Transcript Episode 157

Transcript Episode 157 – Setting the Intention for 2024 on The Prosperous Nonprofit

Stephanie Skryzowski: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Prosperous Nonprofit, the podcast for leaders who are building financially sustainable and impactful nonprofits and changing the world. I’m Stephanie Skrzewski, a chief financial officer and founder and CEO of 100 Degrees Consulting. My personal mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers, to grow their impact and their income.

On this show, we talk to people who are leading the nonprofit sector in new, innovative, disruptive, and entrepreneurial ways, creating organizations that fuel their lives, their hearts, and their communities. Let’s dive in.

Hey friends, welcome back to the Prosperous Nonprofit. I’m excited to be here with you today and we are talking about my word of the year. Now, true confession time, I don’t exactly [00:01:00] know if I have one. So y’all know me, I am all about my goals and thinking of a word of the year is something that I tend to start in like September, October of the previous year.

And nothing was coming to me. And I think the most important thing about having a word of the year or a clear intention is that it doesn’t feel forced, right? Like I am not putting pressure on myself and I’ve never put pressure on myself to like comb through the dictionary. Comb through the thesaurus until I find just the right word that really resonates with me.

It just so happens that every single year I found something that really resonates with me. So towards the end of 2023. I kept seeing the word magic and it just sort of spoke to me. I was reading this book specifically called The Creative [00:02:00] Act, A Way of Being by Rick Rubin. It was one of my favorite books that I read last year because it was almost like poetic.

He is a music producer. And so a lot of the creativity things that he was talking about in his context was around music. But I was really thinking about that in the context of owning a business and writing and things like that. And the word magic kept coming up and I like that word, but it didn’t feel like quite the right word to me.

And then I saw this post on Instagram by Morgan Harper Nichols. If you don’t know Morgan Harper Nichols, she is an amazing artist, an incredible poet, and she just creates these words, these poems, and these art pieces to go along with it. And I saw this post and it said, I hope beautiful things fall into place in a [00:03:00] thousand little ways you didn’t expect.

I hope beautiful things fall into place in a thousand little ways you didn’t expect. And I was like, yes, this, this is what I want, right? I want those magical connections, those magical moments in life. And what I realized was that, well, in order for those magical moments to happen, there’s some other things that need to happen too, right?

Like I need to be present enough. I need to have enough spaciousness in my schedule and in my life to. See the magic when it’s happening and to appreciate it. I need to really have a strong gratitude practice so that I can be grateful when these little magical things fall into place in a thousand ways I didn’t expect.

Right. So. I took this post and I reposted it on Instagram and I said, okay, y’all, if this is a vibe that I want to [00:04:00] bring in for 2024, what is that word? And I had already spent some time kind of combing through the thesaurus and almost everybody that responded said serendipity. And so I love that. I think serendipity is a good word and I like it, but I don’t know if it’s my word of the year.

My word of the year is not magic. It’s not serendipity, but it is that vibe. And now the reason that I can’t really commit to either of those words is because in a sense, Those words don’t reflect the work and the putting yourself in the room and the Doing the consistent daily actions that are going to lead to those beautiful things falling into place, right?

Because it’s not just a life of coincidence and of sitting back and passively letting things happen to you, right? You [00:05:00] have to actively be aware. Walking towards something you have to actively be walking towards your goals or towards those things you want to accomplish, or even towards those little daily habits, right?

You have to actually do something. And so to me, serendipity didn’t feel quite right. So listen, I am going to read to you the caption on Morgan Harper Nichols post with the statement, I hope beautiful things fall into place in a thousand little ways you didn’t expect. And so. What she has painted here in this image with that quote that I keep saying over and over again is a snow globe.

And so let me read you her caption, Lessons from a Snow Globe. Once you place the snow globe down, these pieces slowly find their way to rest. The settling is a result of the water’s density inside the globe guiding the chaotic motion towards a calmer resolve. Of course, in our lives, arranging [00:06:00] things into place is far more intricate than in a snow globe, yet there might be something to learn here.

The period between shaking the snow globe and the settling of the flakes, where the water’s density allows for a gradual, graceful descent, a reflection of life’s slower moments where we can observe the subtle shifts and changes. A snow globe in its own way might remind us of how things might fall in place in ways we didn’t expect with time.

