What Does It Start With?

by Lance Ekum on · 47 comments

"I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine." ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to have lunch and get to know another Milwaukee blogger, Nate St. Pierre.  What Nate has created, though, is much more than a blog.  He has really created a movement, based around his website, It Starts With Us

What is so unique about what Nate is doing, is how It Starts With Us (ISWU) has really become a place to bring people together – from all walks of life and every corner of the globe.  Brought together around the simple idea of doing good in our world.  And that's not to say there aren't a whole lot of opportunities to do that right in our own neighborhoods – as I'm sure there are.  This is really about small, easy acts of good (missions) that can be done –  with a common connection to people from all over the world! 

Please join me as I ask Nate some questions about what has brought him to this place he's at today.

1.  Tell us a little bit about who “you” are (family, career, any special life experiences you’d like to share, etc.)
I laughed when I saw the word "career" in the question. I don't think I've ever had a career as most people would define it. I started out as a janitor at age 14, then during high school and college I worked as a civilian hire for the Air Force. I went to college on academic scholarship to study molecular genetics and organic chemistry, then dropped out of school to go work at a fish cannery in Alaska. When I came back from there, I did some freelance technical writing and desktop publishing. During the dot-com bubble I taught myself basic web design and built a topic-specific search engine directory, which I ran for a while and then sold. From there I moved into land title insurance for a little bit, and then I became a web developer for a big company. After doing that for a while, I became the web team leader and ran that show for a couple of years, until I decided to quit and focus on ItStartsWith.Us full-time. Instead of having a solid career to back me up, I feel that I have a variety of different experiences to draw from, each of which has allowed me to develop a different skill set and perspective on life. I can't say that I'll run ItStartsWith.Us forever, but I can tell you that it's the first job I've ever truly loved.

Lance's Commentary:  The experience at the fish cannery in Alaska has to have some pretty interesting memories!  And…I think you have really hit upon an important thing:  Our life is not just about our career, it's really about our life experiences and the people we've met along the way.  Keep on really living life, my friend!

2.  What led to the creation of the It Starts With Us website?
I was attending a week-long leadership training course for my job in November of 2008, and one of the sessions focused on completing self-assessment exercises. "What are your skills, talents and interests, what do you enjoy doing, etc." – that kind of thing. After writing all that down, the idea was that you should try to do something in your life that would speak to those qualities. With that in mind, the instructions were to write for 20 minutes based on the question presented on the next page. When I turned to the page, I saw that it was blank, except for the phrase, "Next year, I will . . . " at the top. I scribbled furiously for 20 minutes, and when I was done, I looked back to see what I had written. Today I don't remember anything about that page except what I wrote for the first line: "Next year, I will change the world."

I thought about what that meant for a few months, and realized that I could never do very much on my own. But I thought that if I could build a system that would enable people to participate quickly and easily, feel like part of a team, have fun, not pay a dime, and actually see the life-changing results of their work, then they would engage with the project. And with so many people engaging, we literally could change the world.

Lance's Commentary:  Nate, what you have created with the It Starts With Us movement is incredibly soul-touching.  You ARE changing the world – in some amazing ways!

3.  Nate, when I think about your site, I think about how I can personally make a difference in the world – and how your site helps facilitate a way to do that.  Am I close to what you see your mission as?
Indeed. The vision of ItStartsWith.Us is to change the world. The mission – the way we do that – is to make a positive impact in the lives of the people around us . . . in just 15 minutes a week. Anyone and everyone can give 15 minutes a week towards helping out their neighbor, loving their family, working on their attitude, or joining us in one of  our shared missions, like writing a letter to a sick child or dropping a Love Bomb on someone in need. When I assign the weekly missions, I try to make them small enough to be attainable, but big enough to make a measurable difference in someone else's life, and also your own.

Lance's Commentary:  What's so great about this is the minimal time commitment that is really necessary to be a part of this.  Anyone can do it!!  And – the whole collective of this is so powerful!

4.  Tell us about the weekly missions, and how they have impacted you personally.
I like to think of the weekly missions as a gentle reminder to keep our eyes open to the good we can do in this world as we walk through life. There's no pressure to do them or not – nobody's keeping score. It's very easy to delete the email or unsubscribe from the list altogether. We've been running missions for right around a year now, and I've done every single one I've assigned. And you know what? It was hard for me. It made me stretch a little bit. I'm a huge introvert, and I'm not the friendliest person (my family and friends can attest to that). But doing these missions each week has opened my eyes to so many things I can do better in this life. I've found so many ways to make a difference for others, even if it's just as simple as a friendly smile, a quick chat on the street, or a small offer of help. And the surprising thing is, as much as the people I serve appreciate the little things I do, I'm the one who gets the biggest benefit. My outlook on life is better. My attitude is more positive. My days are more joyful. It's really been amazing, and it seems the old adage is true – when you serve others, you really do get back more than you give.

Lance's Commentary:  I've been a member since our lunch meeting back in late winter of this year.  While I haven't done every mission, I have done most of them.  And that's the thing.  Some weeks we get busy, can't get to every email that comes in, etc, etc.  And that's what works here.  I do this when I can.  And it's a win-win when I do.  Someone benefits from whatever "kindness" is being put out there this week.  That's not nearly it, though – I come away from all of this a better person, and am touched by each one of these missions that I participate in! 

5. Tell us one unexpected thing that has happened to you in the last year.
I think the most unexpected thing is what I mentioned just above – that I was changed as a result of this project. I began it because I believed in the idea and thought I could bring a lot of people together for the common good, but I was totally amazed by the way it transformed me right from the beginning.

Lance's Commentary:  I love this!!  When we transform ourselves in amazing ways, what a great place to be!

6.  If you had to pick one thing as your greatest achievement, what would it be (and why)?
With this project, or with life? Hmm. I'll pick the "with this project" option, because it's easier. With this project I'm most proud of the fact that we've been able to make such a difference for so many people. We started out with 18 members a year ago, and today we have over 2,000 members in dozens of countries. In just one year we've been able to get to the point where we're now pumping hundreds of hours of community service into the world each week in an organized, directed and effective way. And we've been able to do it with no funding – just a desire to make a difference. I wish I could share all the notes, calls and emails I receive on a weekly basis about what the team has done – we truly do touch hearts and change lives. It's incredible to be a part of that.

Lance's Commentary:  Hundreds of hours….fifteen minutes at a time!!  How cool is that!!

7. Anything new you have coming up?
Dude, I always have something new coming up. :) Right now I'm working with a couple of people on two spin-off sites: Love Bomb and Love Drop. The Love Bomb subgroup is already very active, so we're going to turn that into a standalone project to better focus the efforts of those members. Love Drop will be a true 501(c)3 charitable organization centered around the micro-giving concept, where interested people join the group and donate either $1.00 or $5.00 a month, and at the end of each month we ask our members if they know of anyone who could use some financial help, and then we'll direct virtually all of that money to the chosen recipient. I try to keep the main ItStartsWith.Us team away from any monetary giving, so this will give interested parties the opportunity to give back financially.

The biggest thing I'm working on right now, however, is the business offering of the project. Last month I quit my job to focus on ISWU full-time (putting 30 hours a week into the project on top of my full-time job for the last year was getting a bit rough). I'm now working with large organizations and businesses to utilize the ISWU model to mobilize their members to give back in a fun, free and effective way. I've custom-built all the tools necessary for businesses to adopt this model and have the same kind of success that we're having, and I'm doing personal consulting to help them implement the system and make a real impact with it. Even better, when these organizations contract with me to adopt the ISWU platform, they also become part of the leadership network I've formed, and part of our quarterly initiatives . . . which will be huge missions consisting of people from different companies and groups all over the world, where we all work together to do something for one person, one family, or one organization . . . all at the same time. Imagine all of us coming together to grant a wish for a child in the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which is one of the places I'm going be looking to partner with. The world has never seen the kind of things we're going to be able to accomplish this year. It's going to make a huge difference – and be a lot of fun at the same time.

Lance's Commentary:  I've been a part of the Love Bomb group for several weeks.  What a moving experience, to be able to offer some words of encouragement and love to one person who has a lot they are dealing with.  And – how awesome that you are able to focus on ISWU full-time!  The whole idea of taking this into business, too, makes so much sense:  what a great way to unite a common group of people around a common cause!

