Believing Better is Possible with Jeff Shinabarger

believing Jeff Shinabarger truly believes that better is possible.  Jeff is the founder and executive director of PlyWood People in Atlanta, Georgia.  Plywood People is a community and incubator for social entrepreneurs who want to solve a problem and make the world a better place.  Over the last seven years he has helped over 200 entrepreneurs start both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

While working with the highly successful Catalyst conferences, he started a small gift card project on the side that grew rapidly in both impact and influence.  They would gather unused and partially used gift cards and redistribute them to people in high need, right as the recession hit.  The project went viral as various news agencies reported on the impact. As a result he suddenly found himself at the epicenter of a movement of individuals who wanted to do good in the world and the Plywood People movement was started.

Jeff walks a fine line seeking to balance his family life (married with two children) and his various roles as an executive director, mentor, speaker, author and influencer in the Atlanta area.  He not only has built systems into his life to help protect this balance but also enlists the influence of mentors and key individuals to help.

In this podcast interview Jeff shares a lot of solid content from years of experience.  He speaks about three key areas:

  • How he knows who to invite into his projects.
    • What is the problem that you want to solve?
    • Who do you need to help solve the problem.
  • The importance of mentors and how to choose them.
    • Who is in your life that cares but isn't a naysayer?
    • Who won't always say no, but won't always say yes either.
    • The best way to find a mentor is to start mentoring someone else.
  • His definition for success as an entrepreneur. (I'll save this power quote for the podcast.)

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