And I think this, what she wrote, that sort of end quote right there, I think what Morgan wrote right here is exactly kind of like the vibe that I’m going for, right? I’m going to shake the snow globe. I am going to take the action and then I am going to. Sit back and have the presence and have the calm to watch the magic happen, right?

To watch things settle into place exactly as they are meant to do. So I have a ton of really big goals for [00:07:00] myself this year for my business. Um, on the personal side of things, I am going to run a marathon this year. If y’all don’t know, I’ve run seven marathons before, but it was all before my two daughters were born.

And so this year, 2024, I am back. I just had a big milestone birthday. And the thing that I am thinking about most is my health and my wellness. And what better way to ease into a new decade than to run 26. 2 miles. So I’m running the Buffalo Marathon, which is Memorial Day weekend, and this will be marathon number eight.

And I’m. So excited for that. So that’s a, you know, a big goal on the personal side. A big goal on the work and business and professional side is I am writing a book and I have gone back and forth between being so excited and putting it out there and saying, Hey y’all, I’m going to be an author this year.

And also saying to myself, who am I to think that I’m going to be an author this year? [00:08:00] Like I. I can’t write a book. I’ve never written a book before. So I know when I am getting that imposter syndrome, I know that it’s exactly the goal. That’s exactly the thing that I need to do. So anyway, I have some big personal and big professional goals and there’s even more than that, but what I don’t want to do.

It’s like force it, right? I want to shake the snow globe. I want to do that work. I want to pick up the snow globe and shake it and do my work there. And then I want to let things sort of settle into place and have the calm and presence to watch the magic happen. So that just feels kind of long for a word of the year, right?

It’s not magic. It’s not serendipity. Maybe my word of the year is snow globe. Maybe I need to, Oh my gosh. Okay. I’m just getting a brilliant idea. I think I need to go buy myself a beautiful snow globe and have it in my office as my reminder of what I want this year to be like, right? I want to shake my snow globe.

I want to do the work and then I want things to [00:09:00] fall. Beautifully into place in a thousand little ways. I didn’t expect. I love that. I may also have to see if I can buy a print of this snow globe painting. It’s beautiful.

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So. I’ve got this combination of [00:10:00] serendipity, of magic, right? Of shaking the snow globe. But there are two things that I think are super, super important for our goals, right? Or for any type of word of the year or anything we want to do, right? And so I want you to think whatever your word of the year is, whatever your goals for the year are or resolutions or intentions or habits or whatever you want to call them, the two biggest things that have really helped me.

Achieve all that I have achieved and I know will continue to help me are first putting yourself in the room with people who are ahead of you, who are farther down the path than you. Who will teach you, who will challenge you, right? Get yourself in the room where it happens, quote from Hamilton, right? So this is something that I have done consistently since [00:11:00] 2018, I would say, maybe even before that really, but hiring business coaches, going to conferences, meeting someone for coffee that you’ve never met before.

I remember, I think two years ago, I went to go look at a piece of commercial real estate. And unbeknownst to me, I was there with a number of other people who were all interested in the same piece of real estate. And we went to go look at it together. And I was the youngest by at least 20 years. I was the only woman.

Um, and I was super outside of my comfort zone, but I put myself in the room, right? Another example, a few months ago in 2023, I had only been home for 24 hours from a conference and just frankly, a very, very busy month of travel. And I had the opportunity to go to Austin to have a mastermind today with my business coach, some of my other business friends, as [00:12:00] well as another very, very successful business owner.

And. in a space that I’m quite interested in. And so I had two choices. I could say, okay, well, I just got home from this other trip. I don’t really feel like getting on another airplane. I’m not going to go. There’ll be another opportunity. Or I could say, well, this is happening. I have the means and I have the time to be able to make this happen.

So I’m going to do it. Am I going to be tired from that 4 a. m. wake up call to get on that early morning flight? Yes. But like, it’s worth it. Right. So. I consistently get myself in the room where it happens with people who inspire me, who are further along in their journey than I am, who can teach me and who will absolutely challenge me.

So I guarantee that if you do this consistently all year long, you will be a different person in December than you are today. I know because this I do this every single year. It takes effort though, right? It takes effort. And especially if you’re an introvert like me, where [00:13:00] being around a lot of people for a long time really drains you.

