Nicholas George of The Listening On Launching and Running a Nonprofit

Nicholas George is the founder of The Listening, a Virginia nonprofit that is making strides to engage, change, and save lives by connecting the performing arts and social good. Nick is currently juggling parenting three kids, working third shift in the mental health field, as well as growing and running his nonprofit. Today’s conversation is a great peek into the life of a visionary who has been putting in the work on growing a nonprofit for a good five years. It all starts with an idea and that feeling of imagining how you can impact the world, but what is it like three kids later? When you have to hustle to put food on your family’s plates while also doing the gritty work of actually making a nonprofit run? When you find that spark that you know you’re meant to do, it’s incredible what kind of sacrifices you’ll make to see it come to fruition. 

Nicholas Steven George is an author, poet, and founder of the Listening, an organization that exists to challenge the perception of the performing arts being strictly for entertainment purposes, and connect it to mentoring and social impact. Nick balances his day job as a mental health professional, with parenting three small kids and running the Listening. Nick has been writing since his youth in Newark, NJ. First born to his Trinidadian parents, Nicholas began performing his poetry at local open mics and slam competitions in Newark, crafting his skill and delivering his story. In 2013, Nicholas launched "The Listening", where he currently serves as Executive Director. The Listening’s mission is to engage, change and save lives with the performing arts through community engagement and youth mentoring.


Hustle Hack: I have to admit that I’ve never heard the phrase Nick quoted “the riches are in the niches.” But OMG is that so true?! I’ve definitely heard at marketing conferences before, “get crystal clear on who your audience is, who your ideal client is, who really needs your product, because the truth is, if it’s for everybody it’s really for nobody.” So if you have an idea, a product, a service, etc—figure out the unique audience you are meant to serve. Figure out what it is that matters to them: what they need, what they want. And then go create that. 

Moment of Grace: It really struck me that Nick said “if it feels like it’s not the right season—listen to that voice.” We’re told so often that we can do it all and have it all and the truth is in every season we have to make choices. For me, in my life right now, I have enough time and mental energy to do my primary work as a writer, to care for my baby, spend time with my husband, and then I’ve got space for one other thing. Right now that’s the podcast. A few months ago it was a very disciplined workout routine. You have to be realistic about the space you have in your life. If you don’t have the space to launch that nonprofit right now, that’s ok! You don’t have to achieve that thing by that arbitrary milestone (like I was saying, I had all these plans to achieve by my 30th birthday) Sometimes it’s 100% ok to change course and have that long-game perspective. For a lot of us life isn’t short. It’s long. 

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.