I’ve done a nonprofit project some time ago, and I’ve just completed another one. The major challenges weren’t the ones that I had anticipated.
I researched a yoga guide to Melbourne and (just now) Perth, both are online for free. Yes, for free. I’ve spent 6 months on each guide, taking countless classes, chatting with hundreds of students, interviewing teachers, driving around town to reach even studios in far-flung places. I paid for the vast majority of those classes.
Many people got it right away. “Oh, what a great idea!”, they said. Or: “Why has this not been done before?”
And then there were many conversations like this:
“But – what do you get out of it?”
“Nothing, just the satisfaction that someone will use these guides to find their perfect yoga class.”
“No, but I mean, what’s the business model?”
“There’s no business model. I just wanted to create something that would benefit others.”
“But how do you make money with it?”
“Well, I don’t. It actually costs money to produce these guides.”
[Despair, raised eyebrows…]
Something that I thought would get people excited right away actually ended up being pretty hard to sell. They just didn’t believe me. They thought there was a catch. They quite literally took a step back.
And they almost won. At one point I started having doubts. Maybe I was the one being silly? After all, who would do something without any business plan? Every project needed one, no?
But then I remembered what my mum wrote in my book when I was a kid (those books you would pass around and everyone would add their favourite quote):
You have to do good deeds – just so that they exist in this world.
In the end it doesn’t matter what people think. It doesn’t matter if they find weird what I do (or why I do it). What matters is that there are people out there who use those fruits of my actions to their benefit (“no attachment to the fruits of your action”, I hear my yoga teacher say).
Here’s to everyone who does something – just because.
If you want to get your free guide, head over here. 🙂