Late 2017 came the offer from one old brilliant mentor to work on a foundation startup project when I was at my growing FinTech startup.
“Excited lắm em ơi!
All we have is an e m p t y w a r e h o u s e
and you can do w h a t e v e r y o u w a n t !”
You might be laughing. I did too, but at myself, for I was scared and excited at the same time. I might either break it or make it. Hell knows.
Most people ask why I left because I seemed happy and satisfied. But when passion meets career, I thought I should do it. After all, I’m an idealist at heart.
So I gave myself sometimes to choose the right moment to steer my career track.
Mid summer 2018, I jumped.
I got into a finale fight with my very dear psychotic mother; I moved out of old-aged-family dramas. The new school office was completed in Saigon; I switched to my new career. With those two events combined, I, then, found my new love. I still didn’t know how I managed to earn all that luck but I did.
I only know I’m still alive thanks to many closed friends, and a few strangers whom I now added to my friendship contacts.
As funny as it sounds, it was a life-changing summer.
Time pay it forward at the age of 25. Not too soon. Not too late.
Three weeks of July 2018 into the new career and this is what I finally wrote for the work that I now take charge with Group CEO to build a good education foundation:
(I was gonna say great but that’s not so true. It feels like when something is great it is, then, less likely to change its status to a humble being it used to be. At such point, learning might stop growing.)
I thought about what I want to breath in every day since I quit FinTech and moved to education philanthropy?
How will I make a difference in the fragmented philanthropic landscape with limited resources to maintain sustainability?
How to impact, not to brainwash?
How to build an impactful brand from scratch?
How to start with WHY, then WHAT and HOW?
So much of the work is both philosophical and physical.
Like literally I solo created and executed every single image and post and caption for the foundation I’m building while at the same time researching on a value-creation model for its long term success (which I hope it will).
I used to have a team of 20 working towards intensive non profit goals within 3 months. I sometimes miss having a co-leader to argue with me but then the work is more than a religion than a business idea to debate what’s right and wrong. You only need to believe rather than question and concern. The waters are unclear and vast. The set of details are up to you to decide how far you should stretch.
I sort of understand the true solitude of decision making. Only I know how I want my work to be. But then I need a need a team. I should come up with another way to breath in my belief to my future team members. Probably through the way I work, the way my mentor/CEO works, they can then breath in the same beliefs as we do.
The search for the right people with talents and ethics is already tough, let alone same beliefs. I hope out there you hear me, and decide to join me on the march.
To all, this is how we are going to work with and for you:
Here at IEG Foundation, we take our work with an entrepreneurial mindset, full of courage, good will and risks. As Seth Godin has said,
“The work is to solve problems in a way that you’re proud of.”
Yes, we don’t build educational products to exit, nor to go public. We work to spread meaningful education impact to every single mind and soul. We believe education should be informative, inspiring, and inclusive. That everyone can always learn and contribute with the intention to leave good values for many more years to come.
For now we help rebuilt underfunded public schools.
For now we publish quarterly reviewed education journals.
For now we work with leading foundations to offer development programs for underprivileged children.
For now we facilitate conversation on educational solutions and ideas.
These are for now. Who knows what we might become beyond ourselves with the contribution we made to the lives out there in 10, 15, 20, even 50 years
But one thing for sure is that we will continue to broaden education impact, one good deed at a time.
*IEG Foundation is IEG Global ‘s philanthropic arm, aiming to create lasting education impacts on the underprivileged, communities, institutions, and beyond.