At times you may find yourself truly overwhelmed. You are doing your best to advance your career, build your network, and maybe even add to your educational qualifications at the same time. Not only that—you also have a home and a family to care for, plus the stresses of the everyday, such as errands and bills and other nagging certainties. And, as I have discussed a number of times before, women nearly always bear the heavier burdens at home on top of what they are expected to do at work. It may sometimes seem unthinkable to consider adding more on to this heap of responsibilities and concerns.
But I ask you to contemplate doing just that. I ask you to dedicate some passion toward a cause that may have nothing at all to do with your work. Rather than reducing stress, it may help to alleviate some of it. Donating your time or your money toward an organization that directly improves the lives of others empowers you and gives you the opportunity to see how even just a small effort can have a major impact. It gives you more perspective and allows you to focus on a positive future that you can help shape.
In my case, I care deeply about the welfare of animals. This is not directly related to my career as a venture capitalist, but my job has allowed me the opportunity to lend my support to this cause through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). This nonprofit organization, which has been in existence for more than 150 years, works tirelessly to be the voice for our voiceless friends who provide us with so much joy and support. Their basic mission of preventing cruelty is not only a noble one; it also illuminates the stark contrast between right and wrong. We often lack this clarity in other aspects of our lives in which many decisions are compromises and colored in shades of grey. For me, supporting the ASPCA is an undiluted good.
Of course animals benefit from the work that the ASPCA does: In 2017, they rescued or assisted more than 47,000 animals in need; they facilitated over 4,700 animal adoptions; they granted more than $12 million to animal welfare organizations; and they helped to control the pet population by performing almost 90,000 spaying and neutering surgeries. This was all a part of their broader mission to rescue, place, and protect as many animals as possible.
Doing good can mean the world to a beneficiary, but it also can do wonders for the benefactor. I encourage you to look beyond your work and your duties at home and find your other passion. You’ll be glad you did.