Episode 5

Creating Impact Out Of Necessity

With Guest Michaela O'Donnell

, Senior Director of the De Pree Center and Adjunct Instructor

Practical Theology and Leadership at Fuller Seminary

Michaela O'Donnell

Imagine graduating in 2008 during a great recession with a Masters of Divinity degree, newly married to a husband who also just graduated with a theology degree, and neither of you have jobs. What do you do? How are you going to pay the bills? And how do you deal with the fact that the dreams you had are not going to happen now? This is where Michaela found herself in 2008 and where Long Winter Media was born.

Today's Guest

Michaela O'Donnell

Michaela O'Donnell

Michaela O’Donnell Long is the Senior Director of the De Pree Center and an Adjunct Instructor of Practical Theology and Leadership at Fuller Seminary where she teaches classes on leadership and vocation. Michaela’s first book is due out with Zondervan in 2021! It is about finding meaning in a changing world of work. She regularly writes and teaches on the topics of: vocation, changing world of work, innovative leadership, practical theology, and women in leadership. Read some of her most popular articles here.  Her dissertation, Adopting an Entrepreneurial Posture: Vocational Formation for a Changing World of Work is the foundation for De Pree Center’s McNair Foundation-funded project, Entrepreneurship, Faith, and Flourishing Initiative. This project is the basis for De Pree Center’s The Road Ahead cohorts and our coaching program. In addition to her academic work, Michaela is the Owner and Managing Director of Long Winter Media, a vibrant creative agency that helps brands make social impact through multimedia content. Long Winter Media’s roster of clients includes Google, YouTube, NBC Universal, University of Southern California, Presbyterian Church (USA), Fuller Seminary, and many more. Notably, the Oprah Winfrey Network picked up a short film she produced for Oprah’s show Super Soul Sundays. In her various roles, Michaela has coached many women and men in their leadership and entrepreneurial development.

What We Talked About

Long’s definition of what entrepreneurs do as they, “Seize opportunity to create value in the face of risk.” We explore this concept of risk-taking as it pertains to starting a business designed to create an impact on the world.
Taking the risk to start something is often not a “bet the farm” scenario as it is simply taking the next doable risk.
One of the muscles entrepreneurs exercise is practicing empathy on the way. Long describes how this looks and how empathy then converts into imagination.
After imagination, we take the next doable risk. And then we reflect and learn from that in order to determine what next steps to take to make an impact.
Impact is not a one-time thing, but rather an ongoing process as the needs of the worlds continually evolve and change.
When it comes to failure, for entrepreneurs this is often really personal. It’s important to build a process for grieving into our reflection of our failures in order to really “fail well.”
When it comes to figuring out what to do next, don’t wait until you feel like you’ve figured it all out to do something. Go do things, go make things happen, and figure it out along the way.

About the Show

Listen to conversations with leaders and entrepreneurs who have built organizations making a positive impact on the world so you can discover how to expand your impact.

Are you trying to make a difference in this world? On the show, Amanda and guests reveal the path from purpose to impact and all the risks, bumps, and bruises that came along the way so you can be ahead of the curve with your purpose-driven business or organization.

Your Host

Built for Impact

Amanda is a wife, mother, entrepreneur, Partner at Evergreen Results and a founding member of the Built for Impact podcast team. She enjoys spending time with her family, serving others, horseback riding, and spending time in the mountains.