“Passionate people change the world.”
That’s what a guy told me months ago. He couldn’t have been more right.
I love creative ideas. I have a tendency to get really excited when I hear them. My mind starts running a mile a minute, my eyes take on a glazed appearance (at least, I would assume that’s what happens), and then I don’t come back to Earth until I’ve played out the whole idea in my mind.
A few years ago, I had a good idea. It just so happened that the idea tied perfectly with something that I related to in a very deep and personal way, and which I had developed an enormous passion for. Because of that passion, the idea turned into an (awesome) organization that is thriving today.
My organization, Speak Your Silence, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that is focused on the issue of child sexual abuse. Our vision is to take sexual abuse from being an awkward, depressing subject to being a cause that people love to support.
It all started when I was at a low point in my own life. I had graduated from Purdue two years prior thinking that I was a business rock star. And then I dumped a bunch of money into real estate, with the assumption that I’d make killer cash and make others jealous.
And then 2008 arrived. The real estate market went into the toilet, followed by my feelings of self-worth.
It was then that I made the connection between the emotional struggles I was experiencing and the fact that I was molested by a family friend at age 6, and had kept it secret for almost twenty years.
You see, there are an estimated 39 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse in the US Alone. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused prior to the age of 18. Most never tell anyone, primarily because it’s anchored in shame, fear, and guilt.
Our mission at Speak Your Silence is to conquer the stigma of child sexual abuse by sparking conversation. We’re empowering those affected to share their stories, and we’re challenging the general public to rally around this cause in order to change the social dynamic of it. 100% of publicly raised funds go directly to providing free counseling for individuals affected by sexual abuse nationwide.
It’s been a challenging road getting started. Turning sexual abuse into a fun cause ain’t exactly easy. However, that’s where passion comes into play. I’ve had many, many days in the past three years when I’ve wanted to give up. My passion – not my ninja business skills – is what kept us moving forward.
If you have a brilliant idea, find purpose and passion to tie to it. And the go after it with all you’ve got.
Great ideas get boring over time. Passion is the special sauce that makes it all worthwhile through the good times and the tough times.
Passionate people change the world.