Over a billion people in the world live off less than $1.00 a day and another billion people in the world live off of less than $2.00 a day. Many of these people live in areas of extreme poverty, in harsh conditions, and in a place without basic human needs like clean water, sanitation, and basic nutrition. Many people have worked to try to find solutions to these problems and have all pitched in to make a dent on the issues, but the truth of the matter is that the problems are going to take all of us working on a solution.
Two guys that Angela and I have gotten to know a little over the past two years have decided to help to take some of these issues head-on by creating an organization called DefiantMissions. The two guys are Matt Turner and Stephen Dupuis, who started an organization right out of college in hopes to address some of the injustice they saw in the world. With a little knowledge on the science of water filtration and a whole lot of passion, they launched the first component of DefiantMissions, which is DefyThirst.
What has impressed me about Matt and Stephen is not their ability to change the world (which they can do) or even the success stories that we have been able to hear about achievements they have made in the first steps of their total community intervention projects (which are plenty for a infant organization). Though all they have accomplished is impressive, what has impressed me most about the 2 founders is that they started with a dream and a passion and followed it up with the most important step: they did something about it.
Too often we dream up ideas and we want so badly to accomplish them, but we never even take the first step to make them a reality. As I wrote about a while ago, I do believe that and ideas are a dime a dozen, but after you evaluate which ideas are worth pursuing you must act upon them with some great intensity.
Every idea you have will be followed by doubt and fear. You will inevitably second guess whether or not you should pursue the idea and far too often we let the second guess win.
In watching Matt and Stephen I have learned that sometimes you have to take a step out on a limb. You as a leader must follow after your dreams and you must enlist others to come with you. I feel like in my world I see too many young leaders who say, “I would do _____ IF…” and then they will fill in the rest of the sentence with excuses. We all use excuses like, “if I had enough money,” or “if I were a little older,” but real world-changers get through the excuses and push on towards the goal.
Matt and Stephen have taught me that the IF will always be there – the excuses will never go away and in their case, the excuses could have been far too easy to listen to, but they choose to do something about it instead. They had excuses like: They are young – they are in their mid 20’s, recent undergraduates, and both newly married. They lacked a lot of capital – again, not many people are willing to invest in two young guys who have not much more than a passion. They had little experience – although they had a dream and some knowledge on the subject matter, they had just graduated from college and had little “real-world” experience” and no experience starting a 501c3 organization.
Bottom line is that they decided to do something – in spite of excuses and reasons to never get started – they did something and are continuing to do their part to change the world.
I am thankful to have learned from Matt and Stephen that if you are willing to make a difference and be a real leader of change, you have to get up and do something about it – not tomorrow (when the money and experience may come), but today.
As a leader, I hope you will see red flags, but I also hope you will not let everything become an excuse to keep you from doing something great! People like Matt and Stephen are changing the world – not because they lacked fear or excuses, but because they pushed through those things to do something great!
What has ever kept you from chasing a dream and making a difference? How did you overcome this to start something great?
Also, if you would like to donate to the organization (this is a tax deductible donation to a 501c3 organization) please click on the link below – Will you help them make a difference: