We all want to create impact for our businesses, but what about the opportunity to make an impact for ourselves and for others around us? I’ve been interviewing the most interesting professionals on my podcast Women Worldwide. Among them is Cameron Brown, a high-performance coach, and philanthropist, who is clearly making a difference on a few different levels. Cameron was kind enough to share his passion and work to help people experience the world and thrive through The Thriving Collective and his recent project, “A Place Called Earth.”
Here’s my Q&A with Cameron.
- What was the genesis of The Thriving Collective as well as your project, “A Place Called Earth?”
Here on Earth, we each have the opportunity to make an impact on 3 different levels: ourselves, others and the planet. The Thriving Collective is all about helping good people achieve greater levels of impact on all 3 levels.
The idea for ‘A Place Called Earth’ came out of a flight back from the US to Australia in March 2016. I thought to myself there’s stuff just sitting at home, wasting away. Someone else would be better off with it than I would.
At the time, it was simply a growing understanding that we as a species need to make some dramatic changes to the way we run our companies and live our lives if we want to thrive for many generations to come.
So with the new project ‘A Place Called Earth,’ in addition to helping people make a greater impact in the world, I sold or donated 99% of the things I used to own to show first hand that you don’t need materialistic things to be happy.
Everyone has a unique set of talents and strengths and with less stuff, it gives you more time to focus on what really matters, along with the space to use those talents and strengths to make a difference in the world.
- How are you getting the word out about your project?
I love appearing podcasts, radio and other media around the world, sharing insights on how to make a greater impact. There are also videos, speaking engagements and the use of social media to help share the mission of the project.
- How have relationships helped to fuel your efforts?
Relationships have been absolutely vital. I remember I was in a training room in late 2014 and everyone seemed so focused on how they were going to get more clients.
That short-term, linear focus didn’t sit well with me, so I made the decision that while everyone else was out there trying to ‘get’ clients in the door in a short space of time, I made a decision that I was going to build real relationships instead that would last me for the next 10-50 years.
I figured ‘Others might have a greater return on investment in the short term, but long term, the approach I chose would be much more effective.
Here I am, 2 1/2 years into that as a focus and not only has it generated opportunities all over the world, it’s led to new friendships and experiences that I had never even dreamed were possible.
I challenge anyone to find a marketing or sales strategy that makes you feel this good.
- What are some of the challenges you’ve faced launching your initiative? How did you overcome your obstacles?
Dropping myself into countries I’ve never been to, know nobody in and don’t even know the language spoken has definitely been a challenge. With that, rhythms in both my company and life have been incredibly valuable when there are constant changes and unfamiliar situations happening on a near daily basis.
As far as the language goes, I’m based in Colombia for the next three months and currently have Spanish lessons five days a week, so I’m looking forward to being able to communicate more effectively, especially when traveling to the more remote parts of South America for the philanthropic initiatives that are a part of the project.
- How do you define leadership and what does it take for a leader to create true impact today?
Leadership starts with self. If you’re unable to inspire and positively influence yourself, then how will you inspire and positively influence others?
If you’re not constantly working on yourself and getting your emotional needs met internally, then you’ll unconsciously get them met externally instead… and sometimes that might not be in a positive way.
It can often mean becoming a controlling leader who leads by force instead of inspiration, or someone who is too submissive because they feel the need for others approval to know they are good enough.
By leading yourself first, you’re in a much better position to empower people to achieve their highest potential and do it in a way that’s not only good for them but also good for others and the planet too.
- What’s next for you, The Thriving Collective and “A Place Called Earth?”
Continuing to empower people to make a greater positive impact in the world is an important focus, and I’m in Colombia for A Place Called Earth, filming the natural beauty of the country and creating short films for two amazing philanthropic initiatives happening here.
Cameron Brown is the founder of The Thriving Collective. He travels the world, coaching & training people on how to make a greater positive impact, and creates short films and music that have reached millions across the globe, inspiring positive change on a personal, social and environmental level.