8.  Deep down, what makes you uniquely “you”?
Had to end with a tough one, didn't you? Hmm. Okay, how about this? I'm a business-minded idealist. Meaning, I have the values, passion, dedication and drive of someone who wants to change the world, but I'm doing it in such a way that it makes sense to those with the money and power to help make it happen. I talk to executives about how adopting the ISWU platform will help with employee engagement, recruitment and retention, and about how the real-world results they get with their group will be worth much more in positive brand-building than what they're currently spending from their advertising and PR budgets. I show them how being a part of this network affects their bottom line and is actually profitable for them, and then when they join, I fly out to their headquarters and show them how to run their own group that touches hearts and changes lives. Yep. Just like what we're doing now. And since I give them all the tools and all the expertise they need for a very reasonable price, ISWU becomes a self-sustainable business . . . in the business of changing the world.

So that's how I feel I'm unique – I'm someone who believes that absolutely everyone is in a position to do amazing things for the common good. Passionate individuals, small companies, global brands, non-profits, educational organizations, celebrities, regular folk . . . as long as we work together in an organized, effective and sustainable way, we'll be able to do things that have never been done before. It is certainly possible. In fact, it's even easier than you think. And I'm excited about getting it done.

Lance's Commentary: Hey, I can't make all of these easy!!  You are creating something that is very special and meaningful for everyone involved.  That, coupled with the new directions you have planned – and you are indeed changing the world…in very life-connecting ways!

Closing Comments:  Nate, as I read that quote by Kurt Vonnegut up above…you ARE the fire engine!  And all these people signing up to be a part of the team become the water.  Wow!!  From this…WE are all changing the world!  Your creation of It Starts With Us is the catalyst for bringing together people to collectively make a big difference in our world, one step at a time!  I am honored to be part of this amazing movement! 


You can keep up with Nate and the It Starts With Us movement by visiting his website, following him on Twitter, and subscribing to his Facebook page.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Nate St. Pierre May 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Hey Lance, thanks for A) joining the team B) lunch back a few months ago, and C) this article. All good things, my friend. Oh, and if any of your readers have any questions about the project, I’d be happy to answer them here in the comments.

I’m now back from my trip out West, and excited to keep moving forward with all the new ItStartsWith.Us stuff!

p.s. Alaska – Ugh. 20-hour workdays, man. No fun. 🙂

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Karl Staib - Work Happy Now May 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

We can change the world. The more action we take the more the world changes around us. It’s the Law of Attraction/Karma or whatever you want to call it. The intentions we put out into the world come back to us.

I love the concept that it starts with us. It reminds me of the quote from Gandhi. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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Lynn May 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

My sincerest admiration to Nate (and as always, to you, Lance) for working to change the world. I’ve taken classes very much like the one Nate describes and I am so happy that he was inspired to do something with the exercise he was given.
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Light on the stairs, HGTV and tribute =-.

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Erin Prais-Hintz May 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

So incredibly deep and rich. Thank you for sharing this inspiration with us. I will be signing up because making a difference is one of those things I strive to do. Enjoy the day!
Erin
.-= Erin Prais-Hintz´s Last Fabulous Post ..Inspired by…Flowerless Weddings =-.

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Tom Volkar / Delightful Work May 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Lance thanks for this inspiring introduction to Nate’s work. I’m pumped about checking out his site and seeing how I might be moved to play along. You Lance are truly the bearer and spreader of good news in the world and I love you for it.
.-= Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s Last Fabulous Post ..Top Ten Tips For A Confident Career Change =-.

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Nadia - Happy Lotus May 17, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Hey Lance,

I remember you telling me about Nate. So it was cool to learn more about him and his story. I love how it all began with an exercise at a conference. Goes to show you…you never know where the inspiration will hit. Plus, his story and mission are perfect examples of how we each have the ability to change the world.

Like Karl said above, it is like the famous quote from Gandhi…”be the change you want to see in the world.”

Here’s to more love and compassion in the world! Rock on, Nate!

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Nate St. Pierre May 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Thanks, Nadia! You’re right – you never know when inspiration will hit. (Or when it does, and if you’ll be ready to get up and actually DO something about it. 🙂 )
.-= Nate St. Pierre´s Last Fabulous Post ..ItStartsWith.Us Is One Year Old Today =-.

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Darren Sproat May 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Nate,
It does start with us…I love what you’re doing and, Lance, I love that you introduced me to Nate via this informative post. I really believe I am discovering a lot of wonderful destinations and communities via Jungle of Life. Be inspired…
Thanks,
Darren
.-= Darren Sproat´s Last Fabulous Post ..My Number One Stress Management Tool =-.

