“Sometimes the biggest movement we can ever cultivate is within ourselves.” - Terri Broussard Williams
In a time when more and more people want to make a difference in the world – whether it’s in their workplace, communities, or on a larger scale – Terri Broussard Williams provides the match to ignite the fire of action and transformation in all of us. Her simple tools take us from getting stuck in passive intention and, instead, drive us powerfully and passionately to implementation. She calls it her Firestarter Formula. Outlined in her best-selling book, Find Your Fire: Stories and Strategies to Inspire the Changemaker Inside You
, the Firestarter Formula gives each of us the power to create the change we want to see in the world – and ourselves.
As a multi-hyphenate to an exponential degree, Broussard Williams is a best-selling author, speaker, lobbyist, philanthropist, and social impact strategist. She is living proof that one person can ignite meaningful change in the world around them. While some people were struggling with their quarter-life crises, Broussard Williams was chalking up achievements as if she were a seasoned veteran many years her senior. “I had found my fire,” laughs Broussard Williams.
As one of the only lobbyists working at the Louisiana State Capitol and a woman of color, she successfully passed landmark legislation that created smoke-free workplaces throughout the state. Not surprisingly, Broussard Williams was quickly recruited to Texas, where she led the team that increased local smoke-free laws from 35 to 105 - and she's done so in only three years.
“My belief is that when you give people information, they will use it for good,” says Broussard Williams.
Today, she works with business leaders, non-profit boards, and aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them with the tools to make impactful changes in their organizations, communities, and lives. Her goal? Giving people the support and skills they need to be successful.
“We need a new brand of inspiring leaders willing to lead the charge,” says Broussard Williams.
She believes that leaders turn moments into movements, and the proof is in her own accomplishments and the accomplishments of her clientele. But, for many, it can be hard to know where to begin.
“Sometimes change can feel so heavy,” admits Broussard Williams, who regularly turns to her Firestarter Formula whenever she wants to overcome an obstacle or scale a new height. “You don’t need a pedigree to become a change-maker,” says Broussard Williams. You just need the right tools. Her mission is to share those tools and make the world a better place in the process.
“I came from parents and grandparents that had little in the way of education and money, but that didn’t stop them from orchestrating a church-raising in their community or having their home be a meeting place for traveling priests or tutoring neighborhood kids. That kind of focus and community service provided me the framework that I’ve used for living,” says Broussard Williams.
For those of us who are not sure of our larger mission, the Firestarter Formula applies. “Sometimes the biggest movement we can ever cultivate is within ourselves,” says Broussard Williams – and all it takes is four simple yet powerful steps:
FIND YOUR CAUSE
The Firestarter Formula begins with finding your cause. Your cause is tied to your will, and it’s tied to your why. What do you care about? What drives you? “Your cause is the thing that fires you up,” says Broussard Williams. From there, you will be able to ignite the fire in your friends and community, which brings us to step two.
FIND YOUR COLLECTIVE
Finding a collective is all about your people and your community. These are your allies and investors. If you are using the Firestarter Formula to achieve a personal goal like getting in shape, then your collective is your friends and family who can be there to support you. We all need people to support us in making changes and, when you know your why, says Broussard Williams, you can build your collective by sharing it with them. It’s all about the power of the people.
If your aim is to start a movement within your organization, your collective is your board members, stakeholders, and constituents. Not sure how to begin? Check out the strategies and compelling stories that Broussard Williams shares in her book. A simple turn of the page can turn anyone into a trailblazer.
Communication is key. It involves everything from telling your personal story (or having your ambassadors tell it) to learning how to speak to the hearts and minds of your friends and allies. Broussard Williams explains that when you share your story and successes with others, it grows and inspires your community. This is a gift worth sharing and one that is often overlooked. By sharing your story in a meaningful way, you will gain followers, members, and momentum. In an organization, communication is fine-tuning how you convey things internally as well as externally. Having a common language in addition to common goals makes building success that much easier.
The last component of the Firestarter Formula is change. Change involves digging in and doing the work. Having a plan. “You don’t need to know all the steps,” says Broussard Williams, “you just need to know the first one.” She advises that Firestarters clarify their ideal outcomes and their dealbreakers. Knowing the potential obstacles and dream killers ensures that you can prepare for them and, more importantly, overcome them. The next step is to execute your plan one powerful step at a time. As Broussard Williams says, make it tangible; make it real - and then bring it.
How can you apply the Firestarter Formula to a change you want to make? Share your goals and your why in the comments below and join Broussard Williams in building a community of empowered change-makers today. “It’s time to make a difference,” says Broussard Williams. “It’s time to put our passion into play and to bring our bold visions to life.”