Guest post by Kohl Crecelius

Kohl Crecelius, MCON14We are young, we are passionate, and we want to live our lives with purpose. We desire to contribute in some positive way to bettering the world, and we refuse to wait. We want to make a big difference, and we want to do it now. We are Millennials.

The challenge is … Where do we start?

I have had countless conversations with students and peers who want nothing more than to start changing people’s lives. The altruism is admirable, but the steps to action are nebulous, if not non-existent.

I faced this same challenge in college. My friends and I had traveled and seen the effects of extreme poverty firsthand. We were compelled to help but weren’t sure how. Through this pursuit (and I’ll spare you all the details), we learned that a simple skill we had could actually mean a world of difference for others.

We knew how to crochet, and we came to understand how this generic hobby could actually create life-changing jobs for people in Uganda.

Along the way, we’ve discovered:

4 myths that young people believe about changing the world

1)   You have to wait for someone’s permission/validation. You don’t need a college degree or a lot of money. Simply begin.

2)   You must be a genius or possess some great talent. Start with what you know. We knew how to crochet. It was simple, and some people thought it was insignificant, but I don’t think anyone would say that anymore.

3)   You have to help thousands of people right when you start. It’s perfectly OK to start small. There’s actually beauty in approaching impact on a small (or even individual) basis and fighting the urge to help a lot of people just to say that you helped a lot of people.

4)   You have to travel to Africa to do it. Our story isn’t a great example of this because we did start our work in Africa, but it was because we had been there. Work to align the skills you have with the communities you already know to start making an impact now.

As CEO and co-founder of the non-profit lifestyle brand Krochet Kids intl., Kohl Crecelius – along with his close friends – is connecting people around the world through great products made and signed by people in developing countries. Supporters can visit the KKi website and meet the artisan who made their product. Kohl will join other influential speakers in presentations and a Q&A on how to use talent and financial resources to build stronger products, services and human-centered organizations.