Motivation (or Lack Thereof)

October 19th, 2010 | Posted by john in Fund Raising

Last week I was sitting at home comfortably on the couch.  I had planned on going out to do some door to door fund raising that evening but I really wasn’t wanting to go now that the time was upon me.  I told my wife, “I had planned on going out and doing some fund raising tonight.”

She’s very supportive and said, “Ok,” before I could finish what I was saying.

“I had planned on going out and doing some fund raising tonight, but I’m not really feeling like it.”

She looked at me and said, “So your NOT going?”

“I don’t know.  Let me think about it.”  I sat there and thought for a few minutes about whether or not I was going.  It wasn’t a question of meeting a fund raising minimum or anything like that, I had done that long ago, so I could easily have sat at home.  But as I thought it over I remembered what I promised myself that I would do at the beginning of the year.  I promised myself that I would go above and beyond the call of duty to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.  I’ve done the walk several years before and I always want to raise good money for the cause, but I think that this is the first year that I have made myself a promise like this.  With this in mind, I trudged upstairs and grabbed my shoes.  When I got downstairs, I think Kristen was surprised to see me with shoes in hand.  I’m pretty sure that I looked set on not going for it that night, and to tell you the truth if I hadn’t made that promise then I would not have gone out that night because I still didn’t feel up to it.

I went out to a new section of my neighborhood, one where I hadn’t knocked on any doors yet and set myself a pretty high goal, to raise $150 in the 45 minutes that I had until I had to be at home to help put the kids to bed.  Even if I didn’t have kids, I would have had to call it at that point because it was getting dark and other people would be putting their kids to bed too.  So it was a pretty high bar to meet, usually when I go door to door the most I have gotten in half an hour has been $80, but it averages about $50, so I was really trying to stretch it.

I went to the first door:

“Hi, my name is John and I live right across the soccer fields in the Headlands.  The reason I’m coming by is that I’m walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  It’s a 60 mile walk over 3 days that raises funds and awareness for breast cancer initiatives.  In order to do the walk I have to raise at least $2300.  I have $150 left for my goal today, do you think you can help me out today?”

First house I went to that night, not only did someone answer but they donated $10.  When the first house you go to in a night answers and donates it’s a HUGE motivator.  I continued on, adjusting my numbers as I continued.  The next house I had $140 and I kept adjusting as I went.  When the second house answered and donated $35, I felt like I could conquer the world.  I kept plugging along, got a momentum going and I didn’t really want to go home when time was up.  But it was dark and it was bed time for the kids, so I headed home.  The last house I went to, I had $20 left to go to make my $150 for the night and they were gracious enough to donate $20 for it.

I walked back home feeling like a different person.  When I started out, I was kind of down and not feeling like talking to anyone, let alone asking for a donation.  When I came back, I felt like I had really accomplished something.  I set a large goal and achieved it, all in 45 minutes time.  The feeling of achieving that goal was amazing!  So as you can tell, I was very glad that I forced myself to go out and fund raise that night.  I know that not every night of fund raising will be so successful, but I still plan to keep this in mind to keep myself motivated on those days when I’m feeling lethargic again and resisting my plans to go out and do some good in the fight against breast cancer.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses

  • Jami says:

    Thanks for sharing John. Funny how amazing and surprising these achievements are sometimes! Congratulations for getting out the door!

  • (I’m catching up on blogs so I apologize for not commenting sooner…)

    I love that you phrased your request in terms of your goal for that specific night as opposed to your total fundraising goal! I know that you’ve raised for beyond the $2300 minimum and I know that people are more hesitant to donate if they think you’re already “done”. This is a brilliant way to avoid that particular conundrum!

    ~ Kristen