• Rachel Ireland

What To Do When You're Ready To Change The World

I used to think that I did two completely separate things.

I've worked in the third sector for over 16 years - working for national charities, doing freelance consultancy, and most recently coaching people starting up not-for-profits.

Although it was my love of community-based work, and the power and kindness of those people who have dedicated their lives to helping others that inspired me to set up my own not-for-profit in 2019, I still saw them as two separate things.

If people asked me what I did, I would say:

I run my own not-for-profit and I help other people to start up and grow theirs.

Simple right? Two separate things.

And then something started to happen.

I started to notice a pattern with a lot of the participants on my projects.

They would come onto the programme feeling like they'd lost their sense of identity and purpose. They'd say things like 'I just don't know what I'm doing with my life anymore.'

If you feel like this, I've put together some tools for you here.

Then, a few weeks into the programme, after we'd been doing lots of guided journaling, making vision boards, and working on reconnecting to their creativity, the feedback turned more towards:

'I feel so much like myself and I know I want to do something with my life.'

If you feel like this, I've put together some tools for you here.

I'll say at this point that all of this progress was as I'd hoped. This is exactly what the creative activities were designed to do.

It was the next bit I wasn't expecting.

The participants began asking me how I set up The Creative Map. They wanted to know how to combine their passion and purpose. They wanted to see if it was possible to make a living doing something they loved. They dared to ask if they could possibly ever be self-employed. They were ready to use their experience, their journey and their skills to go out and make a positive difference in the world.

The outcomes of our funded programmes changed from being things like feeling happier in day-to-day life, improved confidence and better overall wellbeing (these are huge and important results by the way) to registered as self-employed, opened a craft stall, started a social enterprise.

It finally clicked - these weren't separate things; they were simply different points on a continuum.

It was, for most people, a journey - from lost to found, from stuck to shining, from hiding to sharing.

If you've been reconnecting to your creativity and setting new goals, and now you're ready to make a positive difference in the world - if you're ready to lead, I have a couple of suggestions for you.

If you're thinking about setting up a not-for-profit organisation or doing some work in your local community, I've made this mini course to cover some of the key information.

You can find more details about workshops, courses & mentoring here on the website.


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