At the top of my career as a creative consultant, way back in 2009, I emailed (a very famous) celebrity mother and asked her kindly to be my mentor. (For the record: We had no mutual connections, no prior contact, and I had absolutely no right.) But I got an immediate response that spoke candidly about the growing demands of her professional life as her family rose to stardom and she generously offered me “at least one phone call and we could go from there.”

We talked for two and a half hours about a myriad of things (most of them personal) from situation to circumstance, curiosities and creativity, success and fame (and the difference between them), and, of course, at the very end, what the hell I was going to do with my life. I’ll never forget what she told me: “I don’t know what will ultimately become of [my life] but I know you know that it’ll be rooted in good.” I agreed and she continued with a lesson she learned from her daughter, “The easiest way to drop those roots is to embed it into your culture.”

I hung up on that call having gained two things: The first was a new friend and mentor who went on to make herself (and her network) available to me at what felt like my disposal, even when I clearly didn’t know what to do with it. The second was the informal framework for the core of what would become known as my (drum-roll please) corporate social responsibility, also known as “how I give back to the people and organizations that keep our communities thriving.”

My primary objective has since been to donate at least 10% of our resources (profits or time) to deserving non-profit organizations or not-for-profit initiatives.

The result of that commitment has yielded an unfathomable sense of gratitude and a bold underscore to the permeating daily reminder of the fragility and richness of my (and most of our) individual circumstance. The commitment itself has ensured I never reckon and rumble with the dreaded boredom and the accountability (needing to answer “when was the last time you leaned-in ‘just because’?”) has become a siren call; bringing me back to Self while pushing to-and-through gratitude year-after-year.

If you’re curious: I tend to be called into the arenas of supporting those living with or healing from childhood cancer, recovering from addiction, poverty, resource scarcity, and homelessness, as well as the fights against suicide prevention and discrimination and social and criminal injustice of every kind—including the fight for widespread equality and humanitarian liberation.

If you’re at the helm of a philanthropic organization, charitable giving endeavor, or another worthwhile initiative that you think might benefit from a collaborative partnership, please use the below form to get in touch.
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