I’ve started a little personal Board of Directors, an idea I got from my favorite business management author Jim Collins. I wrote the name of seven people I admire on a piece of paper. It sits right next to the table where I keep my computer. Whenever I need motivation or I’m asking myself a difficult question, I will turn to my little BofD and ask, “What would he* do?”

So far in my time here I haven’t hard to convene the Board, but it still serves as a motivating force in my life here in Africa*.

My Board consists of:

My dad, my uncle Lou, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Jim Collins, Warren Buffett, Aladji.

Each person on this list is someone who in my opinion I can come to and ask for wisdom, not just merely advice. In my time here I’ve found that to be a successful volunteer there are only three things you need: wisdom, confidence and motivation. These three things go up and down in my life, but hopefully my Board can keep me in line when I need some encouragement.

Speaking of which, I sold my laptop*. I’ll have it until probably October, and then I will sell it to someone for 200,000 franks. Laptops in Cameroon typically go for over 500,000 franks, so my friend will be getting a good deal, I will be getting money I will be able to use on projects and AADB, and I’ll have one less reason to stay at home when there are people to help.

*My personal BofD is composed of all men, but there are many women I admire such as Doris Day and my former boss, and top amongst these is my mom. I can’t think of a better woman in the world.

*Other motivational tools I use are a piece of paper with the word “Humility” written on it near my front door and reminding myself daily that the reason I’m here is to help people.

*If you’re a future volunteer, I highly recommend bringing a laptop; it will help your work immensely, even if you’re not working directly on computers.