September 9, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Don’t Try to ‘BOIL THE OCEAN’

Gerhard Gschwandtner is publisher of SELLING POWER. He is one of the true experts and gurus on the Art of Selling.

In this month’s editorial, he responds to someone who is stuck in a rut, wants to take three months off to write, etc.

GG’s response,

“Take baby steps; don’t try to boil the ocean.”

There it is. Set smaller goals. Think about what you can do today. Sit down and do the work. (Steven Pressfield) Ship it. (Seth Godin)

What can you TODAY to move forward on your big goals, your 1,000-Day Plan, changing the world???


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September 4, 2013 | Nick Fellers

Office Hours

School’s back in session.

We’re offering Office Hours again throughout the fall.

The simple concept:

We first tried this two years ago, holding ‘office hours’ in a hotel lobby – visiting with one organization at a time, and helping it simplify its message, overcome funding obstacles, and work through some prospect strategies.

The coaching generated some $260,000 in gifts for the handful of organizations that sought advice. These were organizations that didn’t necessarily need to be in a long-term coaching relationship, but that benefited from a little help in applying the For Impact frameworks.

Huge impact!

Some of those we met that day became For Impact clients and others simply became better acquaintances with a deeper understanding of the For Impact frameworks. In every case, it added value and made a big impact in the local For Impact community — an objective of ours that drives the WOW Emails, Daily Nuggets blog, teleseminars, and gatherings.

In September, For Impact coaches will be holding office hours in these cities:

Indianapolis (tentative)
Phoenix (tentative)
San Francisco (tentative)
St. Louis

Post-Surgery Rehab — Office hours with OG.
Regular readers will know Tom is holed up at Eagle Creek recovering from a shoulder surgery. We usually have him busy and on-the-road, but as part of his R&R, we will also be making Tom available for selected coaching sessions. (He loves it!)

Contact Mike Gemm ( if you’re interested in meeting up with a For Impact coach in one of the cities above. Please include something you would hope to get out of our time together, e.g., addressing a specific challenge, getting re-charged, working on strategy, simplifying, etc.).


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September 4, 2013 | Tom Suddes


I had a great conversation with one of our top coaches on his birthday. We just kind of riffed about life and goals and priorities. When I went to summarize the conversation, I thought it might be of value to others as well.

The three big ideas were around:

    1. WRITE IT DOWN. (IT WILL HAPPEN.) We talked a lot about journaling, which is just my word for writing stuff down, life goals, annual goals, monthly goals, etc.
    I mentioned that this does not have to be a formal process. A lot of rambling writing, quick journal entries, sometimes topical but most of the time stream of consciousness. Julia Cameron, one of my absolute favorite authors wrote the seminal book on this called The Artist’s Way. She calls them morning pages encouraging everyone to write 3 pages every day.
    I gave a lot of examples from my own life of writing stuff down, including a list of things I wanted from my ultimate place to live (which I wrote in 1983 in South Bend, Indiana … and 20 years later have that list checked off at Eagle Creek).
    Besides the SFP (Self-Fulfilling Prophecy) application of this (IT WILL HAPPEN) … these journals and notebooks represent some of my most prized possessions, including a journal from my trip around the world, Nick and my two-week trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, my original ‘green’ book with all the kids’ birthday goals, etc.
    2. 1,000-DAY PLAN. For ‘Mike’, this worked out great. He just turned 37. 1,000 days takes him to his 40th birthday!
    While I like the idea of lifetime goals, legacy/impact goals, bucket lists, etc., I find that 1,000 days (almost three years) provides a really powerful framework for a personal action plan. Where do you want to be in 1,000 days? What do you have to do to make that happen? What can you do in the next quarter (90 days) to move you towards those goals?
    Note: I mentioned that one of my ‘best’ 1,000-day plans was at age 57 … tied to my 60th birthday. My dad passed away at age 57; and, I used that as a great motivator to lay out where I’d like to be and what I’d like to be doing at age 60.
    3. BIRTHDAYS and BIRTH DATES. I had a great conversation about how to use birthdays and birth dates to help make goals happen (and, I would add, live a good life).