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Terie May 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm

WOW Lance, thanks for introducing us to this amazing person. Nate, I’m so glad to have the opportunity to read about you and what you’re doing to make a positive impact in the lives of others. I’m all about this project and will be clicking over there in just a bit. You have some really fantastic ideas and I want to be a part the people who make the world a better place just by being in it.

It most definitely start with us!

Terie
.-= Terie´s Last Fabulous Post ..Starting Fitness…again! =-.

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Sagan May 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Inspiring.

I think it’s funny how few people seem to have one set “career” these days… everyone seems to be changing their jobs and doing what suits them as their LIVES change. And that makes so much sense: we aren’t the same person when we’re 20, 30, 40, 50 years old.
.-= Sagan´s Last Fabulous Post ..Operation Lose Five Pounds: Painless Tips =-.

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Lance May 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm

@Nate – Hey Nate!! A) It’s great to be a part of your amazing team! B) Lunch rocked!! C) This article is what it is, because of YOU!!

Re: Alaska. Okay – that’s not as fun as it sounded at first. What you are doing now, though…that is all sorts of awesome!

It’s great having you here, and learning more in depth about you and the ISWU mission!

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Lance May 17, 2010 at 10:01 pm

@Karl – We sure CAN change the world…each one of us! And what’s so great about the model that Nate is creating – it’s all about our collective efforts doing something big…in small ways. I LOVE that idea! And that Gandhi quote is perfect here…

@Lynn – Hi Lynn. You are a shining star here…and this concept of it starting with each of us….that seems like it fits you so well…and is something you are doing, today. And those classes/workshops can have a very lasting effect – if we’re open to what CAN be. Lynn, thanks so much for all your wonderful support!

@Erin – Hi Erin. I just want you to know that you’ve made a difference in my life. It is so good to know you, and I believe very much that you touch people in deeply meaningful ways…always. The ISWU movement will be a wonderful addition to what you are already doing.

@Tom – Hey Tom! You know where else you might like to follow along – in Twitter, follow the hashtag #ISWU for a few days – and really see the depth of what Nate is really doing! Great stuff! And…Tom – YOU, my friend, are the bearer of living life boldly! And THAT I love about YOU!! Thanks a bunch!!

@Nadia – Hi Nadia! It’s great to have Nate here today. He’s everything I told you, and more! His story really is a great one of a moment in time that made all the difference! Love and compassion….two things that you truly shine at, sweet friend!!

@Nate – Hey there again Nate!

@Darren – Hi Darren. Your support here over the last few months has been incredibly honoring! YOU, my friend, make the sky light up with the light you put out into the world!!

@Terie – Hi Terie!! You know, I pretty much think you shine at this already!! So…joining in on the movement Nate has created with ISWU will only be a way for you to even more fully give that love of yours out into the world. You are awesome!!!

@Sagan – Inspiring!! That’s a great word to describe what Nate is doing! And that’s right – we change. It’s a journey through life for each of us – and along that journey there will be some changes along the path we’re on – and that’s good, especially if it’s a path that’s spoken from our heart….

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Nate St. Pierre May 17, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Oh yes, and another thing I’d like to say to Lance’s community here on Jungle of Life: You guys have it really, really good. To be a part of something like this, where Lance puts out thoughtful content, introduces you to cool people, and takes the time to get to know all of you personally . . . that stuff is gold, and a very rare thing indeed.

Lance, thank you for all you do for all of us, man.

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JoyChristin May 17, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Lance,
Thank you for opening up your space to Nate. I appreciate everything you do; *you* absolutely make a difference. Thank *you*!

