Welcome to the Go Big to Give Big Podcast with Randy Molland and Steve Arneson! In this episode of our podcast, we talk to Leesa McGregor, a social entrepreneur and author who is empowering the next generation and inspiring positive change.
Leesa shares her story of how she stumbled upon the idea to create a heart-based education for kids and start a movement. She explains how she felt unfulfilled in her twenties and began exploring sustainability, leading her to realize that she could use her marketing skillset to create systems change with an emphasis on education. Leesa talks about how she believes that emotional intelligence is the most important part of changing the world, as it helps people be connected to themselves and others, as well as honor nature and natural systems. She also details her mission now to get her book into the school system so that kids can learn about heart connection from an early age.
This conversation highlights the importance of aligning one's skills, talents, and capital with a vision to make the world a better place. It emphasizes the need for people to wake up to the reality of the capitalist system and its exploitation of people and resources. Leesa shares her own journey from believing she was not smart or successful enough to change the world to dedicating her work to making a difference. She encourages entrepreneurs to bake good into their business models from the start in order to have greater success.
Tune in as we explore how we can all make meaningful contributions to society while staying true to ourselves!
[00:00 - 06:14] Empowering the Next Generation and Inspiring Positive Change
· Leesa McGregor is a social entrepreneur empowering the next generation and inspiring positive change
· Experienced disillusionment in her twenties due to society's blueprint of success
· Leesa had a spiritual crisis at age 30 and realized that societal expectations of success left her feeling unfulfilled.
· Leesa began to question how she could make a meaningful difference in the world, leading to her social entrepreneurship.
[06:14 - 15:12] Leesa’s Journey of Heart-Based Education for Kids
· Leesa McGregor, started working in the area of sustainability and renewable energy.
· She then realized that her skillset in marketing could be used as a "vehicle for change" and began consulting for brands that wanted to make a difference. However, she found that many companies were only focused on making money, not making the world a better place.
· After the birth of her son, she began writing in her journal about how to create systems change in education and positively impact future generations.
· She had an "eureka moment" at the beach with her son, realizing that she should be teaching him about compassion, empathy, and gratitude instead of just the traditional ABCs.
· From this realization, she created a "New Alphabet for Humanity" and wrote a children's book to teach these values.
[14:18 - 22:27] How We Can Change the World and Make It Better
· Life is meant to change and pivot, and sometimes we have to learn to play with emotion and think logically.
· Being able to trust your gut in making decisions is important.
· Parents should set an example for their children by actively working to change the world themselves.
· The education system is not designed to prepare individuals to change the world.
· Parents should align their skills, talents, and capital with a vision of making the world a better place.
· Simple actions such as planting a tree for every book sold and donating to children in need can be fulfilling and meaningful ways to contribute to positive change.
[22:27 - 30:10] Changing the Way Businesses are Run: Prioritizing Positive Impact
· Leesa is excited about the idea of building businesses that do good in the world, and that this type of business model can lead to both profit and positive impact.
· She is passionate about inspiring young entrepreneurs and getting them on track to building businesses that create positive impact.
· Leesa’s big vision is to sell 10 million copies of her book and plant 10 million trees, but her ultimate goal is to create systems change in education by expanding the focus of education to include social and emotional learning.
· She believes that if people were more connected to each other and nature, we could solve many of the world's problems.
· Leesa believes that she can make a difference in the world and that she will be a big instigator of change.
[30:10 - 38:29] Empowering Others to Make a Difference
· You don't have to go big to make a difference; small actions can have a lasting impact
· Leesa does not recommend trying to do everything alone and instead focuses on finding legitimate partners to work with.
· Leesa is in a space where they have already started to change the world and want to empower others to do the same.
· Passionately discuss the importance of making a difference in your social circles
[38:29 - 41:37] The Joy of Giving
· Leesa finds joy in donating books to organizations and seeing the impact it has on the recipients.
· She mentions a specific instance of donating books to a nonprofit organization, and receiving photos of the children who received the books and how happy they were.
· She is motivated to make a meaningful difference through her actions.
· She is focused on finding ways to make the most meaningful difference, rather than just making sales.
· She shares a story of speaking with a group of educators about her book, and her son standing up and saying how much work she put into the book, which led to many in the audience crying.
· Leesa expresses that this moment was particularly meaningful to her, as it showed her son the hard work she put into her book and her efforts to make a difference.
[41:37 - 46:40] Quick Questions
· Brag one about charity you like: Global Give-A-Book
· What would get you more excited? Donating a $1 million check or spending a week physically helping others: Spending a week physically helping others. It is more immersive.
· Who inspires you with their giving? Australian Toilet Paper Company Who Gives a Crap
· Do you think it's easier for a business to provide a flat fee donation as part of their get back or a percentage of profits? Leesa discusses that a flat fee donation may be easier for a business to provide as part of their give back. However, this may depend on the specific business and factors such as affordability and timing of donations in relation to the business's profitability.
· What is the first thing that you think of when you hear Go Big to Give Big: Use your business in service to something bigger than yourself.
· In one word, describe the feeling you get when you give: My heart wells up.
· Do you believe that money can buy you happiness: Leesa believes that money cannot directly buy happiness. Instead, she thinks that can be used to create impact and do amazing things in the world, which can generate happiness.
[46:40 - 48:40] Closing Segment
· Reach out to Leesa
o See links below
· Final words
"You’re never too small to make a difference, you can go big if you want to go big. But you also make a small difference. You can plant a seed and let that germinate and see where that goes." – Leesa McGregor
Also, make sure to check Leesa’s organization “A New Alphabet for Humanity” at https://www.alphabetforhumanity.com/
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