One Small Thing (May 2018)

Hi there!

As it’s Mother’s Day, I thought it would be the perfect time to launch a series of notes to give back to those who nurture us, our mentors. This idea is called One Small Thing.

It’s a lesson I learned from my mom who continues to nurture and mentor me. She taught me that every action I take counts and that you never know how that action can affect someone’s life.

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Sometimes big problems in the world feel impossible for us to tackle on our own. However, just as a mentor would say one small thing that has disproportionately meaningful impact for you, I hope this series will inspire you to try small personal actions that build a bigger and bigger impact over time for someone else.

#MeToo, #TimesUp, and #BlackLivesMatter started with individuals sharing their stories. Each of their voices lifted up to create movements that surpassed hashtags.

My notes will share examples of how I’ve seen small actions move the needle, and will suggest ways that  you can make them your own, regardless of your financial situation, your work responsibilities, your home situation and your existing commitments.

Here’s one example:

Parlay House is an event-based community I started in San Francisco for women to connect on a deeper level beyond your average networking event. We curate dialogues on meaningful and authentic topics and it opens us all up for authentic conversations and more meaningful connections with each other.

When we launched Parlay House in New York just six months ago, Joi Gordon, the CEO of Dress for Success, was our first speaker.

She enraptured the audience with her story of leading the nonprofit that provides women returning to the workforce with professional attire and mentorship to empower them in their search for a job.

After Joi’s talk, a woman in the audience raised her hand and said, “Hi, I’m Ivy Woolf-Turk. I read about Parlay House when I was incarcerated.”

She had the room.

Ivy continued, “I thought, ‘Wow, I’d love to go to a Parlay House event when I get out of prison.’ When I was finally released, Dress for Success gave me the support  I needed to land a job. And now I’m the founder of Project Liberation, an organization that provides paradigm-shifting personal development for women across stages of criminal justice involvement. Joi, it’s amazing that you’re here tonight because Dress for Success helped me and now I’m sitting in Anne’s living room.”   

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You never know how one small thing can impact someone’s world.

Here’s where you come in.

  • Think about a time when someone’s small action affected you positively. How about dropping them a note sharing how that one small thing was meaningful to you?
    • Share it big: tell the world your #OneSmallThing story by sharing it on social media.
    • Share it small: if you want more of an intimate connection, send your story directly to that person via email/text/phone.