You could feel the energy in the room. The one thousand gathered for World Domination Summit had entered the theatre as individuals, but in a mere few hours were transforming into a tribe. While the speakers on stage were enlightening, my brain was already working through the details of something that I had been noodling on for months and perhaps my whole life. It was clear what was next for me.
Ever since Steve and I sold our successful marketing agency The Advance Guard, I've had the itch to start something new. Once entrepreneurship gets in your blood, it is impossible to get rid of it.
I've always had the dream of starting a school to expose kids to creativity. To put the tools and technology in their hands and give them the skills to use them and then seeing what happens. That is still brewing in various ways and is a big part of this.
There are plenty of agencies out there marketing goods and services to the masses, so that wasn't what I wanted to focus on. The idea of being a CMO for a big brand or a C-suite level of an agency would be interesting, but I needed something more fulfilling right now.
The mission statement of the Cleon Foundation is simple:
Making the World Better Through Creativity.
My goal is to work with any organization that cares about the world around them more than their bottom line. I want to work with companies to develop their social good initiatives by helping identify their core values and culture and then matching those up with appropriate organizations. Any company can donate money to a cause, but I want to find and develop partnerships that help in both directions.
I also want to use my marketing, social strategy and storytelling abilities and help the world learn about great products and nonprofits. My work so far with ONE has been extremely rewarding, but I want to help new products that are trying to make the world a better place get the attention they need. There are far too many nonprofits and NGOs out there that never get the exposure and dollars that they deserve and I believe I can help.
The Cleon Foundation is the start of something new for me and yet it is at the core of what I've always believed. We should all strive to leave the world a better place than we found it.
I'd love your help as I proceed down this new path I've chosen.