Marshall Snider has been working in the non profit sector all of his career spanning 30 years. His not for profit works has had him working in the faith based sector and currently serving as the Founder and Executive Director of Because People Matter. For Marshall the “leading” part of the work he has been doing was just that, as he engaged in the city of Portland he recognized needs and opportunities to come a long side those in the margins and decided to step up to the need and help where possible.
CONSCIOUS ENTREPRENEURSHIP — What meaning do you give this term?
Awakened Creativity is what comes to my mind as a definition. Awakened to the needs around and creating ways to meet them.
MENTORS — We all need a little help along the journey. Who has been an invaluable mentor for you? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
There have been many mentors along the journey of Because People Matter. The group of people who called me up to start BPM gave me such a great opportunity. They literally shared with me, “we are going to pay your salary and medical benefits for 2 years to see what you can do.” Who get’s that kind of help? They not only paid my salary but then funded all of the R & D for the project of BPM. Their vision to partner with me was crucial and catalytic in the formation of the Non Profit.
TO THRIVE — When you see yourself thriving: Do you see yourself opening up opportunities for others along the way to participate in your success, and how?
Absolutely! This year has been one of the most challenging years of Because People Matter. COVID for many NGO’s and other organizations has caused them to really relook and pivot how they are doing fulfilling their mission. BPM was no exception to this. Part of our three objectives is Mobilization and we have over the past 18 mobilized over 100k people into acts of service in their neighborhood or others. We love the word empowerment and look for ways to make sure we give people opportunity to be able to develop their personal and professional leadership abilities. One of the ways this is done is through the internships that BPM has to offer. BPM has partnered with local universities to provide opportunities for students to get the field experience that they need for graduation. We also give the staff the opportunity to create and implement new ideas. This is the highlight of transformational leadership when others create a program or an idea and then given the opportunity to lead the way to its success. This happens often at BPM.
CAUSE — What are the causes close to your heart, and you are supporting right now? Can you share a story how you got involved? How did it make you feel?
People Matter has three objectives — Mobilization, Relief and Development. We do this by creating relational/developmental environments that provide for these opportunities. The programs or environments we offer for mobilization are Transformation Trips — these trips are learning environments designed for young leaders to come into a city and learn to listen to the needs and potentially be a catalyst for change in their own communities. They learn and serve right along side of our team and get to see what this all looks like. The hope is that they go back with this passion and desire in their lives to then become the change that is needed in their communities. Beyond the Bridge is another opportunity for friend who struggle with horseless-ness. This provides next level opportunities like connection to social services and medical and dental services. BPM this year is partnering with another organization to help develop this even deeper by providing social worker interns to develop and handle case work to walk along side these people to assist them. There is much more going on but this particularly is one of the passions BPM is excited about.
THE FUTURE — How do you see the face of entrepreneurship in 5 years? How do companies /brands need to adapt to secure their place in the future?
This is an interesting question as most likely many of the NGO’s and small organizations will not be in existence in 5 years. The reason for this is found in a couple of focuses. One the ability to pivot and change. Orgs that cannot modify and adapt to the times will be gone. And those that can adapt and pivot will stick around. Because of COVID, many orgs have had to shut down and I think this is the “survival of the fittest” sort of sifting way of making room for newer and fresher expressions. Of course this is not celebrated but understood. The key for survival and continued success is the ability of the organizations leadership to keep dreaming and pivoting and innovating.
ADVICE — What kind of advice would you like to give to an aspiring entrepreneur who feels limited due to their background or lack of resources?
Resource will come as people see the vision or idea come to fruition. Stay with it. If you believe it then show the world what you believe. There are a lot of people in the world and a few of them will get on board with you. You have to show them the story and then be able to communicate it. Most will not get on board with just a story without anything to show. You must do this because it is a passion and you would do it anyway. People get behind that and will join you. They are waiting for someone to do something so they can come along side of them.
DRIVE — Do you sometimes feel bad for “wanting more out of life”, and if so, why? What is your personal motivation that leads you through the hardships of entrepreneurship?
I am not sure if I felt a hardship honestly. I think if it is what you are supposed to do and you have the freedom to do it then you just do what is front of you. You push passed the “hardship” as part of the deal. The obstacle becomes the way for growth and learning. I have had a full life and see the future as bright and exciting for myself personally and the organization that I created. I think entrepreneurs are realistic optimists, and they have to be in order to survive the craziness of creating.
Demee Koch about the MEDIUM interview series on CONSCIOUS ENTREPRENEURSHIP:
Conscious entrepreneurship for me is about building a sustainable business that values and respects the resources used and makes an effort of giving back to society.
I believe we need entrepreneurs to really get involved in the causes close to their heart.
This is why I reach out to entrepreneurs that aim for more than generating profit. With this interview, I aim to share entrepreneurial purpose-led passion to inspire others.
Looking forward to learn from you. Reach out to me via LinkedIn.