Tim McDonald is an full-time writer and speaker who travels around the world, sharing how to build stronger communities. This past June, he addressed the Christa McAuliffe School of Arts and Science’s 2017 graduating class in a riveting speech on how to build your community, the future of work, and how to live a life that matters.
McDonald wasn’t always a full-time inspirational writer and speaker. Traversing from Community Manager to signing on as Director of Community for Huffington Post, McDonald started off finding great success imbibing the company life. Inundated with requests for interviews and blog features, he soon became uneasy. McDonald recalls asking himself:
“Why am I spending my life living somebody else’s life-- the company’s life. Instead, why am I not living my life? And at that point in time, everything changed for me. It made me really start to understand how we are in control of our own selves and our own decisions and what we want to create in the world: the change that we want to see.... So I started looking at how I could form something that I really loved doing, which was connecting with people. Not just to get business, but to help them fulfill their dreams; to fulfill their desires. To connect them with other people that could help them co-create the world that they wanted to live in.”
The advice he gives high school students burgeoning into today’s ever-changing workforce is to always keep it on the positive when considering your next steps.
McDonald asks: “What do we have right in front of us today that we can go out and make happen? We can complain about not having enough money. We can complain about not having the right contacts. We can complain about not having the right resources. Or we can start saying: What do we have enough of?”
Once these questions have been answered, McDonald advises, find others with a similar passion, and grow in your goals together. As he points out, “When we start co-creating with people with shared purpose, that’s when we start to see the impact happen.”
In the final moments of his speech, McDonald brings up the term ROI. ROI, in the business world, technically means: “return on investment.” McDonald asked the graduates of class 2017 to go out and instead, strive for “return on IMPACT.” “Think of what you want to create in the world. Think of the impact you want to create, not only for yourself, but for other people and the planet that we live on, and start finding others that share that purpose with you… open it up, and share it with the world.”
What impact do you want to create on the world? We invite you to share it below. After all, when we work together and put our unique genius into the world, that’s when real impact happens.
“It’s now our job to help share our heartbeat with the world, not just share our knowledge with the world. Because that’s truly how we connect with other people.” - Tim McDonald