does good in the world, forward this to them. Help them get past their fear of vulnerability. They will thank you. I promise!

Five Reasons

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Last week, I declared 2019 The Year of Reinvention.
It’s clear to me, based on the number of calls and emails I get from women who want help figuring out their next act, that we are tired of working jobs and living lives that don’t align with our values and dreams.
Today, I’m going to share with you five common reasons why women reinvent themselves and create new careers, businesses and nonprofits that do good in the world.
#1 Too Tight Lifers feel like their current (or former) career or way of life feels like it no longer fits. They are uncomfortable spending their time, energy and ideas in a job that doesn’t fulfill them. Kind of like a pair of pants that are too tight!

#2 Shake Ups are spurred by a major career or personal life event like a loss of a job, a personal illness, a death of a loved one or an empty nest. Studies show it is 50% harder to find a new job once you hit 50. If you are going to go through the work of finding a new job, make sure it’s one that lights you up!
#3 Game Uppers are people who already volunteer their time; they show up to galas and sit on boards. They get a rush out of helping others through the organizations they support. The problem is when they go to the galas or board meetings and observe what the founders of organizations and companies are able to do for their communities, they feel a pang of envy. They say to themselves if she can do that, why can’t I?
#4 Legacy Creators aren’t satisfied with simply leaving a legacy of money once they depart this world. They want to take more vivid and tangible actions. They want to feel their legacy. They want to live it through a new career or by creating a changemaking business.

#5 Critical Responders: When you, your family or your community are directly impacted by a problem or an event, and you spring into action to protest, counteract or find a solution, you are a Critical Responder.
Which of these reasons hit home for you? Is it a combination of a couple of reasons? It usually is!

2019: The Year Of Reinvention


An emerging movement is afoot.

Mid-career women are leaving careers, by choice or because age and higher salaries are forcing them out.

Faced with the possibility of 10 to 20 years until they will be ready to retire, many are asking,

“What’s next for me?”

“How can I use my experience, skills and networks to create a next act that fulfills my dreams and aligns with my values?”

A lot of women have told me after they hear me speak that they are looking at 2019 as a fresh start and the year of their reinvention.

So, over the next three weeks, I’m going to talk about REINVENTION.

Specifically, WHY people reinvent themselves and the key STEPS you should take in your reinvention.

To get us started, here’s a secret about reinvention:

Reinventing yourself isn’t about starting over.

It’s about building on what you’ve already accomplished. It’s about stretching yourself to create a career and life that you are excited about and that fits you.

People reinvent themselves for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it’s out of curiosity or a desire to renew their lives or careers. Others are looking for their next challenge to conquer, after building a successful business or raising a family. Some are forced into a reinvention because a problem touches their lives so deeply they are compelled to get involved.

Are you thinking about reinvention?

What are three things you want to bring with you into your next act and what are three things you want to leave behind? (Go ahead, write them down!)

Check out this Gift Guide: Best of the Best from Clever Reinventors featured on CoveyClub. 

If you don’t yet know about CoveyClub, go on over and check it out. CoveyClub was created by my friend, Lesley Jane Seymour, after More Magazine folded and hundreds of her loyal readers approached her on her personal social media channels, asking her to create something new for them.