the greater than campaign
If I’m going to be 100% transparent right now, I’ve been trying to figure out how to kick off this new campaign for a while. By a while, I mean a few months. I couldn’t think of anything particularly fascinating, intriguing, or “different enough” to capture the true impact that I think (read: ‘hope’) this campaign will have.
So now you’re stuck with me just writing about it in free-form prose; a stream of consciousness reminiscent of the monthly newsletters I send out. So now… it’s story time.
I’ve always found myself to be self-aware, to be someone that believes firmly in the power of synergy. I learned what that term meant at a very young age. I had to read The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People before I took my test to become a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. (yes, for those that don’t know I am a black belt). Well, Habit #6 was “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” I remember taking notes on this exact topic in my three-ring binder.
This principle has carried with me through a lot, I’m very intentional – some would say calculated, but the underlying theme is that I am passionate about helping people. I wanted to build communities, I wanted to assist brands in creating a feeling similar to how I believe I have over the years with the be great brand, the black burdell, too fly fundraiser, and more.
Countless people have asked me how to create a brand, how to build a personal platform, and connect with an audience – though I don’t have it all figured out, the best answer I can give anyone is - build with empathy in mind and create a feeling that focuses on something greater than yourself. Once you truly understand the power in collaboration, understanding the desires of others, what makes your audience human, and how - together - our impact is more powerful together than it is apart.
Last year, I slowly saw myself more focused on controlling my perception than I did on controlling my impact. I was calculated on optics and less focused on intent. Don’t get me wrong, the premise of my brand has always been to empower, motivate, and inspire others – but I slowly grew tired of answering the same questions on interviews, copying and pasting responses to questions, and finding the best picture to go with an Instagram caption.
I decided to take a break from creating content and posting on Instagram to think about not what I want my brand to look like, but instead, what I needed others to understand, scratch that, feel. The social media phenomena we see today crazed by gaining followers, sponsored ads, and masterclasses on how to get paid to be an influencer was the topic of many conversations and has been the goal of many… and quite frankly started to dilute the impact of many brands.
We have been more concerned with getting paid to be a billboard of companies that more often than not, don’t really care about us than we are about the communities we are a part of. We are adamant about reposting quotes that allude to the “sleep is for the weak” culture because in sharing these images we believe others will also brand us in this light. Capitalism and social media have minimized the value of being human (and not branded internet robots) and have reshaped what “community” really means.
On my break from being a ‘branded internet robot’ I read a quote that struck me. It said, “each one of us can make a difference, together we can make change.” After reading that quote, the “greater than we found it campaign” was instantly born.
“each one of us can make a difference, together we can make change.”
I’m a tad bit biased, but nonprofit organizations and community outreach initiatives don’t get the credit they deserve. It is these organizations that are laying the seeds that blossom into positive change in our community. They support, they empower, they provide resources, they give access and opportunity, they change lives.
Through this campaign we will tell the unique stories of nonprofits based in the Dallas community. We will highlight their creators and shine light on the passions in which the organizations were birthed. The campaign is built on the premise of synergy and that through working together we can provide a greater impact to the community than we could individually.
Through the Greater Than campaign, You’ll be exposed to stories of how these organizations are:
providing youth in underserved communities the ability to travel,
helping children overcome the traumatic affects of homelessness,
enhancing the livelihood of marginalized communities through the power of reading,
changing the societal perception of what it means to be a black man,
helping millennials see the bible in a new, empowering way,
providing a support system, community, and support for lupus warriors,
creating an inclusive community for young professionals and entrepreneurs of color, and
helping women overcome past traumas.
This campaign is all about creating a community where impact is the key performance indicator and not follows, impressions or engagement.
This campaign is about bringing to life the change agent that is in each and everyone of us.
This campaign is about being greater than our circumstance and utilizing our passion as a catalyst for change.
It is my hope that this campaign inspires you to not necessarily act a certain way – but to simply hear the authentic stories of individuals on a quest to make the world a better space. It may empower you to think about what makes you a part of your community, encourage you to become a change agent no matter how big or how small, and possibly excites you to leave the community greater than you found it.
greater than & change agent gear with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit organizations of your choosing.