Nate,
I am quite new on your team. I love the projects you are currently involved in and the ones you are devloping. You show that a small amount of time can impact lives, and boldly stepping outside of your comfort zone not only helps you to grow, but inspires all around you to do the same. What we do in our blogging community is write, so to spare a few words, a few minutes to share some love should be almost effortless for us.
I have also learned if someone reaches out for help. then deflects that help, it is not personal toward you, or us, it is fear telling them they are not ready to be healed. Your love-bombs are awe-some and I’m glad that you initiate them. In my personal life, I send encouraging notes to people, but to think of the impact a love bomb can make..wow!!!
I am glad Lance gave you space today, and introduced you to his readers…may you and your organization continue to shine and grow to heights you can’t even yet imagine….Thank *you* for all that you do–*you* truly make a difference….
Much peace to you both…

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Nate St. Pierre May 17, 2010 at 11:15 pm

@JoyChristin – Thank you so much for the kind words, Joy. You’re right; it should be almost effortless for bloggers to do, and I’ve been encouraged by the participation we’ve gotten so far. As for how much impact they can have, check out one example of what we did for a high school girl going through a tough time:
http://mir-mir-in-the-night.blogspot.com/2010/04/so-i-think-i-might-be-clinically.html

It’s stuff like this that makes me proud to be a human. 🙂

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J.D. Meier May 18, 2010 at 12:36 am

> an organized, directed and effective way … with no funding – just a desire to make a difference
That’s powerful stuff. I like it when effort turns into results.
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..More Spring Cleanup on Sources of Insight – Simplifying the Experience =-.

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Caroline May 18, 2010 at 12:53 am

Thank you Lance for introducing Nate! What incredible things he is doing. It’ s nice to know that there are people like him (and you) that are sincerly focused on helping folks and making this world a better place to live!

Rock on Nate!
.-= Caroline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Shoot me =-.

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Chania Girl May 18, 2010 at 6:44 am

Lance, thank you for introducing us to Nate and spreading the word about something wonderful that’s happening in the world.

Nate, I really enjoyed reading your interview, both for what you were able to share about It Starts With Us and for your candor about yourself = I liked knowing you’re not always the friendliest person! 😉

Will be stopping by to see what you’re up to soon. Great interview!
.-= Chania Girl´s Last Fabulous Post ..Passion and Glory =-.

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Hilary May 18, 2010 at 8:11 am

Hi Lance and Nate – how wonderful that you two tied up – so that we can learn more ..

I popped over the Miranda’s site .. and wished her well … not easy for her, and I hope she’s ok.

Re your thought process .. that’s an amazing idea .. and spreading like wildfire .. I’m off to have a look .. and probably join – maybe not now .. but sometime soon .. join first now and do later .. just to be a part of your movement ..

Thanks – really good thoughts .. Hilary
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Bat and Moth Survey Night – tonight =-.

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suzen May 18, 2010 at 8:22 am

Hi Lance! What a phenomenal find! Thank you SO much for highlighting Nate!

Hi Nate! Applause, applause! Can you hear it? I get the sense that you’d be the type to “feel” it since you are clearly living and DOing you’re heart’s desire. I get giddy with excitement when I read of anyone who is out there making a difference – and boy, dude, that’s YOU! What an awesome inspiration you are – and perfect example, too, of just what this world needs more of! In my 63 years I’ve not had the pleasure of “meeting” all that many people who embody the desire to change the world, have the creativity to actually DO it, or the inspirational vibe to lead people and set them on fire! When I think of a catalyst for change (good change!) I will now think of YOU! Can’t wait to sign up at your blog! Sterling job! kEEP ON SHINING!
Hugs,
SuZen

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Nate St. Pierre May 18, 2010 at 9:04 am

@J.D. – Yep, what I’ve learned over the years is that it’s not so much about the idea as it is about the work that you put into the idea. Ideas are a dime a dozen – I’ve got a ton of ’em – but if you don’t execute well, the ideas don’t really matter.

@Chania Girl – I’m out to show that you can change the world even if you’re a generally unpleasant introvert, hahaha 🙂

@Hilary – Thanks for hanging out with us and joining the team, Hilary!

@suzen – Wow, thanks so much for the kind words – I truly appreciate them.

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Lance May 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

@Nate – You’re giving me a big head today!! Wow, I’m honored! And, the truth is – it’s these people who come by here regularly and share deeply meaningful comments that are the gold! I’m a lucky guy to have so many caring visitors! And…about those cool people – you, my friend, have that one nailed!!

@JoyChristin – Hi Joy! You are sweet and kind…and make this place what it is with your thoughtful words (thank YOU!). And – Joy, I have personally witnessed the gift you have for seeing the need out there, and looking for ways to send encouraging notes (I’m kind of guessing you’ve been a love bomber all your life!).

@Nate – Top of the morning Nate!

