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In Pursuit of Residual ROI

Many of you may not know, but the very first person I called when struck with the crazy idea of starting Humankind Water, was my best friend, Ben Thankachan. I was sure he would talk me out of it. Instead, he, like so many we’ve talked to since that first conversation, loved the idea. Unlike me, Ben has a wealth of business experience and has brought that, as well as his encouragement and his dollars to support this most unorthodox mission. If I were to write a list of people CRAZY passionate about Humankind Water, his name would be at the top of the list. He has been a true best friend through the tough times, and a comrade in the trenches, when this thing feels like a fight – which it sometimes does. Enjoy Ben’s ideas in this blog as I enjoy them, every day. - T. J.

Most of us derive our identities from what we “do” or what we have accomplished. I am not going to lie to any of you as I am a guy who has been working in corporate America for the past 16 years – and to be completely transparent – I really enjoyed it. I recently made the decision to leave the comfort of a great position with the “Fortune #1″ company in order to pursue things that truly excite me, one of which is helping to focus more of my time and abilities on the growth of Humankind water.

I am not new to HKW, as I have been passionate about this ministry and calling from basically day 1. What I do think I have to offer now is a deeper knowledge and understanding of how to help build a brand and grow sales of this “product” that I’m so passionate about.

In the business world we throw around plenty of terms that the average adult doesn’t commonly come across such as: margin, acv, market share, trade spend, promotional funds, slotting fees, fsi’s, pos, pdq’s, etc etc.

There are two terms that I have become familiar with, but are taking on a new significance in my current state of life: Residual and ROI (Return On Investment).

A few definitions of residual are: “things that remain or that are left over after the main part of something is gone” or “something left behind”.

ROI can mean: “the most common profitability ratio” or ” the concept of an investment of some resource yielding a benefit to the investor”.

What has me constantly in a state of introspection are the questions: What in my life currently will create “residual ROI”? What can I focus my time, talents, and earthly treasures on, that will produce for me a return (profit) that will far outlast my life here on this earth?

I can’t get away from these thoughts/questions as I am realizing the brevity and the “finiteness” of the time promised me here on earth. I don’t know how many years I will be fortunate enough to live before I close my eyes for the last time, but I do know that I have already lived 39 years and by worldly standards – have done pretty well. But what am I leaving behind that will last beyond my life even to eternity? That is what is “plaguing”me in a very positive yet troubling way.

Some of the earthly things that many of us strive for are: cars, houses, investment properties, annuities, stocks and bonds, 401k’s, 529 accounts, royalties, buildings and scholarships in our name, etc. These are all great things and none of them are wrong if maintained in the right balance, but are they what our minds should be focused on for the future? An accumulation of stuff and personal accolades? Those things are exactly what society tells me to target, and in reality are where my mind and heart are commonly stuck.

Thus far, I have been privileged to play a small part in touching over 500,000 people with at least 1 year of clean drinking water. Watching a group of pastors and youth workers accomplish so much, with so little in regards to traditional business acumen, has been so inspiring to me. What if all the accomplishments of my past were all orchestrated purposefully so that I could spend the rest of my life skillfully attacking the greatest preventable physical problem our generation faces? What if with the remainder of my life I focus my attention on the quality of life we can provide for each of those precious people that we are able to facilitate sustainable clean water for? What if one of those lives that gets touched with clean water is a child who can make it to adulthood, and is the one who will find the cure for cancer and/or HIV? What if one of those lives that gets touched ends up reaching nation after unreached nation and proclaims the gospel to the places that I am too afraid to go?

Is it worth it for me to give up more of myself – in pursuit of ending a problem that our world has basically chalked up to being “impossible to solve”? Is it worth it for you to believe that your support of Humankind water may be accomplishing a greater good than you could ever imagine? Bill Gates(), who is regarded as one of the richest men this planet has ever known, seems to have caught wind of what it means to focus his energy on accomplishing things for the world that will far outlive he or his family. Other billionaires are following suit and pledging to take their remaining years and focusing on eradicating some of the greatest issues our generation deals with globally. None of you who are reading this blog are billionaires, but the challenge is to be faithful with the “little” we have in the same proportion that a billionaire should.

There was a man who once said something impactful about having faith the size of a mustard seed. Was that statement meant to challenge us to step out of our comfort zones and cause us to go after the “seemingly impossible”? I firmly believe it was. Who wants to join with us and pledge to make such a dent in the clean water crisis? A dent so impactful that it could not be properly conveyed on your tombstone one day. That, to me, is a personal accolade worth wholehearted pursuit of, and one I feel called to for the remainder of my life.

We are assembling quite a team; and the miracles are getting bigger and better (some we can’t even share as of yet). All that is missing is what YOU can bring to the Humankind table…

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