Martha's Dare inspiring you to achieve your dreams

If your dream doesn’t come to you, make it happen yourself

Tonight I attended a fundraiser for an organization called Waste for Life. Waste for Life is a loosely joined network of scientists, engineers, educators, designers, and cooperatives working together to develop poverty-reducing solutions to specific ecological problems and my dear friend Erica Lee is now an integral part of this team. Today there are 20,000 people on the streets of Buenos Aires who survive by salvaging recyclable plastic and cardboard from the city’s waste. Starting in July, my dear friend Erica has been donating her time, passion, and expertise to get ready to work with the street people of Buenos Aires to build a simple manufacturing process from the materials they collect so they can build viable small businesses and achieve stable, predictable incomes. The products include wallets, bags, boots, roof tiles, Chairs and more. Erica wasn’t always living her dream. This time last year, Erica was working for a large Gold company, flying around in a corporate jet, leading global teams in process improvement. She had a regular pay cheque, lived in a beautiful home near the beach, and was a success by all traditional standards. But she wanted to do more. She wanted to give back, make a difference. So she courageously left the corporate world and embarked on a journey to make a difference.

DARE: I dare you to boldly go after what you want in life. And if it doesn’t come to you, create the opportunity yourself. Ask for support and love from friends and family on each step of your journey. You don’t have to go and quit your job today, but take time to reflect, and explore what your DREAM is. What might your life look like if you were living it ? What is one thing you could do today, that would allow you to be closer to living it?

Martha’s Outcome: It is my honour today to share Erica’s story of courageous action. Over the last 10 months, she has taken inventory of her skills, invested a LOT of energy and time to reflect and explore what her life of giving back looked like, and eventually found herself a non profit that needed her as much as she needed them. It has taken time, patience, and trusting oneself that only you can choose what is best for you. To make this journey happen Erica has had to learn new skills (fundraising, marketing and public relations) and where she didn’t have the skills she had to be savvy to recruited friends and family who could enable her to reach her goal…a meaningful job, full of adventure, rich in opportunity to give back all while challenging her to grow throughout the process. A year ago I doubt she would have imagined she would have a week that started by being featured on Canadian National Radio (CBC), run a fundraiser wearing a designer dress made of recycled plastic bags, and by week’s end be on a plane to Argentina. Erica is making a bigger impact, by inspiring others to make their dreams happen, AND also by enabling families in Argentina to live a life outside of poverty.

Be inspired. If your dream doesn’t come to you, make it happen yourself. Start today by taking time to reflect. DREAM.

About Martha van Berkel

Martha is the co-founder of Marketing Technology company - Hunch Manifest. She likes to fire up customer adoption and disrupting industries! She is a entrepreneur and a Mom!

4 Responses to “If your dream doesn’t come to you, make it happen yourself”

  • I’m reminded of the quote by Milton Berle, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”.

  • Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.

  • Love it. Just saw Erica herself in Argentina, and I gotta say, it seems to make such a difference when values are aligned with goals and work. Quite an impact, quite a woman.

  • Much love for this tribute, Marth. It has been a wonderful journey so far, huge and intense and challenging and scary at times but absolutely totally worth it. I have been lucky enough to get lots of support and encouragement and validation from the wonderful people around me. I take courage and strength and inspiration from them all the time. Also, a sizeable severance cheque from one of the world’s major mining companies doesn’t hurt! I have been very blessed to have had the financial means to make this major change through time off and volunteering, and the freedom to uproot my life completely to throw my whole self into this journey. No three-hours a week volunteering for me – I went all in!

    However I know my circumstance is exceptional, and the choices I have made may not be for everyone. Nor should they be. I truly believe everyone can make steps in this general direction and reap many of the positive benefits while still living in their own country and even staying in their own job. Marth, maybe you could do a post about how values can align to choices you make in your life, and how the things you know your soul thrills to can be incorporated into the day-to-day realities…