@J.D. Meier – Hi J.D. That desire to make a difference…can make all the difference in the world. And that’s exactly what Nate has started!! And it IS making a huge difference!!

@Caroline – Hey Caroline!! Glad to make the introduction – Nate’s a pretty amazing guy! The principle of what he’s doing really is focused so much around doing good in our world – and that’s “feel good” all the way!

@Chania Girl – Hi Carla!! Shoot…maybe I’m un-observant…I completely missed the “unfriendly” side of Nate when we met! Of course, my wife would completely agree that I sometimes miss the obvious!! Still, Nate DOES have a friendly side, too! But then, doing all sorts of good in the world will perhaps accentuate the friendly!!

@Hilary – Hi Hilary! Nate really does highlight some people who can really use some love with his love bombs (isn’t that such a great idea – and so simple to do!!). And – definitely so worth joining the ISWU movement – it’s completely up to you how active you want to be in it!

@Suzen – Hi Suzen!! Nate’s an awesome guy…and that goes for both online and in person!! Suzen, you would make a great member of the ISWU team – you are so much about doing good and bringing sunshine into our world!!

@Nate – I think it’s time for coffee. Have a great day today!! And thanks much for all the follow up here!!

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Jenn May 18, 2010 at 10:08 am

Lance and Nate, I really enjoyed this post! Thank you for sharing! I love hearing these stories also of compassion and generosity going full-time in our communities 😉 What an inspiration and a call to action! blessings to you both! This was really encouraging! xx~Jenn
.-= Jenn´s Last Fabulous Post ..One Heart, One Voice…..Stepping Up to the Plate! =-.

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Cheryl Paris May 18, 2010 at 11:02 am

Hello Lance,

Thanks for the wonderful interview.
The best part which have now changed Nate’s life is ‘ the last sentence of the self assessment quiz’.
Self analysis is very important to know where we stand and how much more we need to work hard in order to be successful and making a difference.

Bye for now,
Cheryl
.-= Cheryl Paris´s Last Fabulous Post ..Act Now: Why You Should Never Wait =-.

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lisaschaos May 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Nate sounds like a great guy! I’m glad he’s found something that he enjoys doing. I’m wondering if he’s heard of Angel on My Shoulder – it’s a great cancer support thing here in Wisconsin and none of the board members draw a salary. They are 100% volunteer and really great – we do their photography, and leave feeling good every time.
.-= lisaschaos´s Last Fabulous Post ..Painted in Ice (Macro Monday) =-.

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Walter May 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm

It is indeed a blessing to the blogosphere to have a blogger in the person of Nate whose intention is to bring people together for the purpose of furthering the well-being of this world. I really wish all bloggers are like that; giving their best, their time, their energy for a noble purpose. 🙂

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Tess The Bold Life May 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Hi Nate,
Wow what an inspiration you are to all of us. When friends and family fear the world crashing down all around them I tell them about my blogging friends and how soooo many people I know are making a difference. And really out of the millions of blogs I’m not sure I know that many. I do know there are 1000’s more like you and Lance…just because I BELIEVE! Keep up the good stuff. I’m signin up like suZen!

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Colleen May 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm

“I’m someone who believes that absolutely everyone is in a position to do amazing things for the common good. “

– Nate sounds like the kind of person I want to be around! 🙂
.-= Colleen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Homes For Sale In The Pasco Washington School District =-.

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Tim May 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Hi Nate and Lance: Wow, inspiring story…and Nate, I admire you for this movement you’ve started. One of my favorite sayings has always been “be the change” so It Starts With Us very much fits that philosophy. In addition to being impressed with your site and mission I’m happy to read about your ability to re-invent yourself in your career. I’m doing a little of that myself, but reading about how you did it is great. Lance, once again, thank you for introducing us to Nate and his mission. Great job!
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Lounge Is Open =-.

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Lance May 19, 2010 at 5:11 am

@Jenn – Hi Jenn!! Being united with others around a cause, too, is so connecting. And that’s really what ISWU provides – both a moment to share some compassion and generosity, coupled with the community feeling of people around the globe doing this same thing. And that IS encouraging!!

@Cheryl – Hi Cheryl. Self analysis really can be a great thing, especially when that leads to an even deeper self awareness. It reminds me very much of a training program I attended this past fall, where I really dug into my own awareness, with more depth than ever before. So – seeing what Nate has created….very awesome!!

