When recent college graduates Aaron Madonna and Juwon Melvin, learned that every day children around the world miss school because they must walk miles to get water for their families, they were shocked, angry, sad, but most important, they were determined to do something to change this.“Growing up, we desire success. But growing wise, we desire significance. We want to know that our life meant something.” –Juwon Melvin, Co-Founder, LifeSoap Company
They decided to use their business background to make a difference. The duo started LifeSoap Company in January. The company ships premium organic soap in “Boxes of Joy” to customer’s homes monthly. LifeSoap gives 90 percent of their after-tax profits to bring clean water to children and communities around the world.
The world is an incredibly big place and has countless issues to be solved.
When discussing how to solve issues facing the world, I think my professor said it best: If you try to help everyone, you help no one. The key to making a difference in the world is not to try to solve the world’s problems…concentrate on solving one problem.
Focused action makes a huge impact.
Throughout this post I will explore how you can make a difference in the world. After reading this post I want you to be able to identify where you want to make an impact and how you can begin making a difference in the world.
Where Will You Make an Impact?
The first step to making a difference in the world is to decide where you will make an impact. With so many issues facing the world how do you even begin to choose which one to target? It’s actually quite simple.
Begin by exploring what issues burn you up the most. Here are a few questions to help you explore:
- Which issues do you see on TV or read about that spark an emotional response?
- Which issues do you talk about most with your friends, co-workers, family, or strangers?
- Which causes do you feel compelled to support?
Spend some time with each of these questions and research the issues that you care about. Once you have accomplished this determine which issue you feel most passionately about. Decide that you are going to do what ever it takes to do your part to solve the issue. Commit to it.
After choosing a broad passion area you will need to narrow it down even further to have a real impact. Here is a personal example. I care about providing basic needs for people in developing countries. But that is still too vague. After exploring issues surrounding clean water I found a passion for helping people in developing gain access to clean water. Specifically, I want to help children in South America and Africa who are suffering from lack of access to clean water. The lack of clean water is keeping them from education and killing many due to the number of water related diseases.
“Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.” – Water.org
Where will you make an impact? Take some time and find an issue that you truly care about. Don’t pick something just because it is popular or on the news.
Who Is Actively Working With Your Issue?
Next, find people and organizations that are working with your issue. It is infinitely more difficult to attack a major world issue on your own. There is a great chance that numerous organizations are already working to solve an issue you care about. Don’t try to recreate the wheel. Work with experts who have established relationships. Find ways you can engage through volunteer work, financial contributions or employment. Here are a couple of places to turn to:
- Local Organizations
- National Organizations
- Social Entrepreneurs
After finding people who are working on your issue, contact them. Most people are very gracious and open to establishing relationships. You both care about the same issue, there is no reason why you can’t work together and do more good.
There are multiple organizations that are focused on providing clean water to people in developing countries. Some of the most popular are Water.org, Charity Water and Water for People. I have decided to work with H20 For Life Schools because they work directly with helping children in the countries where I want to have an impact.
How Do You Make A Difference?So you have discovered an issue that you care about and found someone working to solve the issue. Now it is time to determine how you intend to have an impact. There are so many ways that you can make a difference that it can be overwhelming. The most important thing to remember is start by doing something small.
You will not be able to solve a global issue overnight. It’s just not going to happen that fast. You can solve a global issue with consistent focused action. The key is to start somewhere and complete one project. Then build momentum from small victories. Overtime you will establish partnerships with others and scale up to make a larger impact. For now, focus on completing a small project. Even if you just help one person, you are making a difference in the world. Here are a few ways you can make a difference:
- Make giving to a cause a part of your company’s mission.
- Start a social entrepreneurship venture. A friend and I started a for-profit business called LifeSoap Company that gives 90% of our after-tax profits to clean water projects that help children. We are supporting our first project in South America this year.
- Volunteer to help a cause that makes a difference in an issue you care about.
- Contribute financially to a cause by supporting an organization.
- Start a non-profit foundation that uses donations to solve the issue you care about.
- Host an event that takes advantage of your talents, charge an entry fee, and donate the proceeds to a cause.
There are many issues in the world that could capture your attention. The most important thing is to pick an issue that captures your heart. From there decide how you will use your gifts, talents and skills to make an impact. Find other like-minded individuals and get started!
About Aaron Madonna