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What do you expect?

Posted in: Blog, by kayleighb2a, on 25th May 2014 | 0 comments

– Mark Topley, CEO

Just a quick thought this week, and a personal refection.

Fundraising and advocacy are a big part of my job. A fair amount of my time is spent working on creating new connections and networking. Because I am based in Tanzania, a lot of this happens initially through email, and researching potential prospects through various channels and then making the approaches electronically. The aim is to set up as many leads as possible for the face to face opportunities I have when in the UK, or Dar es Salaam where most companies, government and influencers are based.

This sort of work can be a bit tough – endless lists prospects, approach after approach, emailing and calling people and dealing with many rejections or not even getting a reply. Constantly chasing until you get an answer. I guess anyone who is in sales in lead generation will relate to this kind of work. I would say it’s possibly even tougher when like us, we aren’t exchanging a product in return for a fee and a benefit to the customer, but are asking for a donation (and of course in some ways we are, and giving to charity is transactional, but that’s another blog post…).

Riding back at lunchtime in the car from a meeting in town yesterday, I had another 2 hour session of chasing up non-responses and working through the list of emails and calls that would appear in my pipedrive.com feed. I could feel my energy draining at the thought of banging out yet more emails with little hope of success.

I suddenly caught myself and flipped it. What if I worked this afternoon, believing that everything I do will have success? How would that make this afternoon different?

You can imagine the change in energy and how the afternoon went. I will have to wait a while to see the fruit, but I could have given those prospects a better start.

It’s amazing how a change in perspective can shift things, and has me reflecting again today about how much of our own success we create through expectation.

To sum this up better than I can, I’ll leave you with W. H. Murray’s quote, writing about his Scottish Himalayas expedition in 1951…

‘Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!’


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