We talked about three natural Action-Forcing Events:

  • Calendar Year. December is a great time to evaluate and plan for the following calendar year. I’m not really talking about ‘resolutions’ (since it is statistically proven that 98.3% of all people who set New Year’s resolutions have abandoned them by January 26th). With that said, the holidays and a start of a new year provide a great opportunity to stop and think and plan.
  • Your Fiscal Year. Your personal fiscal year is represented by the year in between your birthdays. I make a pretty big deal of birthdays. Always have. Always will. It’s not about ‘age’, but rather another wonderful opportunity to stop and think, evaluate the last year, plan and look forward to the next year (all with a sense of gratitude).
    ***I find that this really is a good time to ‘get away’ for three hours or three days and do some serious thinking and planning.
  • Your Monthly Birthdate. I won’t go deep into this here, but I’ve been urging our team members and audiences for years about the idea of CELEBRATING YOUR BIRTHDATE … every month.
    In this context, I use the birthdate as a monthly check in. I review my experiences and accomplishments in the last month, goals/plans for the next month, and a high-level look at my 1,000-day plan.
    ***I use the word ‘celebrate’ very purposely. Your birthdate is also a great opportunity to do something for yourself! That may be coffee shop, motorcycle ride, great workout, a trip, special time with those you love, or hiding out somewhere and reading a great book.

We ended up having a great conversation about LIFE ROCKS. More on that later.

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August 30, 2013 | Tom Suddes


As every parent or grandparent knows, the only person who really likes ‘CHANGE‘ is a wet baby!

However, CHANGE really is the only CONSTANT.


There is true ‘SEA CHANGE’ going on in the world … and certainly in our Third Sector/For Impact world.

Our For Impact Guidebook ON CHANGE will be published next week; and here is a sample of some great quotes on CHANGE to help inspire, motivate and support you.

Three of my favorites are:

  • “BE the CHANGE you want to see in the world.” Gandhi
  • EVERY organization needs to ABANDON (CHANGE) almost EVERYTHING that it does.” Peter Drucker
  • “Stop BEGGING for ‘change’.
    Start begging for CHANGE.”
    Robert Egger


Right click on image to download a copy!

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August 28, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Sea Change

Have you ever visited the Great Barrier Reef in Australia?

On the inner (leeward) side of the reef, there are NO waves, NO turbulence, NO ‘CHANGE‘ … and NO LIFE!

All of the colorful fish, the beautiful coral and the amazing plants are on the ocean (windward) side of the reef … where they are hammered every day with crashing waves, intense turbulence and ‘CHANGE‘.

Here are three stories to help you with this whole idea of CHANGE ….


    Forty years before Copernicus revolutionized the world view, Leonardo da Vinci said, “THE SUN DOES NOT MOVE.” Both of these dudes were born on a flat, unmoving planet in the center of the universe, around which the “SUN CIRCLED.”

    A century after their deaths, that same planet was a rotating sphere orbiting around the sun somewhere in a universe too vast to even have a center! The church tried to suppress this as heresy. The best ‘THINKERS’ of the times thought this concept absurd.

    The planet/solar system did not ‘CHANGE‘. But, the paradigm for understanding it had been turned inside out.


    In the 15th Century, Italy was immersed in chaos, war, bloodshed, terror … and ‘CHANGE’. It produced da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi … and the RENAISSANCE.

    Around the same time, SWITZERLAND experienced hundreds of years of peace, consistency, sustainability and no, none, none, nada, nil ‘CHANGE‘. It produced the CUCKOO CLOCK.


    My good friend, Jim Mahoney (Battelle for Kids), tells this wonderful story:

    It’s pretty easy to catch monkeys in the jungle. You just carve out the inside of a coconut with a small hole in the top, fill the coconut with NUTS and BERRIES, and attach the coconut to a stake or a tree.

    The monkey comes along, sticks its hand inside the coconut, and grabs a handful of nuts and berries. The monkey will be there when you get back. Guaranteed. WHY? Because it will NOT let go of the NUTS and BERRIES, and, thus, can’t get its FIST out of the coconut.

