Hitting Walls

For the past year, I’ve been remodeling my house.  Massive changes have occurred and my house today is very different than the house we started with last March.  My contractor tells me it will be even better in another 6 or so weeks, but, frankly, I have hit the wall.  I don’t care.  I just want it to be over. Remodeling, I’ve found, is a lot like fundraising.  You start with a vision of what you want; then you do the budget.  So you settle for what you can do.  You identify those who will be part of the project and at this point, you are sure they are the same path as you are.   Later on, you’ll find out if you are right.

At first, it is exciting.  Every little change is meaningful; every step feels big.  Then you hit the first wall.  One of the people you were counting on, falls down on the job; the idea that was wow! in conception, isn’t so hot in reality.  Whatever.  But you march on.

Little changes start to build upon each other; things start looking and feeling really different.  You are close to a milestone that, you believe, will really make it all turn the corner.  But the milestone comes and while it is good, there is still so much left to do.  It’s beginning to feel old and you are getting tired of it.

Then something wonderful occurs.  It might be something you’ve been working on or toward, or just something incredibly wonderful and serendipitous.  And once again you are excited and really into it all.  Until you hit another wall.

The things to keep in the forefront of your thoughts, of course, are not the walls you hit, but the breakthroughs that make you forget all about the walls and the hold ups, and the frustrations.  It’s a process and a long-term commitment.  As soon as one part is done, another thing needs to be worked on.  But then a friend comes over and says, “Wow,” and I remember how far we’ve come.  And suddenly, the walls I keep hitting don’t seem quite as hard or tall or difficult to overcome.

Janet Levine works with nonprofit organizations, helping them to build their resource development capacity (and yes, that does include grants!).  To learn more about her, her grantwriting class and Get Ready, Get Set, Get Grants the only grantwriting book you really need, check out http://janetlevineconsulting.com.  You can buy the book directly at http://tinyurl.com/2996pqg