Success in Work and Life: An Entrepreneur's Perspective

Recently I came across a quote that struck an endearing chord with me. The Arnold J. Toynbee attributed quote said, “The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.”

So often we gauge success by the number of zeros at the end of the bank account balance, or the net worth of an organization, or how many employees, volunteers, or sponsors we have supporting our bottom line.

Or perhaps success is measured by some based on the vehicle they drive, the labels they wear, or the number of vacations they can take during any given year.

This quote, however, defines success in a far more poignant and accurate measurement: accomplishing a harmony in work and life that allows you to live doing what you love.

This is a philosophy of success I’ve adopted myself, and one I feel translates to the nonprofit world as well.

A sure-fire way to measure the success and accomplishment of your organization is if the work you’re doing and the difference you’re making fills your cup as much as you pour out from it.

I’ve always had a soft spot for nonprofits, the work they do, and the positive influence they have in a world that’s sometimes hard to navigate through.

A dozen or so years ago, I told myself and a handful of people that within ten years, I wanted to create a user-friendly, practical platform to help nonprofits do more in less time, with less effort. It was a passion of mine even then, and led to the ultimate creation and release of DonorDock (exactly in that ten year time frame).

An entrepreneurial spark all those years ago led to the founding of a company that turned my dream into a reality.

Essentially, my involvement and experience over the years with nonprofits, CRM, and business planning led me to combine and present useful, practical, successful tools every nonprofit can implement in order to leverage their cause and communications for greater results in relationship building and fundraising.

That may seem like geek-speak to some, but it’s a passion I still carry to this day, and a topic I can excitedly share about. It carries over into the work we’re still doing, the organizations we’re helping, and the ideas for the future we’re generating.

And I love every minute of it.

This is more than a job I do or a company I run. This is more than just work. I can say with genuine sincerity, I enjoy what I do. I look forward to working every day.

As such, this is the kind of success and fulfillment I wish for each of you in the important work you’re doing as well.

Nonprofits are essential, the work they do is unmatched, and the people they serve are forever impacted. It can be easy to get bogged down in the procedures and protocol, but don’t let the busy work (which DonorDock was designed to alleviate) detract from your purpose or mission.

I would be remiss not to mention if you’re looking for a different approach to your nonprofit management strategy, you can download this free ebook we recently produced. Not only was the ebook a blast for us to work on, but it’s been a real thrill to hear how the concepts presented are influencing the plans and outcomes of organizations across the country.

But enough about all the fun I’m having in what I do. What about you and your organization?

A few tips to keep the “supreme accomplishment" fire burning:

  1. Write your goals down and review them at least weekly. Tuning in to your vision and objective is essential, and writing them down increases their chances of being achieved.
  2. Identify (and remind yourself of) your why. Knowing what to do is important, but knowing why you’re doing it is critical to your success.
  3. Keep it fun. Every person will have a different idea of what “fun” is to them, and every organization will go about it differently, but whatever the consensus is, keep fun as a non-negotiable practice.

As Toynbee says, you’ve “made it” when the work you’re doing attributes to the fun you’re having.

That is a definition of success I can get behind.