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August 22, 2013 | Tom Suddes


I just finished the high-level thoughts on Guiding Principle #1: START WITH THE WHY.

I wanted to share with the Tribe. Big favor. If you find value and/or enjoy the resources at, please take a moment and give me some feedback on this Guiding Principle. Just riff. Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling or even complete sentences. Just let me know what you think.

“He who has a WHY to live … can bear almost any HOW.”

In MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING, Viktor Frankl uses Nietzsches quote to capture the essence of START WITH THE WHY.

If we have the WHY … know the WHY … can communicate the WHY … all else falls in place.


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August 21, 2013 | Nick Fellers

Capture the World’s Imagination

“How can you capture the world’s imagination?” Tom Peters

“Capturing the world’s imagination is the only game worth playing.” Alan Weber

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August 19, 2013 | Tom Suddes

R&R (Rest & Recovery): Full Disclosure

May be TMI … but tore my bicep and rotator cuff in two places. Surgery today. Will be “immobile” on right side for six to eight weeks. Three to six months of PT.

A forced R&R. Not recommending this strategy, but wish it was a conscious decision vs. forced inaction.

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August 19, 2013 | Tom Suddes



This ‘IMPACT’ thing is catching on!!!

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August 15, 2013 | Tom Suddes

The Power of Rest/Recovery

Rest & Recovery

‘Summer’ is effectively over. Kids back in school or almost there. ‘Fall’ is upon us.

For what it’s worth, I want to strongly encourage the For Impact ‘Tribe’ to use some part of these last two weeks of August for REST/RECOVERY.

Anyone who has ever worked out (physical exercise) knows the power and importance of RECOVERY. You stress the muscles … and then REST them to allow for RECOVERY … and for GROWTH.

Same thing is true with our soul/spirit/lives.

Three things to help you with this.

    1. Julia Cameron … WALKING IN THIS WORLD. Julia is one of my absolute favorite authors, especially THE ARTIST’S WAY. In WALKING, she talks a lot about “slowing down”. “We worry rather than ruminate”. “We fret rather than speculate.” “We feel there is so much to do and so little time to do it.”
    Her metaphor for slowing down and recovery is ‘REST’ as a musical term. “REST is the pause between the flurry of notes. Without that tiny pause, the torrent of notes would be overwhelming. Without a REST in our lives, the torrent of our lives can be the same.”
    She adds, “Even God rested. Even waves rest.” And, finally, “We have forgotten that rest has a musical term and that to hear the music of our lives as something other than a propulsive drumbeat, driving us forward as the war drums drove men into bloody battle.”
    “We NEED to rest. The ego hates to rest. We must serve our souls, not our egos. OUR SOULS NEED TO REST.”
    2. Jim Loehr is another one of my absolute favorite authors. In POWER OF FULL ENGAGEMENT (with Tony Schwartz), they created a powerful mantra: MANAGE ENERGY, NOT TIME.
    The single word they use is OSCILLATION. “To maintain a powerful pulse in our lives, we must learn how to rhythmically spend and renew energy.” He goes on to add that if we live our lives as if we are running a “endless marathon” (linear lives), we become “flatliners” mentally and emotionally. (In re-reading this, I noticed a line that suggested we must learn to live our lives as a series of sprints – fully engaged for periods of time and then fully disengaging and seeking renewal before jumping back into the fray.)
    Loehr and Schwartz make a really big deal of oscillation, recovery, rest.
    3. Tim Ferris is an acknowledged ‘whack-job’. Love him or hate him, he certainly challenges your thinking. In 4-HOUR WORKWEEK, he pushes the idea of ‘mini-retirements’ during the course of our lives … not waiting until the end of our life to retire. (Even lays out a one month off and two months on schedule!)

This point, again, is the same as Julia and Jim and Tony (and O.G.). Our bodies and our souls and our lives need recreation, renewal, re-energizing … through recovery and rest.

Action: Not saying take the next two weeks off.

Am saying that each of us should be able to find one day or three days for Rest/Recovery/Renewal.

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