We’re in week six of Covid 19 lock down. Six weeks to stop and think with all the busyness of the world we knew, with the busyness of shifting. In a few weeks (months?) we’ll be asked to be back to “normal.” But what is normal – for your life and for your business?
What if I don’t want to get back to “normal?”
Last week I read the Medium article that’s been floating around the internet, Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
In the article, the author prepares us for an onslaught of “back to normal” messaging – that this pandemic wasn’t really that bad. That it’s our duty to get back to driving more and spending more and staying too busy to notice what’s going on around us.
My industry – Marketing and Communications – will be at the forefront of this. There will be billboards and TV ads and your social media will be FULL of these messages. Messages that tell us to forget what we’re discovering and the values that have begun to shift.
Im Putting My Stake in the GRound
So, before this happens, I want to put my stake in the ground – that this pandemic is a wake up call to prioritize what really matters to us in work and in life.
For me and for so many that new normal revolves around protecting people and the environment.
I am who I am because of the ability to adventure outside in so many places around the country and around the world. The people I’ve met and the ability to push myself in wild places surrounded by clean air and water have had a profound effect on my life.
So, to celebrate Earth Week, I’m committing myself and my business to advancing protections for water, land, people, and clean air. If you’ve been following me, you know this is part of the transition journey I started six months ago and why I changed to Wild Path Consulting. But, I wasn’t sure how to do it, and I was afraid to make my voice heard.
Now those ideas are solid – (thanks to six weeks of isolation). When we come out of this pandemic, I want to be sure I’m using my talents (marketing and otherwise) to help businesses who are dedicated to make that shift happen too. I want to support organizations who are working to protect public lands and the environment for all.
So, I’ve come up with a plan…
I’m Committing to My New Normal Supporting and Protecting the Environment and Public Lands
I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I’m donating 1% of my yearly profit to three organizations that make the most difference in my life.
Park County Environmental Council
Locally, I’m committed to supporting the Park County Environmental Council. This little organization has done so much to protect this incredible piece of the planet. From stopping gold mines that would affect the Yellowstone River to helping our community members have their voices heard when it comes to development and recreational opportunities. I’m proud of the work they do.
Nationally, I rely on the Outdoor Alliance to keep me informed of legislation that affects public land and recreational activities. That’s why I’m giving back to this organization. They are quick to provide easy-read explanations of public lands bills and changes that affect land and water at the government level. They also make it easy to have your voice heard with templates and petitions you can sign to advocate.
Right now they are keeping us informed and advocating for the Great American Outdoors Act that clears the backlog of maintenance at many of our federal managed public lands. Once this backlog is cleared – we can make a big case to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Public lands for all!
Winter Wildlands Alliance
The third organization is no surprise. The Winter Wildlands Alliance calls themselves the stewards of winter. This organization is dedicated to preserving backcountry winter sports and ensuring safe access to these important and quiet places. Winter is essential in Montana (and in my life) for so many reasons. WWA helps local communities and organizations advocate for access and protection.
I’m also giving my time.
Volunteer and Advocate for Public Lands
I’ve signed up to be a member of Business for Montana’s Outdoors. An incredible organization that helps business owners in Montana advocate for the outdoors. Montana’s public lands and access to the outdoors drive our economy and attract top talent. I’ll have the chance to be an advocate in our business community to protect Montana’s public lands.
I’ll keep you updated on all the ways you can do to protect the lands that you love and break down the bills that matter. Thanks to all these organizations who are providing all that info.
Shifting Client Focus
I’m so thankful to work with clients who align so closely with my same values, and I’m going to continue narrowing my focus to environmental, social, and adventure entrepreneurs and organizations. Those who seek to make our world a better place through protecting and experiencing wild spaces.
Here are just a few that make me proud of my work.
I’m proud of the work Outdoor Sport Institute does to build connection through the outdoors in rural communities. They provide community members and leaders with training and guidance to create access to the outdoors and build mentorship opportunities so everyone in a community can reap the benefits of outdoor sports.
Traveling Jackie is one of the brightest spots on my calendar. Jackie Nourse took a huge leap into solo travel and found herself through incredible experiences solo-backpacking around the world. Now, aside from an incredible podcast, she leads trips to help others find adventure and challenge in the same places that shaped her. She’s dedicated to working with local companies and learning about culture and the land from those who know it best.
Diana Proem from Your Adventure Rx is a wilderness therapist and uses the outdoors to help people heal, overcome challenges, and grow into strong and resilient leaders. It’s an honor to be part of her process to develop programs that not only promote adventure and play in the outdoors, but heal and change participants from the inside out.
I’m so fortunate to work with so many people who hold similar values and use their talents and spirits to help others preserve and experience the outdoors. From building strategy for artists and adventurers to talking social media, it’s the work that keeps my fire burning.
I can’t wait to meet all my future clients – the people doing the real work to bring different choices to the market and celebrate the outdoors.
Here’s to My New Normal
So, here’s to my new normal and my promise that I will use my gifts to stand for what I believe in and to help change our economy to one that thrives from protecting our land, water, air, and people.
But, this is just me. You can do something completely different. Focus on what lights you up or the lessons you’ve learned. Keep what works and change what doesn’t. It’s hard and scary – especially if what you want to do goes against the tide. But you can get there. You really, truly can.
And, it matters.