An essential component of your fundraising strategy is for you to enjoy the journey to success. That means enjoying each of your small victories along the way. If you’re always looking for the overnight success formula you’re doomed to a life of frustration. That formula simply doesn’t exist.
Success comes with knowing what to do, planning your steps and taking action faithfully, until you achieve your goals. Since I’ve started using the powers of persuasion as a foundation for community fundraising through relationship building, I’ve found my fundraising surprisingly painless. Quite often it’s been lot of fun! “How can you find fundraising fun?” I hear you ask.
When I first discovered relationship building using the powers of persuasion I instinctively knew that it was the answer to the vast majority of my fundraising problems. What I couldn’t figure out was why I was still feeling a gnawing sense of frustration. Even though I figured out what I needed to do, planned the required steps, and started to take action, I was still feeling uneasy.
It took me a couple of weeks but I began to realise the problem was, that my success still seemed a long way off into the future (probably six months to a year). Like most people in today’s world I had fallen into the trap known as “instant gratification”.
Sadly in today’s world we have become instant gratification junkies! Most people jump from pillar to post in search of the life’s magic formula for everything from their love life to their job. Instant gratification causes people to be very short on patience.
It saddens me the number of times I see people, who have been armed with the right tools, failing because they simply run out of patience. Those same people spend their whole lives switching from one method to another, and because they never give anything a chance to produce results, they rarely achieve their goals.
To get an insight into the average person these days all you have to do is look at how they approach the Christmas period. Most spend weeks looking forward to it and when it arrives it’s over all too soon for them. The result is that they are depressed again because the next big holiday or event seems so far away. Many have practically put life on hold, waiting for Christmas.
Imagine what if would be like if you were looking forward to every weekend like it was Christmas? Now imagine you have the same feeling when looking forward to each and every day! This is what started to happen to me and my fundraising, when I began to set smaller goals, that I knew I could achieve in a fairly short time period. Ok, so it wasn’t quite the Christmas feeling every day but hopefully you can see what I’m getting at.
I slowly began to realize that the key to enjoying the challenges of fundraising (and of life) was to set a series of small targets and enjoy the victory of achievement, associated with each. This series of smaller victories eventually lead to me achieving my bigger goals.
I was no longer so obsessed with the big prize at the end and as a result I barely noticed the time flying by. In the end it turned out that the big prize was really just another milestone in a never-ending journey.
Over this past few years, I’ve spoken to many people who’d arrived at a point in their life where they felt like they’d achieved most of their life’s ambitions. Surely that is a fantastic place to be? Well, yes, but don’t expect it to last!
Most of these people were surprised to find they had a feeling that something was still missing. The thing is, that its just human nature to want to make progress. No matter what you achieve there’ll always be something else. When you can accept this and start celebrating each achievement in the knowledge that its only a stepping stone, then you’ll be truly successful (and happy). If you apply this philosophy to your fundraising, I’ll guarantee you that you’ll start to enjoy it again.
Life is for living in the here and now. By all means plan for the future but don’t live for it. All successful people enjoy the journey to success. They know that a series of small victories lead to the big prize. Enjoy the journey because success takes time and more importantly its a never-ending journey. You may not always be a fundraiser but while you are be sure to enjoy that journey.