You can’t fly without a map

September 25, 2008 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

So I awoke at 4.45am this morning with a pounding headache and a realization – I am dangerously close to a career rut. Sure, people get that way at points in their lives, it’s just a phase… However being the Director and sole staff member of www.donatenz.com, verging on financial suicide having thrown all into getting this baby off the ground – there’s not much room for error. I just don’t have the luxury of wallowing for long… work don’t get done around here if it’s not me doing it.


As I pondered what was causing me to have this quandary, I realized one big problem – DonateNZ, and I, are at a major crossroads in terms of changing from a business to a charity – and flying without a map. How is one supposed to navigate the treacherous path that is entrepreneurship and a financial downturn of the economy without a set of directions? Not well, one supposes.

I did have a business plan – up to date too… however, since we made the decision to become a charity, it needs to be rewritten with new goals, expectations and a plan of attack.

First and foremost goal that weighs ever increasingly on my mind – GET FUNDING. As we’ve exhausted ours. But where to start? While sitting here at my computer in Papakura, working hard on the day to day running of the (still) business (awaiting charities register approval), the prospect of walking into a boardroom of Telecom, Fonterra and other such large New Zealand businesses to demand sponsorshop is quite frankly terrifying and so very foreign.

Cup half full –

  • I’ve run DonateNZ for 3 years, in addition to Directing and Managing 2 businesses previous to this for 3 years
  • I’ve worked every job from the ground up – every task around here I can do!
  • I’ve won numerous awards both personally and professionally for myself and DonateNZ for my work for the past 2 years
  • Nothing has ever held me back and no one has ever told me there’s something I can’t do!
  • I have a great concept which people love and want to support

Cup half empty –

  • I didn’t go to Uni – is there some element of training I’m missing which could make the tasks at hand easier to approach right now?
  • We’re nearly going broke – is this my fault? Or is it truly a series of unfortunate events outside our control? Can anyone ever truly say that?
  • Me + Web developers = fail – shame a career change isn’t an option (lol/cry)
  • I have no experience running a charity – nor do the people around me
  • Isn’t approaching people for sponsorship begging? I don’t want to beg!

Why me? (Your idea, own it woman!) Can’t I get someone else to do it? (Yes magical free staff members, fall out of the sky alllll the time, dream on sista) Surely I don’t have the experience to do this? (Probably not, but you’re going to have to get it) Why does this rest all on my shoulders? (Now this really is getting silly, quit your jibber jabber or else you’ll meet my friend PAIN *Quote Ice T)

A few Nurofen ingested later, as I continued to ponder, I realized that Rome wasn’t built in a day and I was just going to freak myself out if I continued to put the pressure on myself to have the answers to all those questions in an instant. And in all practicality – I couldn’t very well even begin to wish upon a star for the free staff members, as when they turned up I wouldn’t even know what to ask them to do. Ben (BWAGY) asked me the other day he could help – and you know what – I didn’t know. I’ve been so locked down for months in web dev getting the new site off the ground, now when I turn my focus to the future promotion of such it’s like emerging from a tunnel and there’s bright lights everywhere and I’m blinded by them.
* Note to self – find out how other people can help and LET THEM

So straight into it this morning…

A small start – NUMBERS – After meeting with Alex from Trade Me last week it became obvious I needed an updated set of numbers around DonateNZ. Pulling these out of two data sets (which were a mess), took some time, but came up with some interesting results…

  • Roughly 43,000 Charities, Schools and Playcentres in New Zealand – a huge potential customer base for DonateNZ
  • Roughly 36,000 items exchanged through DonateNZ since we began in 2006 – not bad!
  • Roughly 1900 Warm Fuzzies sent from Recipients to Donors to say thank you – aww!


Now onto re-writing the PLAN – if I don’t come out in 5 days send in a search party? With any luck at the end of it I will be confidently navigating to future success.

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Entry filed under: General mumbling. Tags: , , , , .

Chill Out

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