School lies to you. School teaches you that you should strive for good grades. It teaches you that those who excel on assignments and tests will be noticed and rewarded above others. It teaches you that there are right answers and that your task is to work hard to discover them.
None of this is true when you start your own nonprofit.
Sure, skills that you learn in school - research, focus, writing, and most importantly learning - will serve you very well. But if you’re starting a nonprofit or working in a small, startup environment, you can’t afford to buy into the idea that other people know more than you do about the job you invented. No one has done exactly what you’re trying to do before. There is no textbook. There is no “right” way. You need to forge the path.
Stop working for the gold star. There is no teacher-like authority figure to praise you, and there will be no more gold stars. You need to cultivate the ability to know for yourself what is good and what is crap. Your cause depends on it.