@Lisa – Hey Lisa. Nate really IS a great guy! I have personally not heard of the “Angel on my Shoulder” group, and will check it out. It really sounds like a wonderful organization! And very awesome that you do their photography!!

@Walter – Hi Walter. Nate really is focused on doing good. And what’s so great about this – how people have gravitated toward that….part of our inner desire, I believe, to do good in this world. So, that ISWU gives a way to do that – awesome!

@Tess – Hi Tess! We CAN make a difference!! Each one of us, right!! Tess, you do this wonderfully well, one person at a time. So, what Nate has created – it’s a wonderful place for YOU!! Enjoy!!

@Colleen – Hi Colleen. Nate’s an amazing guy!! And the ISWU movement really is all about doing amazing things for the common good!! Great stuff!!

@Tim – Hi Tim! Nate embodies the words “be the change”! And reading about Nate’s life journey…it has definitely been one of re-creating himself many times over. And in that…what a great place he is at today! Best to you, Tim, in the re-invention of yourself…and all the amazing things that will lead to! Great things await, my friend!!

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord May 19, 2010 at 8:28 am

Nate, I’ve been a HUGE fan of your work since Lance introduced me to it a few months ago. I’ve told friends about you, too, because I wholeheartedly believe in what you’re doing. Your actions come from a heart-centered place, and in my opinion, that’s the direction our world is moving in more and more each day. What an honor to read more about you in this interview — thank you! Please continue being AWESOME, as you’ve been, and I’ll continue supporting your mission with a smile on my face.

Lance, thank YOU for spotlighting another amazing individual who changes my essence, simply by being himself. We’re all ONE, and with that in mind, what a joyful group of connections to share!
Lots of love to you, Lance, and much joy for bringing Nate into closer view!

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Audra Krell May 19, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Nate, you sound like an absolutely brilliant man and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about your journey and the change you’ve been in the world. Thank you for the opportunity to be in community, that is what I see a the most positive, beneficial change you’ve made. I’m thrilled that you and Lance have met, there is no stopping the two of you!
Lance, I’m always impressed in the fresh, new posts you have. But honestly now, I don’t know how you do it. This was tremendous. Thank you friend!

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Nate St. Pierre May 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm

@Megan – Hi Megan, so nice to see you here. I’ve seen you out and about on the ISWU team as we go about our business, and it’s been a pleasure having you around. Thank you so much for all the love. 🙂

@Audra – Yes, my goal is to be more community-focused this year, since I’ve learned that that’s where the real magic happens. Very soon (in the next week or two) I’ll be rolling out a new platform for the team that will allow us to communicate in even better ways.

Much love to you all – thanks for all the wonderful comments. It’s been my pleasure to be a part of this.

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Mama Zen May 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm

What an amazing idea!
.-= Mama Zen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Not Holding My Breath =-.

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Vickie Frisbie May 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I am so lucky to be a part of ItStartsWithUs and to know Nate. I hardly ever comment or update as my life is soooooo crazy, but I do the missions and the Love Bombs and I am better for it! I feel like and know that I am making a difference in very real ways by doing for others. I agree that the love bombs are phenomenal for the soul (mine and the person receiving). Great article on great guy! He is indeed the fire truck!
Thanks for reminding all of Us what’s important – not everything that matters can be measured and not everything that is measured matters!
LOVE!
Vickie

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Nate St. Pierre May 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm

@Vickie – I get to see you in three weeks; we’ll catch up, girl. I’m excited to hang out!

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Lance May 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm

@Megan – Hey Megan!! I’m a huge fan of YOU!! (well…and Nate, too) Yep, when we are coming from a heart-centered place, pretty wonderful and amazing things can happen! Speaking of wonderful and amazing…YOU ARE! And I know you are working on some things that fit that description too! Much love to you, Megan…always…

@Audra – Hi Audra!! The ISWU community is one that has a whole lot of good works going on. It’s great to see and be a part of! And I did this one…by letting Nate write almost the whole thing (that makes it easy for me!!). And you, sweet friend, shine here always!

@Nate – Looking forward to the new changes you’ll have coming out in the next couple of weeks!!

@Mama Zen – Hey Kelli! This is an amazing idea…and one that the world is embracing!

