Picture a young woman with five children whose drinking and incarcerations led her to lose custody of them. Nowhere to go but home to a toxic environment, she knew she needed help to get clean and sober and get her children back. Enter Hope’s Crossing, a Phoenix, Ariz., nonprofit organization founded by Laura Bulluck, a 2011 MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership graduate. Within 18 months, that troubled woman was sober, employed, a peer mentor, and a member of the board of directors at the same nonprofit organization that gave her hope and the tools to overcome life’s challenges.
“We helped her identify triggers that drove her to drink, and she started having more confidence in her ability to remain sober,” Bulluck says. “We worked with her to design a résumé, offered mock interviews, helped her obtain a job, and connected her with a mentor. She recently received a promotion to a management role.”
As CEO and interim executive director of Hope’s Crossing, Bulluck has helped turn lives around. Her nonprofit offers programs and services to women who have experienced trauma and empowers them to be productive community members. Bulluck understands their circumstances: As a single mother of three children, she had faced domestic violence and had no other choice than to live in a shelter.
“I gained wisdom about how to navigate the process and helped other women through some of the same experiences,” she says. “I also began to volunteer and take on a mentor role with the women, and the social service bug bit me. I kept thinking about how I could do this full-time on a larger scale to help more women. I went to Walden to turn this dream into a reality.”
While completing her degree, Bulluck decided to leave her career as a senior information technology manager for a large healthcare company to create Hope’s Crossing. “I was typing papers and doing my homework when it really got me thinking, ‘What am I waiting for? I could lose my life and never live my dream.’”
As the leader of a small nonprofit organization, Bulluck now relies on others who are willing to volunteer to help women in transition. “Volunteers are critical,” she explains. “We wouldn’t be able to operate without them. They are our administrative staff and our assessment coordinators. Our board members are volunteers, too.”
For those interested in volunteering but not sure how to start, Bulluck offers her advice:
Assess your skills, knowledge, and interests. Think of everything you have to offer: Are you a whiz at Excel? Have you organized a group event? Everything you’ve done can be applied in a volunteer role. “I guarantee nonprofits can use your skills,” Bulluck says. “Search your heart, and find your passion. Then seek out the agency that’s doing what you really like to do and go ‘feel’ the experience.”
Look at websites or social media pages of organizations that interest you. These pages will give you insights into the types of volunteer opportunities available to you and may also describe the experiences of current volunteers.
Dig deeper by talking to staff. Meeting face to face will give you an opportunity to learn more about the match between your skills as a volunteer and a nonprofit organization’s needs. “We encourage people to visit us, to feel the energy and the emotional experience they’ll have when they’re helping someone,” says Bulluck. “Every time you volunteer, you should have that same emotional experience, that ‘this is something I love’ feeling.”
What kind of social change agent are you? Bulluck discovered she is a Faith-Inspired Giver, someone whose faith is a major influence in their commitment to social change. Take the quiz based on Walden’s 2013 Social Change Impact Report.
I don’t know about you but I am always looking for ways to live fully and enthusiastically in my business and in my personal life. I think back at times in my life when I had no idea how to make that happen. What would it take for me to live fully and enthusiastically? I spent a number of years trying to figure that out and on my quest for understanding, I read every self-help book, listened to many inspirational messages, and sought out advice from those individuals I respected. Until one of my mentors said to me, “you must become the captain of your own ship”.
What? Is it really that simple? Yes, she said, it really is! She continued and said, as the captain of your ship, you are the decision-maker and will determine the route you take to get to your destination. Identify your crew, take only the things you need and create the roadmap that serves as your compass for direction. Easy right? I just love parables and my mentor is the queen of them… thought-provoking, mindset testing, and Ah-ha moment creating parables.
You don’t have to be the queen of parables to Make It Happen in your life. Earl Nightingale says “All you need is the plan, the road map and the courage to press on to your destination”. I found this quote to be the source of inspiration I needed to create a life where I live fully and enthusiastically. It was really all about developing a Make “IT” Happen mindset.
Living fully and enthusiastically is something we all wish for in life. But how do you take the wish and turn it into YOUR reality? Here are some tips to help you surrender to your fear and take the leap to Make “IT” Happen:
1. Chart the course to your destination. You may think I’m a little corny for saying this, but charting the course for my destination is one of my favorite tips and dares I say the most important. Think about this as creating a killer plan for that very important project you have taken on. When creating that killer plan, there are two very important keys to consider. Know where you are starting and Start with the end in mind. These two keys will help you stay focused on achieving the results you are looking for or in this case, help you reach your destination. So many people too often overthink this step in the process. To chart your course, you are building a series of tasks that you must complete to accomplish YOUR goal or reach your destination. I must tell you the single most important question you must answer in charting your course is to when “YOU HAVE ARRIVED”. In my case, living fully and enthusiastically, I really had to determine what that looks like to me. How will I know when I arrived?
