What does your future hold?

by Marcy Heim on May 23, 2018


My son, RJ, just graduated from the UW Madison! Yep…we are bursting with pride and spent a wonderful 4 days celebrating. In a few short weeks he’ll be off to Boulder, Colorado and a new job with Major League Baseball Advanced Media creating some sort of mobile app. A sweet job, indeed. WoHOO!

At 23, his future is really bright!

What does YOUR future hold?

It seems we spend a good deal of time assessing the markets, wondering what direction the leadership will take us next, considering if it will rain on our vacation….

My first big keynote was for CASE V in Chicago in 2011. During this talk to newcomers in advancement, I challenged them to see great success in advancement work, to take full responsibility for what they accomplished and not to blame anyone or anything else if it didn’t happen. After the talk a young man came up and said to me, “You don’t understand. I have had so many things working against me from the start. I can’t possibly have the same chance to be successful as someone who didn’t have my challenges.”


Sometimes when I ask clients, ‘What do you see next for your career here?” or “What direction do you see this organization taking next?” I get sort of a shoulder shrug and hear, “Not sure, Marcy. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”


What does your future hold?

“What does YOUR future hold? Seems to me it depends a lot on what you SEE!” Marcy Heim       

I begin all my talks by asking the audience to stand and shout, “Something gooooooooods gonna happen to me!” I first heard this from Joyce Meyer and found it to be an instant mood changer.

But what’s really going on here?

Well there’s actually a right way to think and a wrong way to think.

The wrong way to think leads to stress, anxiety and overwhelm in our advancement work and prevents us from having the personal and professional success we want.

The right way to think leads to more donors, more impact, more joy… and having it ALL.

The beautiful thing is — the right way to think can be learned. But like any new habit or skill…to learn it we have to change and practice.

The world’s most successful folks have learned how to consistently align their thoughts, feelings, and actions with their goals. In other words, they manage their thinking to align with the results they want.

For my eye-rollers now who only want tools, strategies and tactics I promise you that the tools, strategies and tactics you need most is how to be aware of, and lead, your thinking.

It sounds too easy to work I guess. But the reality is this:

Most people have some kind of inner conflict. They want to create “Outcome A.” But really, what they’re really thinking about is why “Outcome A” might not happen.

For example, you want to double your major gifts this year, but you focus on how many donors you’d have to find and meet with and what a struggle it is now to keep up with the major gift work you are doing now. You think about how hard it is to get the board to help, and that one past major donor just made a gift to another organization so she probably won’t give to you.

The result is stress, anxiety, and overwhelm — which begin to infect your conversations and life and your major gift work bombs. But, you were already prepared to justify this by blaming your lack of donors, your board and too much competition from other non-profits. It’s what you saw all along.

You have to SEE something and then you have to SAY something.

It’s about learning to be aware of and actually change your method of thinking, so it’s congruent with what you want to accomplish in the world. Here’s how.

  1. You have to SEE something. SET an INTENTION.

“Something goooooods gonna happen to me” sets an intention for each and every one of my talks. It instantly makes you SEE something good!

“We are having our best year for major giving yet!”

  1. You have to SAY something. Rewire your thinking.

Saying your intention out loud, OFTEN, pounds out new pathways of thinking in your brain. This is scientific fact – not woowoo.

  1. You have to DO something. Make a decision.

Often times we’ll think of many actions we could take. For some this is paralyzing. “What if I make the wrong decision?” Just hit “repeat” See something different, Say something different and make another decision.

Decisions lead to actions. Indecision leads to immobility. Clarity brings action. Confusion leads to a standstill. Action leads to results.

So back to RJ…..he first decided on an engineering degree. Half way through he discovered computer science and chemistry. So he watched his buddies graduate while he continued on. He discovered he loved classes where he worked as a team and that he learned so much better and easier if he built a study group. As he began applying for jobs, he’d say after an interview, “I can see myself working there” or, ‘I’m not sure that would be a place I’d be happy. Then some of the places he thought were great didn’t make an offer. He’d say, “Hmmm. They must have seen something in another candidate that was a better fit.” Sure, he was disappointed, but he was not defeated.

It was just time to see something new.

looking down a road

Then we can look at what happens in our days as part of our journey – a journey WE are leading, we can react to anything that happens to us by SEEING something new – setting a new intention, SAYING something new, not blaming our boss, spouse or board for what’s not going right, and TAKING ACTION toward what we are seeing and saying.

Because you can have all the strategies and tactics in the world — but if you don’t learn how to think in the right way, none of it will get you where you want to go.

Now let me hear you….

“Something gooooooooods gonna happen to me!”

Yes it is. I can see it!

Dedicated to inspiring you to see, say and do great things…..

Invest in JOY®



Marcy Heim is a trusted authority in the development profession and helps organizations and educational institutions boost their major gift programs through artful, long-term relationship building that dramatically increases fundraising success while promoting increased staff job satisfaction. To receive a free chapter from Marcy’s book, Empower Your Board to Serve as Effective Development Ambassadors, click here.

Questions:  Contact KK Konicek at KK@MarcyHeim.com

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