Do you ever find yourself stuck? You know, where you sit at your desk and just kind of stare. There are ideas sure but they don’t seem to click. The way forward just isn’t crystal clear. You look at the keyboard to type and nothing comes. You want to write on the pad of paper but it remains blank. You’re stuck. The good news is this happens to everyone at some point. The better news is there’s an easy way to get unstuck.
Or as Seth Godin says, “The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now.” If the path was clear and easy you’d see it by now. If there was a perfect option available to you then you’d take it. Clearly there isn’t. Trust yourself. And work your way out of it. Learn from it. Move forward.
Seth describes a higher level “stuckness” but here are 9 tangible things you can do right now that will help your organization in the short term and help you work your way through your “stuckness” towards the unstuck.
9 Ways You and Your Organization Can Get Unstuck Right Now
- Share a story.
- Your organization is full of them (if you’re really hard up for stories, use yours) and they are the cumulative reason people get involved with you. Find them. Compose them. Share them.
- Talk to some key donors and volunteers.
- Get an outsiders perspective. You and your team are probably so deep in your own heads your grasp on the “outside world” is a bit distorted. That is not good, get someone who knows you to shed some light on your situation for you. They’ll love it too.
- Start thanking people.
- You can’t thank people enough. Maybe an email. A letter. A video. A coffee. A postcard. A phone call. A blog post. A web page. The channel isn’t incredibly important and the messaging beyond “thank you” doesn’t either. Just thank people for helping you do what you do.
- Send out a simple appeal.
- Firstly, you probably don’t ask your donors enough. Two, an appeal forces you to think through many things (what is the money used for, what projects are we funding, when’s the last time we sent an appeal, etc.) which may get you unstuck in and of itself. Don’t get crazy with the appeal or else you run the risk of being stuck again but a simple letter with response card, a strong story and clear ask.
- Put your leadership, your team, yourself on camera.
- Your organization doesn’t use enough video. I don’t know your organization but I know that you don’t use enough video. Get your intern to use their iPhone and MacBook (stereotype I know) to shoot a 60 second video on why you work where you work. Or a 2 minute video of your fundraisers telling their favourite story. Or your programs person telling their favourite story. You don’t have to win an Oscar here, keep it simple.
- Create a thank you email.
- An email welcoming new people who signed up for emails or new/recent donors thanking them for their interest, sharing a story and providing a couple “go deeper” steps can do wonders. Have it auto-trigger or batch them and send them once a week, every other week or even once a month.
- Read stuff.
- Read blogs (Seth Godin’s is great for this), a book, old notes, old emails, download an eBook. Somewhere in what you read may be the chapter, the paragraph, the sentence, the word that connects the dots and sends you on your way.
- Watch stuff.
- TED Talks were essentially built for this! Check out ones that you think are interesting (even if they don’t apply to your field) and start watching. As you get ideas, thoughts, etc. jot them down or just stop watching the video and go on your way.
- Get out of the office.
- Go for a walk or run. Go to the gym. Go home. Go to a coffee shop. You are stuck in your environment so even changing the environment slightly can help a ton.
If you are stuck, you are stuck for a reason. But there’s no reason why you need to stay unstuck for very long. DO SOMETHING!