@Vickie – Hi Vickie! It’s great to “meet” you! And you’ve really highlighted the beauty of this – when we do these missions (or love bombs, or whatever else lies ahead) – the touch us also very personally, and in a wonderful way. Nate rocks!!! (you already know that, though!)

@Nate – How awesome it is when you get to meet members of the team, in person!!!

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Lauren May 20, 2010 at 3:26 am

Hey Lance and Nate,

What a fantastic contribution. I love this so much – how inspiring!

Nate, I’m amazed that you wrote change the world as your first line on the paper (I can’t wait to do this exercise when it’s not 1:30 am after hours of writing 🙂 ).

Lance, you bring us such wonderful inspiration. Nate, I am excited to join this uplifting adventure!

What a great thing to go to sleep to – changing the world a moment and an act at a time.

A big thank you and a big hug to you both.
Lauren

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Jannie Funster May 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Greetings Earthlings Of The Love Bomb Mission!

I have not headed over to Nate’s but that’s where I’ll be as soon as I post this. And I’ll be signing up to hear more about the weekly missions.

This is too big, beautiful and boldly bountiful to miss!

AWESOME, you guys!!

xo
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Let’s Drink Up The Stars (lyrics draft) =-.

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SnaggleTooth May 21, 2010 at 3:07 am

Way cool project!
Thanks for the Info! Great interview-

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Lance May 21, 2010 at 4:48 am

@Lauren – Hi Lauren!! Have fun with the writing exercise. And definitely – join in the ISWU movement! It’s great having you here and sharing in this!!

@Jannie – Greeting fellow earthling!!! Hey, I hope you’ve had a great visit to Nate’s site! And the beauty of it is really in the missions that come out – and how moving it can be to be a part of these. Jannie, you are a shining star of goodness in our world….this ISWU movement is so fitting for YOU to be a member of!!

@SnaggleTooth – Hey Snaggle!! This really IS a great project!!

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Sandy Salle May 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm

What a beautiful mindset Nate!

I see a lot of similarities between you and I in terms of our vision and sharing that vision with others. You are truly an inspirational character and I know you will do well now and in the future to come!

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Lance May 21, 2010 at 6:47 pm

@Sandy – Hi Sandy!!! Great to see you here today! Nate sure is an inspirational guy! And – I see that in you, too (except the “guy” part!) – you are one very exceptional and special woman – and it’s awesome having your presence here!

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Vincent Nguyen May 22, 2010 at 2:48 am

~~Lance~~
Hi Lance how are you?

This is the first time I stumbled upon your blog and could not leave it until after reading this entire blog.
Each sentence was so gripping and so I had to finish this inspiring and humbling story of Nate’s.

Bravo to both of you (Nate/Lance) for starting and continuing on your journey of life and sharing your thoughts with us is very appreciative.

~~Nate~~
I read your link about helping a girl cope with her chronic depression from high school. I read your post to her too and it was heartfelt because I believed and felt every word you expressed to her and to let her know that everything will be ok is just so pure and beautiful.
Pure awesomeness and rock on Nate!
.-= Vincent Nguyen´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Mindset of a Winner =-.

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Keith Davis May 22, 2010 at 4:56 am

Hi Lance
“It starts with us” is so true.
I organise a charity collection for Christian Aid in the UK and perhaps that should be our motto.
When you’re doing a house to house collection on a dark wet evening – and we have lots of those in the UK – it’s easy to think that your small contribution won’t make a difference.
I’ll have to try and remember this post and in particular the words – It Starts With Us.
.-= Keith Davis´s Last Fabulous Post ..Laugh and the world… =-.

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Sandy Salle May 28, 2010 at 9:08 am

Awww thanks so much Lance! You are too sweet!

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Lance May 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm

@Vincent – Hi Vincent!! I’m doing great, thanks! What Nate is doing really IS inspiring!! And it reminds me very much that there is a whole lot of good going on in this world…when people like Nate TAKE ACTION.

@Keith – Hi Keith!! “It starts with us”…so true! Every little bit helps….whether we’re collecting money for some cause, lending a shoulder to lean on, helping to rebuild a home, offering a hug, etc, etc. It might seem small…yet it really is SO much!! Keep up the great work with the Christian Aid!

@Sandy – Hey Sandy!!! It’s just awesome to have you here!! Have a wonderful weekend!!

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