James Norris | www.jamesnorris.org | July 9, 2010
We’re racing in the wrong race. We’re sprinters trying to shot put. Or swimmers trying to bobsled. End result? We lose. Every time.
Many of us are indoctrinated with the idea that making a lot of money is a good thing. In fact, we think we should aspire to earn a million dollars as soon as possible. I think that’s the wrong focus. I do think we should be racing to get to our “first million” as soon as possible. But what million?
A million lives. Not a million dollars.
We should be racing to positively impact one million people’s lives. We should aim for the all-important milestone where we have:
- Vaccinated our first million babies
- Educated our first million children
- Provided clean energy to our first million families
- Helped our first million people become self-actualized
And so on. That is the true race we should be engaged in.
Earning your first million is a great goal. Money and impact are not enemies. On the contrary, they are extremely close allies. But philosophically and practically, there is a significant difference.
If you doubt your ability to impact a million–or more–people, then you’re probably not very aware of your potential. That’s okay. But don’t give up immediately. Ask yourself, “Why can’t I?” Change it to, “How can I?”
Let’s get practical. Step one, do a brain dump right now listing all of the “reasons” why you can’t positively impact a million people. Then next to each “reason” write out a way around it.
Step two, research the fields of social entrepreneurship and social innovation. You’ll discover how people like you have already hit their first million. If they can do it, perhaps you can, too.
Step three, start racing.
Step four, go for your first billion.