I'm Grace E McLean, and I am the creator of the NFP Planner.
At the time of this blog I am 43 and two days old. In March 2020, when COVID hit, I found myself back living with my father realising that I need to stay for a while to care for him he's just turned 89.
This post aims to introduce the blogs and introduce how the planner came to be, where the ideas and concepts came from, and show you the philosophy behind the NFP Planner.
My planner journey started in 2001. The inspiration may have happened before then, but I realised one of the most important lessons that are the basis of this planner.
When I was 19 years old when had a vision and a dream to become a minister for the church. Four years later, having given my heart and soul to serving and accomplishing much, I stepped out of ministry due to burnout.
I'll write an entire blog in the future, but at 23 years old, I found myself in Hollywood, California, as a missionary.
My first day of work was 11th September 2001. My experience in Hollywood broke my heart and soul - despite meeting Tom Cruise and going to Sheryl Crows 40th Birthday bash. I realised then that if I didn't look after myself, then how was I ever going to be able to serve others?
I returned from Hollywood 15 months later and worked for KMPG as a receptionist/secretary. I needed a job that meant I didn't have to give any part of myself. I went from preaching to 600 people to making tax and audit documents look pretty.
I spent just under a year at KMPG, then ended up serendipitously volunteering then working for CanTeen - the organisation for young people living with cancer.
It was here I started my journey into the not-for-profit sector.
I spent the next 10 years as a fundraiser working with three different charities and raised millions of dollars for those I served. In 2014 I quit my job as a fundraiser, refinanced my house and set off to start NFP Connect - an organisation that supports charities, businesses and community to connect.
My journey in Hollywood helped me realise that taking care of myself, especially if you're a people pleaser/carer, was a priority. It wasn't a quick fix.
But these traits are habitual and often generational, and it took me years of trying different planners and creating different systems, many a post-it note, to get create a planner.
The NFP Planner is the system the poured out of me in 2014 - it was over 10 years of forming and reforming ideas to help me focus, keep me on track and make sure I was looking after myself along the way.
It's the tool I now use to help me run my business whilst looking after my dad and helping my mum and run my business. It's what I use to help others when they're struggling or stuck and need a support moving forward in work and life.
Today, I consult with not-for-profits and businesses on collaborating and connecting. I have a monthly network of charities in my local area that come together to learn. I support individuals who are a little lost and need some direction on where they're going.
I garden on Thursday with my business buddy! We plant seeds, grow food, talk about philosophy, life lessons, and sometimes get naughty and eat doughnuts.
I love food, coffee and reading about how to be a better human. My faith is still very important to me, and so are the people I serve, and this year (2021), I started studying Kinesiology.
As I care for my dad in his final days, it's important to me that I keep balanced.
This stuff and caring for others can be all-consuming, but as I've learned, the more you prioritise what's important to you, the better you can care for those around you. These are all traits you can find in the planner.
I hope this gives you an insight into some of the history behind how this planner came to be, and I will write more blogs in the coming weeks to share what I continue to learn daily around managing self, time and priorities.
If you have any questions about using the planner, or if you're stuck on something - you can send me an email here firstname.lastname@example.org.