Hope, inspiration

3 Small Steps To Make 1 Big Impact

4 Comments 14 August 2014

Screen shot 2014-08-14 at 8.42.53 AMI had no idea the story of how the story of Robin Williams using his rider would strike a chord, especially with how people have said it’s inspiring them to make an impact themselves.  I’ve been working with nonprofits for over 20 years, and I’d hate to miss this opportunity to share with you how you can help others. Taking a cue from the example Robin Williams set in his rider, here are three small steps you can take to make a big impact.

Step 1: Know yourself and your passions. 

You’ll always be most inspired and motivated by what you’re passionate about. Some people are inspired by education, animals, or any number of things.  For Robin Williams, that was helping the homeless. For me, I’m really passionate about helping kids in need internationally.  You’ll have the greatest impact on the world by starting with what you’re most passionate about.  There is something about you that’s unique.

Step 2: Start with what you have, with those around you. 

Are you passionate about education and you live in Omaha?  Start with helping students in Omaha.  Do you have particular skills like IT, accounting, or just listening?  Put those skills to work helping people or organizations in your sphere of influence. For Robin Williams, among other things, he realized he had a voice and a platform.  Publicly, he testified before congress and raised millions of dollars to help the homeless.  On the business side, much less publicly, he knew he’d be on movie sets and would perform at events, and could use his influence there.

Step 3:  Influence Others To Do The Same. 

Teach others how to do what you do.  Multiply yourself.  In the example Robin Williams gave with his rider requirement of hiring the homeless, he multiplied his effect.  I’m sure for many production companies, this was likely the first time they went out and intentionally hired a homeless person for a job.   Once they did, hopefully some of them continued to do so even when they moved on to a non-Robin Williams project.

I’ve followed these steps myself.  For me, I realized that although there are many great causes out there, I was most motivated by helping kids internationally.   I’ve gone along with others to rebuild a home for a widow after Haiti’s earthquake, help feed kids in poverty in the Dominican, and to play games with orphans.  Our family even came together one time to fund the building of an AIDS clinic in Swaziland near South Africa.  But I realized I’m just me, and I really wanted to find a way to multiply the effect, to help others make an even greater impact.  So with some help from some great people, we started NonBoardBoard.org, as a way to increase that impact, to help nonprofit leaders who have huge hearts, but maybe not every business skill.  From a little group in Nashville, these people go out and help kids in over 20 countries around the world. Long after I’m gone, the skills these people have learned and will pass on will continue to help those in need.

Obviously life is filled with tragedy, but it’s also filled with a lot of blessings as well. It’s been years since I first saw that clause in Robin Williams’ rider designed to help the homeless, and it’s always stuck with me as an inspiration to help others myself.

Will you choose to find your passion,  serve those around you, and influence others to do the same?

If you’d like to make a donation to help counselors who walk alongside those in need, visit The Refuge Center.

READ: How Robin Williams Secretly Used His Movies and Events To Help The Homeless


- who has written 165 posts on BrianLord.org.

Christian, husband, dad. Founder of NonBoardBoard.org, SVP at PremiereSpeakers.com. Triathlon and history addict.

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4 Comments so far

  1. ShoshanaOT says:

    Decades ago I was diagnosed with manic depression. I loved the highs and my life actualized on those highs but the lows, the crashes , became increasingly more disabling and destructive. I lived on a roller coaster and did not know how to get off. One day I crashed, could not get out of bed and could not find words to speak. I was committed to a psychiatric hospital and got progressively worse after meds, therapy, shock therapy etc. I was discharged to a residential long term care facility where healing began. Off drugs and alcohol, in a natural loving atmosphere I could heal and grow stronger. Medications helped stabilize me and within a couple of years I was on the road to a stable extraordinary life. The mentors, the love of my family and my faith in a higher power has sustained me for the next three decades and still does. I even became a therapist and dedicated my life to helping others. Pay it Forward has been my motto. The tragedy of Robin Williams death affected me deeply and personally. I hope the darkness that he experienced can help others to work hard toward finding their light. One cannot do it alone. We are our sisters and brothers keepers and we cannot forget it. But one has to start within and with oneself. Self Love must come hand in hand with helping others.

    • Nicola Parr says:

      Shoshana, if you practised as a therapist in Gaborone, Botswana, then I would personally like to thank you, sincerely, for being responsible for lifting me out of a frightening abyss and turning my life around. I have been through a lot since then (1992) but it has all lead me to helping others, especially those with mental health issues, through music and creative pursuits. I hope that you are the person who helped me because I have often remembered you, with gratitude. My name is Nicola Parr. I was a very traumatised girl of twenty four. You taught me things that truly turned everything around. You put me on a positive path. I will never forget that. If you are the ‘Suzie’ I knew, it is incredible to see your name here. If you aren’t, I apologise. But you are obviously a beautiful person too. I hope that something good comes from such a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Robin Williams and his family. Let’s be even more determined to help each other and to reduce the stigma of mental ill health . Nicky x

  2. Stephanie Blake says:

    Thank you for sharing R.W. story.

  3. Sharon says:

    Awesome, awesome post! Sharing…

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This post was written by who has written 165 posts on BrianLord.org.

Christian, husband, dad. Founder of NonBoardBoard.org, SVP at PremiereSpeakers.com. Triathlon and history addict.

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