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Education is the pinnacle of any successful endeavor. Whether you are a child learning how to run a lemonade stand or an adult looking to learn self-defense, you need to find the best teachers and resources you can to acquire and refine the skills you need to succeed. Ted Talks are incredible 10-30 minute lectures which are designed not only teach you the principles of success but also to share in the stories of how those who have “made it” got there. The following 3 Ted Talks are specifically designed to help you learn the administrative and emotional ins and outs of running a successful non profit.

Starting a Movement

Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, shares his story about being the developer of a “niche” nonprofit. When starting out in leadership, people often worry about their idea of being one of two things. Either it is 1) not original or 2) so far out there that aliens hadn’t even traveled that far. In this incredible lecture, Derek confronts this “lone nut” mentality by describing his journey from starting with a few straggling first followers to his now incredibly successful movement.

No matter how far out your idea may seem, you need to start where you are at. Perseverance is the key to success.

How to Make a Profit While Making a Difference

Audrey Choi’s talk gives us a unique insight into the ethics and the administrative ramifications of how to run a “for-profit” institution which has a central goal of making an impact in social situations. While her perspective is one that is geared towards making a profit, the principles she teaches can be easily applied to developing your non-profit organization. From leadership to field work, Audrey’s insight is an incredibly useful tool.

What to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen.

Whether Ernesto Serolli was quoting Lily Moscowitz from the Princess Diaries or Lily ripped off Ernesto, the reality of their message is life-changing. Listening. Watching, waiting, and listening is the first step to making a successful impact on a culture or individual’s life. This is actually one of the first principles missionaries are taught before they go out into the field. The mission of a non-profit is not to engulf the lives of the people they serve, but rather to improve the quality of this life. You do not need to destroy an innocent culture to combat the sex trade. The sex trade is simply one twisted aspect of that culture—and it is likely born out of poverty. Treating the root of the problem is the most important way to reach into a culture, and this starts by shutting your mouth and listening to the needs of the people.