How I did it: I've always believed giving should be
voluntary. You should do it because you genuinely want to help, and
not out of guilt, shame or obligation. I came up with the idea for
this goal as a way of giving someone the same opportunity I gave
myself several years ago.
Long story short, in my early 20s, I
wanted to expand my web design “business” but in order to do so,
I needed to first buy better programs and software and a new
computer. The total cost was around $3,000 and that was more than I
had in savings at the time. The only income I had at the time was
from my job, which basically financed my living so that I could do
freelance web design on the side. To reach my goal I figured I'd have
to save 3 or so months to come up with the money, seeing as hour my
freelance business wasn't exactly drawing in clients by the
thousands, and my job had reduced our hours because of slow sales.
So, to make a little money in between
work and freelancing I sold some of the clothes from my closet. Most
of which still had the tags attached. I made about $140 from my first
round of sales, and on a gamble, I took $100 of that money to a few
designer stores and boutiques and bought marked down and clearanced
designer goods. I then sold those online and turned a small $20
profit. After doing this a number of weeks I had the money to buy the
latest edition of Adobe products for web design, a new computer, and
I even had a little left over to invest in my own online clothing
boutique; and it wouldn't have been possible without that initial
$100 investment. If it worked for me, I knew it would work for
someone else as well.
Over the Black Friday/After
Thanksgiving weekend, I stopped by an art supply store looking for a
large whiteboard/dry erase board. They didn't have what I was looking
for, but I stayed to browse the paint supplies because I've been
wanting to paint my own abstract canvas art. Which I may still get
around to doing it sooner or later. We'll see.
While browsing, I noticed a woman
trying to decided between paints. Some of them were rather expensive,
and by expensive I mean $20 per tube. (I had no idea paint cost that
much) I jokingly asked if she were having trouble deciding between
shades. She giggled slightly, and said that she was trying to decided
whether to buy the paint she really wanted, or a cheaper alternative.
I guess she could tell by the confused look on my face that I had no
idea what she was talking about, so she went on to explain the
differences in the paint. She then mentioned she needed to buy some
other things, but wouldn't have enough for that and the paint. So I
offered to buy $100 worth of supplies for her, and she could be the
rest. She thought I was kidding at first, as I'm sure anyone would.
So I bought the paint, which only came out to be $93 and change and
she bought her brushes, a new easel, a blank canvas and a bunch of
other little things whose uses I couldn't deduce. It was a pleasant
shopping trip and after helping her to the car, we said our goodbyes
and parted ways.
It felt great in the end. I sat in my
car for a few minutes afterwords smiling to myself. Not only had I
made someone's day, but I contributed to something they were
passionate about. Who knows how far that $100 will take her. I'd like
to think it will only encourage her to further pursue her artistic
Read how I did it… 6 months ago
$100 is by no means, a large sum of money by today’s standards, but it was enough money for me to start a home-based business a few years ago. In the beginning the idea wasn’t very profitable, in fact i struggled to turn a profit of more than $30 most times, however, it was that initial $100 investment in myself, that got the ball rolling.
From that, I was able to expand from selling a handful of items a week, to selling nearly $50k worth of clothes a year, all from the comfort of my own home. Though the idea was only suppose to help me earn enough money to buy web design and animation software for the actual business I did intend to start, selling clothes opened a door to opportunities I had never even considered when I made my first sale.
My point is, you will never know what fruits a simple seed will bear, until it’s planted. And if $100 could yield a mountain of fruits for me, I’m sure it will do the same for somebody else. 9 months ago