Taking the plunge

This post by Founder Nate Houghton discusses his decision to work on CLI full time.

It was probably February or March of 2012 when I began to consider what it would be like if I was working on CLI full time. It seemed legitimately crazy at the time, and it still does to many people! I had a job at an amazing company with an amazing boss and amazing co-workers. I was making more money than I probably deserved. In retrospect, it was probably the comfort that made me most uncomfortable.

I would notice that even early in the morning or late at night, I loved meetings about CLI. Even the boring ones about random spreadsheets! Even the ones with our treasurer! A job that’s interesting? Check.

I would get emails from the team in Kinshasa that would move me to tears. I would treasure Facebook messages from CLI’s young leaders and pictures of the meetings. A job that I was passionate about? Check.

I would admire people like Eric Glustrom of Educate! and John Wood of Room to Read, both of whom founded their own organizations. I noticed that my classmates who had taken an entrepreneurial path seemed the most fulfilled. A job that’s fulfilling? Check.

By July, what seemed crazy was not doing CLI full time. Even more importantly, CLI had demonstrated the results to justify a full-time CEO. Not only were the young leaders learning what we had hoped they would learn, they were using this learning to impact their communities! Our staff and youth were pulling all nighters in the Congo to advance the mission. They deserved a leader with similar commitment.

It’s been two months since I took the plunge. I am more convinced than ever that CLI’s model will alter the future of the Congo and could not be prouder to support our incredible young leaders!

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