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How to become a 100 percenter
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I'm reading
How to become a 100 percenter
Pass it on
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I'm reading
How to become a 100 percenter
Pass it on
Pass it on
Articles
14 March 2015

How to become a 100 percenter

100 percent isn’t just about money; it’s about making a 100 percent commitment to ensuring your life reflects your values.

Written by Danny Almagor

Behind extraordinary ideas, there are extraordinary people. Dumbo Feather is a magazine about these people.

At Small Giants, the parent company of Dumbo Feather, we’re all about investing our passion and money into projects we believe can make the world better. We’re 100 percenters—or at least that’s our aim!

The term “100 percenter” is inspired by Charly and Lisa Kleissner, tech entrepreneurs who wanted to invest their money in a meaningful way—and inspire others to do the same. That’s why they started the 100 percent impact network, which brings together likeminded people who invest all of their assets into social and environmental causes.

Now, these are some serious investors, but being 100 percent isn’t just about money; it’s about making a 100 percent commitment to ensuring your life reflects your values. As Kleissner says, “social transformation begins with personal transformation.”

Just think of all the decisions you make every day, from the big to the mundane—where you invest your super, what you eat for dinner, where you buy your coffee, what you do for work, the relationships you have. Imagine if you could align these choices with your core beliefs. We’re on the road to doing that, and while we’re still working a lot of it out ourselves, this two-step guide will help you get the wheels in motion.

1. Work out what your values are

When I’m asked what key things I want to see changed in the world, I say: protecting the environment, encouraging hope and good leadership, building businesses that do social good and working for peace. Your values might be different. You might be more of an animal person. Or someone who thinks we can’t go further as a society without learning how to be more vulnerable. The point is: if you can’t articulate the things that are most important to you, how can you ensure you’re focussing your energies in the best way?

A good way to discover what you care about is by doing volunteer work. If you know which area you want to volunteer in—children, homelessness, environment, education, health etc.—then you’re sorted. If you don’t, try a few new projects until you’re hooked on something. From this, a list of values should emerge.

2. Align your values with your actions

If protecting children is a high priority, consider whether what you do at work, or what you buy, affects kids in some way. Maybe through child labour abuses? Or on a positive note: employing single mothers.

The best way to uphold these values is to surround yourself with likeminded people. It can be difficult to change the people you hang out with, but think about it: if all your work colleagues are mad cyclists, you’ll probably end up riding too, or if all your friends smoke, it’d be hard to be the only non-smoker. On top of a great social group, find a mentor or coach whose values you respect.

Now, although I’ve made this sound fairly easy, the reality is, change is hard. And even when we do work at it, dilemmas arise. If you’re an environmentalist, for example, how do you justify international travel? If you care about health, should you still eat that sugary dessert? I care about animals but I eat meat, one of my many inconsistencies. The key is to be conscious about your choices and do the best you can. As my kids remind me, “If you reach for the stars, you might just touch the moon.”

What if you were able to align your values with how you live? We have 3 steps to help you become a 100 percenter. A Dumbo Feather production by Dennis YC Liu. 

Further reading:

How much is enough? by Robert and Edward Skidelsky

Justice: What’s the right thing to do? by Michael J Sandel

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck

The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist

Small Giants: Companies that choose to be great instead of big by Bo Burlingham

Use your power

Danny Almagor

Danny Almagor is the founder and CEO of Small Giants, an impact investment company that supports and nurtures businesses dedicated to making the world a more just and sustainable place.

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