My Mistakes of 2016

Each year I talk about my mistakes!

Here are my mistakes from 201120122013, and 2014 and 2015. And 23 of my fundraising career mistakes, too!


Because I like to remember what I did and how I can do better next year.

Also, I think it’s important to show you what I did so you can avoid my mistakes too.

When I think about mistakes, I think about vulnerability. And I think about Saturn.

Why Saturn?

If you’ve ever been 29 to, say, 31, you may have had something called a Saturn return.
This is when life usually gets hard for you. You might have a LOT of pressure on you, you might be making bad relationship decisions, you might lose your job, you might move to a new place and be completely lost in your direction. You might actually be depressed.

Saturn in Greek and Roman mythology is the father-god, the one who is the limiter, the critic. When we go through a Saturn period, we’re going to be going through a fire of limitations, of criticisms. We’ll be making LOTS of mistakes. At least, that’s how they’ll appear on the outside. But on the inside, we’re learning. So it’s not wasted. We come out from Saturn, and we have a little graduation cap. We’ve changed, and we’re better for the sadness and pain.


When I share my mistakes with you, I know it’s about vulnerability too. I want to be more vulnerable in front of people, because I think too many people online just show their best face, their happy face, and their success. They don’t usually show their fear, their sadness, or their mistakes. Is it photogenic? OK put it on instagram. But usually failures are NOT photographed (without quickly being deleted!).

So, how did I suffer this year? What mistakes did I make?

1. I made the BIG mistake of not communicating my feelings.

I was putting on a mask like I didn’t have any feelings. THIS one was really hard to see, and it was really hard to understand. I had no idea I was doing this. It actually took going to a healthcare professional to see this.

Why did this happen? It’s family patterns, first and foremost. But I’m not hiding behind that excuse now.

Now, when I’m feeling something, I actually say, “Hey, here’s what I’m feeling right now.” And then I keep communicating what I’m feeling. It’s SO WEIRD! I feel like I’m oversharing all the time. But I’m starting to get more comfortable with this. Maybe in a year or two it will be just second nature to share how I’m feeling and why I’m feeling that way. GOD i hope so.

2. Putting together two conferences back to back, getting people confused.

Oops! Won’t do that again! But I’m happy I started talking with not just nonprofit employees but nonprofit bosses and boards. Because if we want to make TRUE change at our nonprofits, get higher wages, and create a culture of philanthropy, we have to talk with EVERYONE.

3. Forcing myself to overperform and not take a rest. Why?

It’s a habit I learned early in fundraising! Just KEEP GOING WITHOUT RESTING! Until you collapse! But it’s not just about fundraising. According to Salty Droid, “Women have been undervalued … forced to over-perform just to survive.”

4. Hiring a firm to do Facebook ads for me, and having them REALLY underperform and not do anything about it.

But I learned my lesson on that one! I am working with a new person on Facebook ads and he is fantastic. I am so pleased with how things are going with him.

5. Having like 5 different systems and wasting so much money!

I was using Leadpages, Unbounce, iContact, Mailchimp, Aweber, and more. Now I have one system, Ontraport, and it fulfills everything I need.

6. Stopping meditation and journaling practices in favor of noodling on the internet and reading trashy novels.

(Um I could blame the election but actually a lot of things are hard right now. I have been wallowing. I admit it. I want to get back on this train now)

7. I always make a mistake before the end of the year, so I’m leaving this here, to edit later, and I’m sure I’ll share my end of year mistake with you!

Do you have any mistakes you want to share?

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