So let me tell you a story about failure. Fun times, right? Now before you close this email, I want to assure you of two things: 1) This story has a positive ending. 2) And, at the end of it, I’ll tell you about a free gift I have for you.

On the way to that good stuff, though, I need to take you through some hard stuff. This experience happened to me before I launched my book “Find Your Fire: Stories and Strategies to Inspire the Changemaker Inside You.”

I wanted to donate a portion of my book sales to a large, international nonprofit that’s played a huge role in my life. This organization contributed so much to me that I’ve always given back to it, both through fundraising and my own donations and by being a vocal supporter.

Sounds like a natural fit, don’t you think?

Well, that’s what I thought. The leader of the organization at the time saw things differently. She flatly turned down my offer to donate some of my book proceeds.  The organization, she said, was not interested in helping me market the book (which I wasn’t even asking, but okay) — because it was about me, not them.


 I had just wanted to help, so this blistering response left me flabbergasted and confused.

That moment was not fun. But today I look back on it as a gift.

From ‘No Way’ to ‘Now What?’

Since my original idea for how to give back through my book sales were shot down, I needed a new plan. So I created the #MovementMaker Momentum Fund to help turn moments in others’ lives into movements.

This fund supports two important missions. First, it provides scholarships for first-time nonprofit board members who might not be able to afford the financial gift required to sit on a board. So far, five of these scholarships have been awarded.

The fund also awards grants to organizations that educate diverse leaders, that teach women how to get involved in the political process or run for office and that train the next generation of changemakers. I am so thrilled to announce that this month the first grants will be given to six organizations that embody the principles of “Find your Fire” by helping people build, support and amplify movements for social good.

None of this would have happened without that moment of “no,” of pain, of rejection. Those scholarships and grants wouldn’t exist without the obstacle I got to turn into an opportunity.

My Gift to You

 And that brings us to the free gift I have for you. Click on this link to download a free inspirational wallpaper with this message: “Don’t let fear from failures of the past defer your dreams and possibilities for the present.

I want you to think of this wallpaper as a constant reminder from me.

A reminder to notice the needs others ignore and to take action.

A reminder not to let moments that feel like failure stop you from doing what you know you are meant to do.

A reminder that even when others can’t see the light within you, it still shines brightly.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: When you decide to bring that light to the world, you’ll inevitably go through moments like the one I shared with you here. But they don’t define us. Instead, we will be known for our ability to turn obstacles into opportunities.


With Faith & Fortitude,


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