Success is not the absence of failure; it's the persistence through failure. 

Aisha Tyler

It’s amazing how time just flies when you are jumping from job to job, project to project.  So much jumping that one is unavailable to prioritize and focus on what is important this time of the year at Platform, the Fall Roundtable on social entrepreneurship.  I had reserved the room for October 12th (10 am to 2:30 pm) and started to invite people but I could not muster enough presenters. I was busy and they were busy. I couldn’t blame the potential presenters; it is a huge commitment to work on a Saturday when you’re running around all week working.  And I sort of gave up, looking for and chasing after people. I was discouraged and felt like I hit a wall. At first, I wanted to cancel the whole event; I was getting really exhausted from work and life. I felt like I was losing power over students in the classroom; they took over the class with their constant talking and disruptions.  They were winning all the battles and I know I couldn’t let them win the war. And I was feeling defeated by the endless rejections. I just wanted to give up. But before I made the drastic call, I wisely consulted with Manuela, our marketing coordinator. She made it very clear that people in nonprofit are difficult to reach. Unfortunately, this is the reality - everyone is juggling multiple projects and therefore cannot respond immediately.  She recommended that we just change the date.

I am so grateful for her wisdom.  I just needed time to refocus my attention on developing Platform’s Roundtable.  I just needed to pause. So we are planning to hold the Roundtable on November 4th.  Two people have committed to that date already. But we plan to book 2 more people. Does this mean that we will definitely hold the Roundtable?  I don’t know but I hope so. It is important for people to sit around and explore ideas on how to grow funds for their dream, organization, and/or team.  But it really isn’t a big deal if we cancel the event? Maybe not directly. Yet without sufficient funds, our dreams to build up our community can die. Without building up our communities, people on the margins will continue to die, not because of our lack of resources, but our failure to access the resources.  The resources will allow us to listen and address the needs of our communities. If we can’t support ourselves and our communities financially, how can we be effective, how can our communities continue to grow. 

I believe and I know that this roundtable is essential for us to really dig deep and learn how to access the resources available to us, to our communities.  But I cannot will it just because I want it.  I am learning more and more that I cannot will something to happen.  It has to be organic and if it was not meant to be, then I must learn to accept it without feeling like I have failed my organization and myself.  It is hard because I usually define myself by my success. I am trying to rid myself of this really bad habit, this internalization of the capitalist standard.  And I will :).

I just want to make a quick note.  One of our former facilitators, Joie Ha, is currently a representative of the census bureau.  She and I had a conversation about the 2020 census. I have some reservations about the census, especially with the immigration issues, but take a look at their website and make a decision whether you should fill the census:  https://www.2020census.gov/en.

Founder. Executive Director

October. 01, 2019

Samantha Joo