Confessions :: Alice, Philanthropic Event Planner

Confessions is a series that attempts to answer the question, “What stops us from doing what we love?” Each confession contains a summary from an interview I conducted. All names are disguised. Hope you enjoy and find some inspiration from the personal insights.

Meet Alice. She’s in her forties and works a 9-5 in the IT industry. If she could earn a full-time income doing what she loves? Alice would plan fundraiser events for non-profits.

When asked if she knows anyone who does what they love for a living, she immediately highlighted her boss who has been working in the IT industry for over 20 years.

So, what’s stopping Alice from doing what she loves for a living? She cites a lack of experience (which I categorize as the Fear of Inadequacy) and not being able to make sufficient income (Fear of Earning) as the biggest things stopping her from doing what she loves.

What is so debilitating about the Fear of Inadequacy? Individuals use this as an excuse for not taking action on their passions and believe that it’s a legitimate reason to stall on their dreams. We want to appear as credible on the topic as possible, and if we have little direct experience, we may feel the threat of someone exposing us…and we may also take on the Fear of Failure. In this case, it’s important to remember that:

  • Expertise is relative. We know more than we give ourselves credit for.
  • The best way to learn is by doing…so, just try something. Start with a 3 week passion project and scale up from there.
  • We may not have direct experience, but we certainly have related experiences that will help us make sound decisions.



How can Alice overcome her Fear of Inadequacy and Fear of Earning and take her event planning from nothing to something? START SMALL. …In fact, screw small—just start. My suggestion for Alice is to plan a 20-person dinner party for her choice non-profit by finding a caterer willing to donate their services, a venue willing to donate its space, and extra points for finding a PR professional willing to donate services. This is something she could plan and complete in 2 months.

The point of the dinner is to:

  1. Have an event to add to her portfolio
  2. Have a client testimonial
  3. Build rapport with a non-profit that could potentially hire her or recommend her for a future assignment
  4. Gain experience putting on an event and hopefully gain more confidence in her abilities
  5. Show her that she doesn’t need a ton of money to start planning philanthropic events

If you’ve ever told yourself, “I’m not ready. I need more experience,” then I’d like to share with you that every major milestone I’ve had in my life was because I took a chance on myself and applied for positions I was not “experienced” enough for, planned marketing campaigns using untested tactics, and started companies after learning from others. If you constantly tell yourself you’re not ready, you will never jump. If you need help jumping, or are seeking guidance when you decide to jump, feel free to email me, and I am happy to help.


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