Almost all of us know at least one person who has been affected by cancer. Our guest on today’s podcast episode, Eric Newman, was just a child when he was diagnosed with cancer.
When he later asked his mother what she remembered about that day, she said that she remembered his dad having to leave her to go pack an overnight bag. She felt alone and afraid at the hospital trying to navigate the devastating news. From this, a mission to eradicate that moment from the lives of others was born. The Roc Solid Foundation created Ready Bags to give families when their children are diagnosed with cancer. These bags provide help in a time of need so families can stay together in a time of pain.
In addition, Roc Solid Foundation partners with businesses to build playsets for children going through cancer. The kids often have to remain secluded due to a compromised immune system, which means they can’t go to a typical playdate or public park. Roc Solid steps in and rounds up a team and supplies to build a brand new playset in the family’s back yard.
In this episode we talk with Eric Newman, founder of Roc Solid Foundation, about how his experience has developed into an incredible mission. He wants to bring joy and play to children dealing with cancer. Eric also shares some of the foundational pieces required to run a nonprofit, including how volunteers can help in more ways than you may think.
Things To Know About Making A Difference
- Marry your mission, not your model. Be committed to your passion/goal, but allow adjustments along the way. When you’re clear on your mission you can pivot your model to best tackle whatever’s in front of you.
- You don’t need to be fancy. Focus on your mission; don’t worry about being flashy.
- Focus on the people; the money will come. When you’re people- and mission-focused, your staff is happier, you see more results, and donations tend to come. When you focus on the money, people start to leave, you make less of an impact, and the money flow dwindles.
Taking Care of Volunteers
Provide a little something for your volunteers when the day is over. Eric’s advice is to give them a drink, pizza, and t-shirt. Now it doesn’t have to be exactly that, but this gives you a valuable opportunity to talk with those who came out to help. Listen to their stories and what motivated them to help. Ask them what their favorite part was. You can learn if you’re hitting your mark or if you need to adjust.
Don’t always seek to be understood, but seek to understand. Be a constant learner and seek to understand why that volunteer came, or why they come back more than once. That’s the type of information you need in order to understand where the money is going to come from. This gives you valuable insight. Seek wisdom above anything else.
Lastly, always remember to always say thank you. Don’t underestimate the power in being an organization that shows gratitude and feels welcoming.
How can you be relentless, but not reckless, when it comes to pursuing your mission?
Meet Eric Newman:
Eric Newman is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker and visionary leader. A childhood cancer survivor, he founded Roc Solid Foundation in 2009, a non-profit that builds hope for kids fighting the same battle throughout the U.S.
Roc Solid partners with over 100 children’s hospitals to gift Ready Bags to families just after diagnosis, and they’ve provided thousands of playsets for children throughout the country who need a safe place to play and a reason to smile. As a best-selling author and guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Eric’s story continues to inspire people who are looking for ways to turn their pain from past experiences into their life’s passion.
Connect with Eric Newman:
- The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All by John Gordon
- Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want From Your Business by Gino Wickman
- Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
- Episode 109: A Simple Modern Approach to Company Generosity – Interview with Mike Beckham, CEO of Simple Modern
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