What’s Your Pan of Lasagna?

I teach the Capstone course in the Professional MBA program at the University of Denver.  In that course, students work with local non-profits.  The purpose is twofold: to help students integrate what they’ve learned in the course of their studies, and to assist local non-profits.  This year, Project Angel Heart is one of the student projects.

Project Angel Hear has an amazing story.  In 1991, founder Charles Robbins noticed that friends living with HIV/AIDS were wasting away before his eyes. He founded Project Angel Heart in response.  At first, Charles and a group of friends solicited food from local restaurants and distributed it on the weekends. Project Angel Heart’s first meal was a pan of lasagna donated by Racine’s restaurant and delivered to 12 clients.  A great organization was born from those humble beginnings

In 2016, Project Angel Heart will deliver 320,000 medically-modified meals to 2,830 Coloradans living with life-threatening illnesses. They serve children as well as seniors, clients as well as their families, and many individuals who are living in poverty or who have been diagnosed with a mental illness or cognitive disability. They modify meals for 68% of their clients, meeting dietary needs specific to their illnesses, treatments, religious beliefs, and allergies.

Pretty cool, huh?  Last week I had the opportunity to visit their headquarters and main kitchen.  It was impressive to say the least.

I wanted to tell the Project Angel heart story because it is impressive and that they are a great non-profit, doing great work.  But I also wanted to tell their story because it makes a great point life and career success.  Getting started is the important thing – even if you don’t know exactly where you’re going.

Charles Robbins saw a need and he set out to do something about it.  One pan of donated Lasagna turned into an organization that will deliver 320,000 meals this year.  He didn’t know where he was going when he asked the folks at Racine’s (one of my favorite restaurants in Denver, by the way) to donate that pan of lasagna, he saw a need and he did what he could to fill it.

It’s that way with careers too.  You have to take the first step.  In my case, it was being a VISTA Volunteer when I left college.  That year of service led directly to my career as a coach, speaker, author and blogger.  I had no idea that this would be the case.  I was planning on a career in journalism.  Becoming a VISTA was something that felt right at the time.

So when something feel right to you – the opportunity to return to school, a promotion, a new job, a new industry, I urge to you go for it.  My year as a VISTA Volunteer was my pan of lasagna.  What will yours be?

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to https://budbilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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