“To save a life is a real and beautiful thing. To make a home for the homeless, yes, it is a thing that must be good; whatever the world may say, it cannot be wrong.”
Vincent Van Gogh
Time To Make It Our Business
I can’t stop thinking about this article in The Washington Post that I read early this morning: In a wealthy Virginia suburb, their cars are their beds. It’s an article about three individuals who live in their cars because they can’t afford housing. They park their cars in the Home Depot parking lot about 2 miles from my house. Two of them have jobs, the third is an 81 year old woman. 81! If this article doesn’t leave you deeply saddened and sick to your stomach, you are probably voting for Donald Trump.
There is no easy, overnight solution to homelessness, but I know we can do better. I live in one of the top five wealthiest counties in America. Eighty thousand dollar cars drive by homeless people living in beat up cars, and tents tucked away in the woods every day. It’s disgusting. I am disgusting. I am disgusted with myself. I can do so much more than writing this blog post, or giving the homeless a few dollars when I see them. And I am seeing them. They are not invisible, but a glaring example of our failure to help those that are least able to help themselves.
I started thinking about all the challenges the homeless face each day, and it got me thinking…
The Homeless Have So Many Mad Business Skills!
I am absolutely astounded with the homeless, and their ability to survive under the harshest circumstances. How many of us could do it? Most of us have a support system we can fall back on if the shit ever hits the fan. My Mom would take me in at the drop of a hat, so would many of my friends. It’s a safety net I will probably never need, and don’t often think about, but it’s a privilege that I have as a result of luck more than anything else. Not everybody has that.
The skills I see the homeless possess will translate to a business quite nicely if they could get a chance at entrepreneurship. Having the chance to run their own business, and to be self reliant is the fast track to human dignity. Why can’t we put them in business instead of low paying, demoralizing, short-term jobs? Turn them into employers, not employees.
A Surprising Set Of Skills:
The ability to be uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.
Respect for the value of the dollar, and how to stretch it.
A Unique Perspective
Maybe you are thinking, “What about mental illness?” “An alcoholic shouldn’t have a business!”, “Are you telling me to invest in a junkie?”. I assure you there are mentally ill people, alcoholics, and druggies running blue chip companies. Companies you may already own stock in. We can address these issues AND help them start a business. I’m so radical!
Well, I want to do more than write this blog post. Anybody else want to do something to help fund businesses for the homeless? If we can train them for jobs, we can mentor them in business. Lots to think about here, JellyVisionaries.
Shazam! You had this idea in 1993? Hold on, let me grab us a partnership agreement. I doubt you had the exact same creative business concept. And even if you did, who the funk cares? How dare you congratulate yourself with a pat on the back for birthing an idea. All you have is a rotting, smelly, maggot-infested “Idea Baby” because you did nothing with it. You didn’t even humanely kill it, you let it die. And now your “Idea Ghost” is getting on my nerves.
2. I have an MBA. You should let me see your business plan.
Go away Poser Pants. I do not respect your MBA unless you’ve done something with it–you know, like start an actual business.
3. Are you rich yet?
That is a tacky question, scum puppy. And your idea of rich is probably not my idea of rich. That is a whole other topic. (Note to self)
4. I can’t imagine not getting a regular paycheck
Really? Well, you better dig deep and find some more imagination because lay-offs happen, industries become obsolete, and life is just funking unpredictable. Your regular regular paycheck is NOT guaranteed. So there. Living without a “regular paycheck” is becoming the norm, and I’ve already adapted. Huzzah.
5. You are so brave, I could never give up my benefits.
Oh, come on. Soldiers are brave. People battling illness are brave. I am simply determined. Don’t worry, I have a solid plan in place for a responsible suicide if I become a burden to society. And go easy with the backhanded compliments, Benefit Betty! Seriously, it isn’t that hard to set up a retirement plan and health care for yourself. Entrepreneurs do it all the time. Are you still staring at your latest 401K statement? Stop it. That can disappear in a poof too.
6. If it doesn’t work out, I can put in a good word for you at my job.
If it doesn’t work out, by the time you trudge to work to put in a good word for me, I will be jacked-up excited about my next business venture. But thanks anyway!
7. I’ve never heard of your business.
Then it doesn’t exist. Not in your tiny, tiny world.
8. You should advertise.
Hold on, can you spell that? What is ad-ver-ti-sing? You obviosuly don’t follo wme on social media. J-E-R-K.
9. It must be fun not to have a real job.
It’s a f*cking blast sometimes. Other times, I work around the clock, and hustle my ass off to make ends meet. Either way, I’m creating a life on my terms. And even if I love painting/sculpting/performing/writing/designing/cooking, I still deserve to make a living from it.
10. Working over 40 hours a week must really suck.
Sometimes it does. This weekend alone I worked twenty hours. No fun for me! But lets get real, lots of things suck. Three percent raises suck. Lay-offs suck. Bad bosses suck. Commutes suck. Have you never wanted to work over 40 hours a week? It is intoxicating to be challenged by your own ideas and concepts. I wish you could feel that excitement and energy just once and get addicted. Entrepreneurs aren’t on anyone else’s clock so time has a higher meaning, and value to us. Most entrepreneurs I know, invest a lot of time initially to grow their company, perfect systems and strategically hire, so that they can gain control over their time and invest it in their next vision or creative project.
As always, we believe in you, JellyVisionaries! Thank you for creating and putting wonder into the world.
This guy is something special. This song is stuck in my head, and I appreciate that the simple, ridiculous lyrics. Even I can remember them. Pure creativity at it’s finest without all that tedious over thinking. There are lessons to be had here.
Something Unique You Have To See:
Every October, my amazing friend Darlene, creates a month of casual costumes and they are massively impressive in their attention to detail. She plans months in advance, and some costumes have taken years of thrift store hunting to find the perfect elements to complete the costume. I will probably do another blog post about her creativity and dedication to Casual Costumes, but in the meantime, please enjoy her Odd Mom In blog, and follow her on instagram at Casual Costumes and Sweet Chloroform. In addition to Casual Costumes, Darlene makes awesome up-cycled art and original crafts and sells vintage treasures.
A Shiny New App!
Are you frustrated with having to remember so many passwords? Me too! Have you ever forgotten a password and thrown a cup of coffee against the wall? No? Just me? OK! Either way, you may be interested in the app, 1Password which tracks all your passwords by integrating into your web browser. The only password you will need one master password for 1Password that uses strong AES-256 encryption. You need this. I need this!
An Awesome Small Business Article
I have a social media agency, and there are a number of benefits to using social media marketing for your business, but the one thing every business wants more than all others in revenue generation. Here is a great article that outlines some tools and strategies to turn your likes into dollars.
Make as many decisions as you can, JellyVisionaries! Don’t allow life to happen to you. Being decisive makes you a proactive participant in your business and life. You can’t do anything until you decide to. Once your decision is made, actions follow, and you will see that anything is possible!
People care less about what you say, than what you do. Keep creating and innovating, JellyVisionaries! Your rep is solid!
Your goals don’t give a sh*t if you are tired or uncomfortable. Keep going, JellyVisionaries! We are cheering you on.
I used to be super afraid of failure, until I failed- hard. It hurt, but I didn’t die. Now, I’m a better business woman and fearless. Fail fast, fail often–learn, grow, and win.