Tag Archives: Change

The Impending Miami Changemaker Collapse

The Impending Miami Changemaker Collapse

I don’t really know if this should be called a #LateNightRant or just a #MondayMorning #RealDeal, but here goes. This is something I have been mulling over for quite a while now. Anyway, sit back, this is going to be a long one.

You all know I tend to overshare, and about two months ago, I overshared about my battle with anxiety and stress. I was near collapse at the time. Many people gave me much great advice, some of which I have followed and am greatly improved. However, that is not the point of this post.

Because of my propensity to share and be open about my trials, it seems that many people are willing to be open with about theirs. What I learned due to my sharing is that not only is my condition not unique, it is not even unusual. It is practically commonplace. It seems that there is an epidemic of burnout spreading throughout Miami’s changemakers and do-gooders.

When I shared my problems, other people started to share theirs with me. Once I started noticing a trend, I dug deeper. When I would run into someone I know, which happens often, of course, and we exchanged the common courtesies of, “How are you!?” and they would inevitably respond with, “I’m great!” I would ask again, “But, how are you really?” More times than not, the response was different and not near as positive Then, knowing that they knew about my fight with anxiety, I would ask if they ever dealt with the same issue. Because I had shared my problems, they felt comfortable sharing with me, as well. The majority, the vast majority of people who I asked said that they indeed were fighting the same battle as I.

Also, after co-founding an organization dedicated to supporting those changemakers, I have become much more familiar with the processes that many of them operate under. I have been researching the funding process and have spoken with many of these organizations and changemakers about their experience. I have also been studying the formula that local funders use to assign funds to refine our own processes in obtaining said funds. I have spoken with many, many changemakers and leaders regarding their experiences. I have probably spoken directly and honestly to more changemakers than almost anyone else in Miami.

Again, as an oversharer, people are much more willing to share the actual truth with me than they are with most people, especially those in power. More on that later.

So. Here is the trend I am seeing, there is an impending epidemic of changemaker collapse coming in the next few years unless we significantly improve the way things work. There are so many more people working on so many different aspects of the community than there were just 10 years ago, not to mention 20 or 30, and the support infrastructure has not kept up. We need to restructure the institutional support systems for the changemakers. There are not enough resources to support what everyone is doing, even though it is all good work. The resources we do have are significantly misallocated.

The current state of affairs is not sustainable. All of this changemaking is wonderful, but we see people drop out all the time due to inability to continue and we need to look at what changes need to take place in order to better manage our resources. These are issues that we are currently socializing to bring it into the light and really start talking about it on a large scale. Think about it for a while, and we can go into more depth later.


Changing the World One Day at a Time

You see this is what our banner says. You might wonder what we mean by it. This came up in a PhilanthroFest steering committee meeting a while back and I liked it so much, I appropriated it as one of our slogans. Essentially, it means that every day everyone can do something to make the world a little better, and if everyone does a little something, the cumulative effects will be huge.

In the circles I run around in, there is a lot of talk about being a “leader” or “innovator” or “changemaker” (a buzzword I cannot stand), et cetera. All of this is a lot of pressure and may lead some people to not do anything because they cannot do everything. They are nonsense, you do not need to be a “leader” or an “innovator” or a friggin’ “changemaker” for pete’s sake to do something to help make the world a better place. You just have to be a concerned human. That’s all.

Changing The World One Day at a time just means do something small every day to make a little difference. Maybe you cut your shower short a couple of minutes. If everybody did that, imagine how many billions of gallons of water we would save. Maybe you bike to the market once a week, instead of driving. Maybe you give one dollar per month to your favorite charity. Seems like a little? If all 300 Million USA citizens did that, it would add up to over three-and-a-half BILLION dollars for good! Just for one dollar a month. Just a small thing, but it adds up so much.

So this is it. Don’t feel overwhelmed by trying to do ridiculous stuff. Just do a little every day and the cumulative effect will be enormous.

070203 Everglades Deep Lake Hike 003 DELICATE DETAIL
I use this photo as the accompaniment for this particular writing because it is a perfect example of what I am saying. Those look like full-sized plants, but actually, those leaves are barely a quarter of an inch across.

15/30 #SMCSFblog

Time To Go 11/1/13

Time To Go

For the past nine years, as most of you do not know, I have worked a full-time job, in addition to Soul Of Miami, Life Is Art, and PhilanthroFest. Most people I meet think I actually work full time for Soul Of Miami OR Life Is Art OR PhilanthroFest, depending on what context in which I meet them. But, the fact is, those have all been off-time gigs, while I worked mostly full-time at Henry Stone Music. Some of you have come to know this, but I know for many of you, it will be a surprise.

So this is the big announcement:

Now, as of today, November 1st, 2013, I am working for my own projects full-time.

I have stepped down from my full-time gig at Henry Stone Music to pursue my own destiny. Working for Henry Stone has been a fantastically educational experience. He has been in the music business in Miami for over 65 years. His depth and breadth of knowledge of both the business and city is amazing. I will still be working with them on an as-needed contract basis. And, Life Is Art is still the fiscal sponsor for Beacon Films production of Rock Your Baby the documentary film in development of Henry Stone’s life in the music business that changed the world. We are very excited to see that finished soon.

But, now it is time to go. Time to get going on our own projects, some of which have already been started, some of which we have yet to create. We have spent the last five years building our network and reputation. We built a very popular website, we have created over 60 events, including PhilanthroFest, we have introduced hundreds of artists to thousands of new fans, and provided them with some education to help them take advantage of their talent. We plan to continue to build on that success and really “take it to the next level.”

(You’ll notice I continue to use the word “we” instead of “I.” That is because I am nothing without my team, especially my partner Annette Peikert, and everyone who has joined with me in our common mission of making the world a better place.)

Someone said to me yesterday, “I always thought you did this full time [Life Is Art / Soul Of Miami / PhilanthroFest]. Now that you ARE actually doing it full time, I can’t imagine how great it will be!” Honestly, that is how I feel. And that is one of the primary motivators for me to take this step. I look back at all we have accomplished utilizing our spare time during the weeknights and weekends, and I can look forward to being able to accomplish so much more now that I can dedicate my full time to it.

Yes, it is a risk. Yes, I wish we were better prepared. Yes, I wish we had more regular revenue. But. At some point, you just have to go for it. We have finally gotten into the position where now is the time, this is the place.


Who is ready?


It is.

Time to go.

071207 Art Basel 07 Friday Seafair Miami Beach 001 INDUSTRIOUS