The Power of an Idea, Pursued with Passion, with the Right People

Stefan Wissenbach

Setting, and sharing, a goal can positively and powerfully affect not just you, not just those around you, but generations of people you may never meet.

What often happens when pursuing a goal is the snowball effect. When you introduce your goal to the right people, the goal often gathers speed and substance, evolving into a goal so grand you never could have imagined it. This is how the Magic Future Foundation came to build four schools, two in the poorest towns of Mali, and two in underserved regions of Malawi. Those enormous goals were the end result of one woman’s personal goal just over one year ago.

Kerry St. Joseph, a project manager at Magic Future, had set a Magic Future goal for herself to run 50 marathons in 50 states, starting with the most difficult: The Boston Marathon. Entering the Boston Marathon isn’t easy for your average runner, but Kerry discovered that if she was sponsored by a charity, she could run if she raised $5,500. The charity she chose was buildOn, a non-profit organization devoted to providing underserved communities both abroad and locally with schools and educational programs.

I was flying in from London to meet Kerry, and as I sat on the plane I was trying to think of a charity that shared the same goals as the Magic Future Foundation, namely: Providing inspiration and education both locally and globally to create multiple generations of happy, purposeful people fulfilling their potentials. When Kerry and I met and she told me of her big goal to run the Boston Marathon, I saw that buildOn’s goals and those of the Foundation were perfectly aligned. I agreed to help her raise enough money to run the marathon, and a lot more.

While I was having dinner later that week with Strategic Coach creators Dan Sullivan and Babs Smith, we hatched a plan to host a Strategic Coach/Magic Future Foundation workshop on employee engagement and donate the proceeds to buildOn. In one day, we made $132,000 enough to build four schools with four adult education programs (not to mention, enough to get Kerry in that marathon!). I should add that all four schools are now complete.

What is the impact of building a school in Malawi or Mali, or organizing an educational program for at-risk youth in the States? Primarily, it’s breaking the cycle of illiteracy that goes hand-in-hand with extreme poverty. But it’s also giving the people enrolled in these schools and programs – girls, boys, parents and grandparents – a sense of urgency over their own futures.

The impact for me and my family was bigger than we could ever have imagined. We decided to fund (and build) a school as a family, and a life changing experience was had by all.

So, from a goal shared to run 50 marathons, the snowball effect has resulted in 4 schools being built and the lives of thousands infected, with more to happen as the foundation gathers speed.

The power of an idea, pursued with passion, with the right people.

The Dream Achiever Competition

Dream Achiever

The Magic Future Foundation

The Magic Future Foundation