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What does AfricaJack say?

How Many times have you heard this one?

Posted May 23, 2008 | 09:08 AM (EST)
This past January, I started my consulting business to support my passion and help keep the Foundation doors open. One of my current clients referred someone to me and said that she knew it was going to be a great fit. Today I had the fortunate opportunity to meet someone who shares similar passions in life. He started the Anbessa Foundation, an organization that helps the children in Ethiopia who battle with AIDS, while bringing the culture and music of Ethiopia to the youth of America.
Estaban walked into the cafe as I was telling the story of "Africa Jack." I saw his eyes light up as he asked the owner, "How much did you tell him?" She swore she only told me that he would be calling.
As I was walking home, I began to plan on how I was going to drop the news about my new project. I began consulting again to support the Africa Jack Foundation. I knew that realistically it didn't make sense or pay any of the bills, but neither did quitting my great paying job to build learning centers in Africa. I knew that the organizations' similar mission and shared visions and people involved outweighed any realistic explanation or excuse. "I have good news and bad news," I said to my partner. "I have decided to take on my last project that doesn't require a retainer."
It was a tough year. Although I had a pretty good cushion in the bank when I quit my job 17 months ago, I wasn't prepared for the financial struggles I faced this year. I know that I won't change the world or help every child affected by HIV/AIDS. There are way too many children who don't control that their parents die from AIDS. Their parents die because they don't have proper care or nutrition. Worse, they are never educated on preventing an infection because their governments or health institutions don't have the funds to spend.
We had a lot of friends tell us they would donate when the IRS gave us our 501(c)3. The promises were there, but the donations from our friends never came. I learned several things about myself, life and love this year. People (friends and family included) will let you down. After all, we are human. But as in business, how the relationship will recover will be defined by actions they make to rebuild it.
The other lesson was about love. I never thought that I would love someone because I truly didn't know what love meant to me. I can tell you that I know I am fortunate to tell people that I do have a partner who loves and supports me. I have told him on many occasions that he completes me and together we can change the world. He also now believes that changing the world can be an amazing experience because at the end of the day you know that you made a difference in someone's life.
That's what it's all about, right? My challenge to you is do something different - something you normally wouldn't have done that will make an impact on someone's life. I can tell you, it will change your life.
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