I’ve been struggling to breathe recently: masks can be suffocating. I’ve just been putting on the face of the perfect CEO who has the best website, the best social media page, and the best articles. But the reality is that I have been exhausted recently. Additionally, I have been talking to other non-profits who are huge So what do I do? So It seems as if I have been fakin’ it till’ I’m makin’ it in two ways: pretending I am not tired and pretending we are a bigger organization.
I think it is pretty safe to say that we are still a small organization compared to other female-centered non-profits. We are definitely not the smallest, but we are still trying to get our name out there.
The guppy in the image, I feel, represents me when I am asking other organizations to partner or asking influential young women for us to interview them. I feel like everyone knows I’m still a young/small organization; I feel like everyone knows I’m new to this – A guppy.
So what do we do? We show off what we got. We have over 2,000 Instagram followers and receive more than 10,000 people to our website every year thus far, and that number is expected to double. When I feel small and that I should be bigger, I remind myself that I am still 17. I have the ACTs, I have homework, I have my work job: I am not a full-time CEO (…yet…).
I’ve been reading the Classy’s blog recently (Classy is one of the top fundraising organizations for non-profits and they also have a blog) and one of their main writers, Elizabeth Chung, wrote a piece called How to Make Your Small Nonprofit Look Bigger, and we have been following along. From focussing on our web design to producing high-quality (not necessarily quantity) content, and have been posting on our social media accounts regularly!
I remind myself that everyone starts out as a guppy, and sometimes the guppy needs to act like a shark to rise in the ranks. Sometimes you need to act more developed and more self-assured TO BECOME self-assured.
I’m Not Tired – You’re Tired
Another thing that I have needed to “fake” has been my exhaustion. I. AM. SO. TIRED. It is not even funny. I have had so much going on both with The Girl Narrative, my academic life, my political life, my social life, and anything else: if something CAN happen in my life right now, it seems that it WILL.
I have been feeling so tired all the time, and I haven’t necessarily had to fake being awake because the truth is: I can’t sleep. I have so many ideas for projects that my mind keeps racing. So yes, I am overworked. Dear god, I need a nap. But it really comes down to my mind (also don’t worry I do actually sleep…most pf the time).
I want to keep growing involving both my business and myself, so I am constantly thinking of work I can do or event I can plan because i want to better my business, myself, and my community. But I need to remember to be patient. If I try to do things overnight, they will not have the long-lasting effect that I want them to have.
Faking It Till I’m Making It
So with my exhaustion and my trying-to-have-my-stuff-together look, I go on and try and develop and create. I (metaphorically) puff up my chest, walk into that board meeting, and show others that even though we are small, we are mighty, and we are growing. And when my mind is racing and/or I am overworked. I remember to breathe because change can’t happen overnight. And that. Is. Okay.
CEO and Founder of The Girl Narrative
Chung, Elizabeth. “How to Make Your Small Nonprofit Look Like a Big Operation | Classy.”
Best Practices, Tips and Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits, Classy, 20 July 2016, http://www.classy.org/blog/how-to-make-your-small-nonprofit-look-like-a-big-operation/.
Classy.org.” Classy.org, 2015, http://www.classy.org/.
Inova Consultancy. “Fake It Till You Make It.” Inova Consultancy, 2015, http://www.inovaconsult.com/projects/fake-till-make/.
Sahota, Pam. “Fake It ’Til You Make It.” Radiate Daily, 14 Aug. 2016, radiatedaily.com/fake-til-make/.
The Daily Quipple! “Fake It Til You Make It.” The Daily Quipple, 9 Sept. 2013, thedailyquipple.com/tag/fake-it-til-you-make-it-quotes/.