Global Citizen Here

This one is going to be a short post. I’m a bit too emotional to write my regular length hardy-har-har posts. Today, I want to talk about inspiration. What does inspiration mean? Where does inspiration come from? and lastly, So what?

What does inspiration mean?

Inspiration to me, is a source resilience. When the going gets tough, which in a start-up is quite frequently the case, inspiration is what pours that extra little bit of dig-down-deep that is necessary to see your way through the tough times.

Where does inspiration come from?

Inspiration can come from virtually anywhere. For me, it comes from my environment. My inspiration comes from my friends, my family, my fiancé, my successes, even my failures. Last night, inspiration came in the form of a friend’s Facebook wall post. Nothing too earth shattering, just a picture of two of her kids, selling lemonade behind a lemonade stand that they had made. BY HAND.

But here’s the killer that went right for my heart strings — “for the children in Haiti”. Not for a new bike. Not for a <must-have-toy-of-the-year>. For the children of Haiti.

Now ask yourself. What were the pre-conditions that needed to be true for that sign to be made? for that lemonade to be mixed? for that stand to be made?

Believe me, as a start-up guy heading down the path of venture capital and private equity, pre-conditions, assumptions, execution, teamwork — these things all matter. But what goes through the mind of children who want to sell lemonade for the children of Haiti?

I don’t know the actual answer — these two kids were probably in bed when I saw the photo that inspired me to take action!. But what I _IMAGINE_ is that these kids are aware. They are aware that they are fortunate, and more so than others. Perhaps they themselves were “inspired”.

I’m reminded of the little girl from Bellevue, Seattle who wanted to raise $300 by her ninth birthday so that others in Africa could have clean drinking water.

I’m embarrassed to think of how little awareness I had at that age. I would have readily chosen to sell lemonade for a bike or for something equally less altruistic.

So what?

Well, last night, I chose to virtually support these two kids. I haven’t put my finger on exactly why I was moved. Maybe it’s the part of me that wants to support entrepreneurial giving at an early age. Perhaps even that last statement is a bit magnanimous. Maybe the real reason  is that I’m humbled by them — they sort of put my own accomplishments in perspective.

So here is what I did — the execution that comes from inspiration. I created I took their lemonade stand and made it virtual. They mixed water, lemon juice, sugar and ice. They created a lemonade stand. I bought a domain name, and pieced together a quick website. I created a megaphone.

For me, this is an experiment in following, this is an experiment in giving. This – is a Global Citizen Experiment.

Where do you come in?

Give of your thoughts. Give of your money. Or just smile because the next generation is going to be a-OK!

Global Citizen. Out.