If you asked Tim, he'd tell you that he never thought he'd be running an NGO, little own be the founder of one.
And you'd be hard pressed to get him to say he's an entrepreneur - although, by every definition, he fits the bill. Striking out on his own was never the plan.
It kind of just hit him one day while he was volunteering for an outdoor adventure program in the States. In some ways, he was looking for an answer on what to do next. And he always loved being outside, recognizing early that the office life wasn't 100% for him. However, he still had his sights set on working as an oceanographer because his love for the ocean was so strong.
Yet, life had a different plan.
It was high on a mountain ridge where he finally figured out the direction in which to take his life. He felt a strong pull to bring these amazing opportunities and programs that he was experiencing, to kids and families who couldn't easily access them or the outdoors.
He had been working with kids with cancer, disabilities and disadvantaged families in various capacities for years and knowing that his strength was supporting and helping others, he set out on his own path and launched Power to Be. A Canadian non-profit, based in Victoria and Vancouver, that believes everyone belongs in nature. An organization that believes there are no limits to what a person can accomplish.
He applied for a grant with the Canadian government to start a business (Power to Be began as a for-profit organization), read a few business books on how to manage and run teams and launched their first program. It really is true - if you want something bad enough, you won't find excuses as to why you can't do something. You'll just find a way to make it happen.
The beginning wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. But things began to fall into place quite quickly and as he explains, people would come into his life at just the right time who would be able to help the organization grow.
After 19 years, they now have over 30 full time staff, hundreds of volunteers, 65+ community partners and they are just about to embark on the biggest project yet. This is the year they are starting to build their state of the art facility on a 78 acre waterfront property, where they can manage and run their programs on a larger scale.
Right now they are able to offer their main programs - a wilderness school, which is a three year co-op program for youth. They also offer weekend camping trips and multi-day excursions, like hiking, canoeing, kayaking on the ocean, and much more. In addition to that, they have their adaptive programs that support people living with a disability or barrier to help them experience inclusive recreational activities. All of these programs are subsidized thanks to their generous donors.
If you want to find out how you can get involved and support Power to Be, check out the amazing work they are doing and consider supporting their efforts, so they can continue to make a positive impact in the world and change lives.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASKED:
- Did you ever think you'd start a non-profit
- What direction were you heading professionally, before starting Power to Be
- Who has been the greatest influence on you and inspiration
- How did you figure out how to launch a non-profit
- What do you think defines a great entrepreneur
- What areas of your life did you have to sacrifice in order to get to where you are now
- What was the first program you launched with Power to Be back in 1998
- Biggest miss-step that you had along the way?
- Was there ever a time that you wanted to pack it all in?
- And so much more...
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
- How to believe in yourself, even when you don't have all the answers
- Why you must take risks in your life in order to achieve something of great value
- Why you need to think outside of the box when you are hiring
- How to build a business that is around long after you are gone
- The importance of not letting a budget inform the direction of your organization
- Why goal setting can be transformational, on both a personal and professional level
- And lots more...
- Forces for Good: The Six Practices For High-Impact Non-Profits by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant
CONNECT WITH power to be
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Edited by: James Nicholson