Where Can You Start to Make a Difference in the World?

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Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the endless possibilities of the world wide web? In the past decade, the internet has opened up the entire universe as your clientele. As my friend and mentor, Barbara Winter, Author of  best selling “Making a Living Without a Job” reminds us, your customer base is no longer limited to those who share your geography. So, your message can reach potential clients on another continent, even a different hemisphere.

But, what if you just aren’t sure where to start when the whole world is your target? Or you have a strong desire to make a difference in your own neighborhood?

An article in Sunday’s Cincinnati Enquirer featured a young entrepreneur who got her business idea from a need to borrow a ladder.  Keara Schwartz launched Share Some Sugar, a website that lets neighbors post and share items they own and borrow items they don’t.  Searching for an alternative to consuming items that we all use infrequently, Schwartz took a social anthropologist’s perspective to  create a  business opportunity out of a need she saw in her own backyard.

This business can and likely will eventually expand and go national or worldwide, but Keara started where she was, where she saw an immediate need.

Is it possible you are looking at too big a picture and being paralyzed by too much choice? When you try to figure out where to begin to make a change in the world, does it sometimes feel like trying to decide what to order in a Chinese restaurant? Or not knowing where to begin to sort through decades of clutter in your great aunt’s basement?

Try narrowing your focus a bit and reigning in your perspective. Look around your community, explore what unmet needs you notice on your own block. Where can you make a tiny impact? If you can drive change in your own neighborhood, your vision may eventually make a global difference. If you doubt the possibility, consider Craigslist was started as a local site. You can’t make any change if you don’t start somewhere. So start right where you are.

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