08/22/2012 07:15 EDT | Updated 10/22/2012 05:12 EDT

You Have Permission to Make a Difference, Here's How


It's truly inspiring to witness the many philanthropists and social entrepreneurs creating change in the world. Many of us dream of such a thing but wouldn't know where to start and may not even feel deserving of doing such a thing. As Founder of End Sex Trafficking Day, I am only one example of how one voice and one idea can make a difference in the world. Your passion can lead you to do big things, here is how:

Start with the problems you see

One of my favourite quotes from Simon Mainwaring, is a great place to start: "The one who sees the problem, has the responsibility to fix it."

What problems do you see? Perhaps you walk by the ocean and get so frustrated at the amount of waste thrown into the sand. You may even get irritated thinking about the millions of people that go without clean water every day. In my case, watching the documentary Nefarious about global sex trafficking and learning about the millions of women being sold every day was what light me on fire to do what I could to fix it. What problems do you see?

Utilize your genius

If you are going to make an impact with the problems you see you must utilize your genius. Perhaps you are a great speaker, writer, artist or you have a graphic design business. Use what you are good at to further what you are passionate about. When it came to End Sex Trafficking Day, I knew I had a lot of connections with entrepreneurs and writers online that would be willing to write for a good cause. What is your genius?

Decide what to give

A mistake I see so many entrepreneurs make is thinking they can't make a difference because they aren't making millions. In a recent interview I did with Danielle La Porte, she said, "People, especially those in the entrepreneur mindset, think, well I will give when I've got the money. No, no, you give from day one."

When you don't have the money to give, you can give of your time. When I took on End Sex Trafficking Day I was close to flat broke. But my passion for fighting sex trafficking was what drove me to give so freely of my time. What do you have to give?

Make the decision to start

Whether you start by journaling your do-good dream or by calling a mentor and discussing what you envision, start. Don't worry about having all the details lined up or wait until you have a name for it. Start!

When you see the problem, fuse it with your genius and give freely of yourself, you will be tied to it heart and soul. Your passion will fuel you and although resistance will come against you, know that you too can make a difference in the world and today is the best day to start.

You now have (and have always had) permission to make a difference.