It’s a lot, but you know what I do in those situations? I take care of myself. I have no problem. I do not have FOMO. So if it’s nine o’clock and everybody’s still, you know, having drinks and chatting, but I’ve had my fill, I have no problem saying, all right, y’all, this has been great. I will see you in the morning.

And I go back to my room or if everybody’s going out for dinner and I just don’t feel like I. Have the energy or capacity to sit through three hours of dinner with a group of people. I’ll say, Nope, you know what? I’m gonna go get takeout and have dinner in my room and I am so excited to see you tomorrow, and I know that I will come back tomorrow feeling recharged, right?

So anyway, even if you’re an introvert, my point is to still get yourself in the room. Okay? So thinking about your goals again, the second thing I want you to think about is doing something scary, right? Maybe getting yourself in the room is the scary thing, right? If it is like bonus points to you, getting yourself in the room, you’ve checked two boxes, [00:14:00] right?

Getting yourself in the room and doing something scary. Now, listen, I have done some scary stuff in my business in the efforts to achieve my goals. So I shared with you in another podcast episodes. Let me see. It was episode 103. I talked about getting on stage at ROI, the Millionaire’s Summit, which is a conference put on by Hello7, uh, Rachel Rogers company.

And I was asked to, I applied and was asked to do a keynote talk to open the conference, like 10 minutes on the stage, no slides, no prompts, just me doing an inspirational keynote. I had never done that before. So, I was I was terrified. I was scared-cited. Right? That’s a combination of scared and excited, but I said, yes, I got myself on the stage to do the thing anyway.

And I can’t remember who said this, um, and so if y’all remember, I [00:15:00] actually think it was somebody at ROI, that conference last year, but courage comes before. Confidence. I kind of think it was Amy Purdy. So I’ll have to look at my notes from last year, but courage comes before confidence, right? I’m not going to be confident my first time doing a keynote, but I have to have courage first.

Once I do that, confidence will come, right? And I am recording this. Right before ROI, the millionaire summit conference, uh, 2024. And so I was asked to get on stage again this year and do a little bit of a, almost like a spoken word performance type thing. And y’all, I’m kind of nervous about it. Not going to lie.

Next time I talk to you, I will have done the thing. So courage to do it. Courage is seven on that stage comes before confidence. So have the courage today. And you will gain confidence tomorrow. So that’s what I wanted to share with you today. Two things that are just sort of like common [00:16:00] themes to all the goals I’ve had and the reason that I’ve been able to be successful, right?

Surrounding myself with people frequently. Who inspire me and who are further along in their journey than I am, who can teach me, who will challenge me and then doing scary things, right? Both of those are just common threads in everything. And so thinking about my own goals and my own word of the year, right?

My snow globe situation, my serendipity, the magic that I want to happen this year in order to make the magic happen, I probably have to do some scary things, right? I don’t know what those scary things are, but maybe I’m going to need to get into the room with some different people that I’ve never met before that are going to have conversations with me that are going to then make magic happen.

Right? You have to do the thing in order to make the magic happen. You have to shake the snow globe in order [00:17:00] to see the magic of how each little snowflake settles. Right? So I hope this, number one, I hope this all makes sense. I hope this all makes sense to you. It really makes sense to me and I’m super excited.

But what it means to me or what it really tells me is that maybe I don’t have a word of the year. Maybe I have a thing of the year and my thing is my snow globe. All right, y’all. I have, uh, I’ve sent an email to our list all about. And, um, I’ve got a whole bunch of people that have responded with their, uh, word of the year.

And so it’s so exciting. It’s so fun to see what everybody’s word of the year is. So I would love if you would share it with me. If you have a word of the year, if you have an intention, send it on over. Y’all know where to find me on Instagram at Stephanie dot S K R Y. And I would love to hear if there is a word of the year or an intention or a habit that you are looking to build, because I just want to lift you up and encourage [00:18:00] you all the way.

Okay, friends. Well, that is it for today. I hope you have a great day. I hope you have a great week and I hope you have a fantastic year and keep listening to this podcast. We’ve got a lot of fun stuff coming and a lot of new guests and. Good stuff that I think you’re going to enjoy. All right. See you next time.

Before you go, I just want to thank you for being here to access our show notes and bonus content. Visit 100degreespodcast. com. That’s 100degreespodcast. com. And I’ll see you next time.