2. Align the team to reach your goal. Going it alone is a romantic notion but few, if any, entrepreneurs ever brought an idea to life without a lot of help. This is also true in our personal life and I don’t know about you, but I believe it really does take a village to create success. Please understand it’s not just any help, but the right help. You must surround yourself with those that see your vision and inspire you to be accountable to your goal. As a former athlete, this particular tip is more relevant today than it has ever been. You don’t want 5 point guards on your basketball team and expect to overcome all the barriers you face with other teams that are more diverse in players or a building a football team filled with quarterbacks expecting to go to the super bowl. This step in the process is about identifying those individuals that not only complement your skills but also fill the gap of what is needed to reach your goal. It just won’t happen. So, as the captain of your own life, you are in charge and have the absolute power to choose who’s on the team or who gets cut from the team
.3. Take only the things you need, and that includes people. I encourage you to take inventory of your skills, the tools you use today, and the support system you have and make the tough decision to determine if you need something you don’t have or have something you no longer need to reach your destination. We are so busy living life, setting and achieving goals that we don’t often allocate time for personal or professional development. This tip is all about taking only the things you need with you and if you don’t need it, leave it behind. I don’t want to sound like your therapist or anything, but to live fully and enthusiastically, you have to lose those behaviors, attitudes, mindset, and even friends that won’t support your vision. You must be willing to identify those things you need and make the necessary investment to acquire them.
I have spent more than 25 years in the corporate workplace and have met some of the most talented, smart, exceptional, and gifted people and for the time we worked together, we were the perfect solution or as we often referred to ourselves as the “secret sauce”. We each had those unique and specific skills and master the technology needed to meet the specific goals of this organization…..until one day we didn’t. It was very difficult for each of us to adapt to new teammates when replacements came but the company had created a new motto of “putting the right people in the right place” and that meant moving people around, adopting new technology, and building a new team. It was an emotional roller coaster, but if the company wanted to Make It Happen, this was a vital step to ensure they achieve the goals they set. When you think about becoming the captain of your own ship, it can be a huge responsibility. These tips will help you nail “IT”.
If you would like to further explore how you can fully apply these tips and more to create the life you want for you, visit my website; www.lauracbulluck.com. Let’s get on a call and talk about your Big Dreams and the life you want for you.
There are 365 days a year and how we choose to spend each of those days can give us immense joy or a feeling of mundane, mediocre life. You know who these people are. Their life is ordinary, average and uninspired and they focused is misdirected, and on achieving anything more than where they are right now. I have been around individuals that display these characteristics
I have great news for you, we can guide our ship in the direction we want our thoughts, our conversation, and our action and the one thing I know for sure is that our mind is a powerful tool and the direction we choose to send it in, is completely up to us. I am an avid fan of inspiring quotes and one that I hold dear to me and even has it placed on my vanity mirror is from Wayne Dyer and he says “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change”. How powerful is that? If you just reflect on that one statement for just a moment, it will give you a different perspective on how you even read the remainder of this article. Making that shift from the same old mundane life, job or relationships to that of joy is our destiny and it all starts with a personal decision to CHANGE our thoughts, our conversations, and our actions
As an entrepreneur, I made the shift from traditional 9 – 5 job mundane and mediocre work-life and waking up each day with the intention of having a life with joy. Now that does not mean I just snapped my fingers and the joy fairy showed up with her magic wand and crowned me with joy, I had to really work on seeking out things that bring joy to my personal life and my business. Transformation really started to take place when I began to change the way I looked at things, I thought about things, and the conversation I had with myself and others about the things that I faced daily. I will never forget the day I was rearranging books on my home office bookshelf and ran into the little book I used to read to my kids. I guess it got swallowed up by the excessively large school books I had collecting over the past 8 years. But this book was the key to the shift that was happening in my life. I wonder if Watty Piper knew in his mind when he wrote this book “The Little Engine That Could” would inspire me emerging entrepreneurs like me to do the impossible, to push through to make tough decisions I face or shift my thinking from fear to confidence. The Little Engine that Could was a great display of perseverance when things appeared to be impossible, the little engine lets out this chant… I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. What is the inspirational message you chat…to yourself…when you need to conquer the impossible?
Tired of Mediocre, what ACTion are you going to take to bring joy to your work and personal life? In other words, what is your life’s purpose? What is your role to play while you are here on earth? This is such a paralyzing question for so many people and the answer to this question does not come easy. I think people are afraid to answer this question for many reasons; My purpose is too big for me to accomplish, I don’t really know what my purpose is, or Do I really have to choose something. One of the most profound yet simple responses I have heard of someone trying to answer this question was this. If you don’t know your purpose, then what are you passionate about and just do that. Just do something to help others. Take the focus off yourself for just a moment
So often we stay in the mundane and mediocre life because of fear of failure, frustration, several failed attempts or the dream is so BIG they simply don’t know how to start. What’s holding you back? Why do you keep starting… and stopping, launching your purpose work?
So I ask you…..What are you waiting for? Act Now.
As a Strategists for Emerging Entrepreneurs, my clients hire me to help them ACTivate their Purpose through a 7 Step System that helps them overcome those fears by creating a roadmap to launch their BIG DREAM. You can learn more about the business that gives me joy at www.lauracbulluck.com. I was tired of mediocre, are you?