Rose Broome is Co-founder and CEO of HandUp, a charitable giving platform that provides donors with a direct way to impact the lives of their homeless neighbors and other low-income locals. One Hundred percent of donations on the Web site go directly toward paying for things like food, shelter, medical care and other basic needs. HandUp also connects members to community partners and services that help them find a way out of poverty and life on the streets.
Dreaming Made Simple: HandUp partners with homeless service organizations in San Francisco. How does someone with a service-oriented dream select people or organizations to partner with?
Rose Broome: I’d suggest people do whatever they can to ensure that the vision is a shared one with their partners before they begin. We know that the organizations we partner with - Project Homeless Connect, North Beach Citizens and Compass Family Services - are as committed to positive social change as we are, and it’s been an amazing process to find the path forward together. We also have great corporate partners like ZenPayroll that help bring in new funds for our members.
Dreaming Made Simple: What have you learned about the timing of pursuing dreams through HandUp?
Rose Broome: I think it is a fallacy to believe that there will be one perfect opportunity where everything is laid out for you. If you care about something and want to see it happening out there in the world, you have to muster up the courage and just go for it.
That said, our timing was fortuitous. Five to 10 years ago, technology and direct giving were not as widespread, so our model might not have been applicable. We got incredibly lucky with regard to timing. Right now there are a lot of conversations going on about how we can use technology to help people in need right here in our own communities. When we took action, the conditions were there to support our concept, which further convinced us that ours was an idea whose time had come.
You’re not ever going to know if it is the right time to pursue your dreams, but I suggest people err on the side of just going for it. We didn’t know that now would be the exact right environment for us to succeed, but it ended up being just that. Had we not tried, we never would have known.
Dreaming Made Simple: What’s your advice for people who have a dream and want to do something about it but don’t know how to start?
Rose Broome: I have two pieces of advice for people who are thinking of pursuing their dreams.
The first is, think big but start small. Everyone encourages us to 'think big’, but that can be paralyzing. My advice is to figure out the easiest singular step to begin, and to continue on like that, doing just one small thing at a time, one after the next. Make sure to seed your process with some built-in 'quick wins,’ easily achievable goals that will encourage you to stay the course. Don’t design a huge castle; start by pitching a tent.
Secondly, I would say start now. You might have been ruminating on a particular idea for years, but let me tell you this: It will never come to be until you transition your idea from the area of thoughts into the realm of action. Convince yourself that you’re ready, even if you aren’t. Start with whatever you have, wherever you are, but just make sure to start. You make your own opportunity, and there’s no better time than this present moment to move squarely in the direction of your dreams!