I have a confession to make: I'm a bit schizophrenic online. What I mean by that is I have two distinct presences (at least, I hope I do); my personal blog, which is this one, and my business blog (which gets even less action from me than this one does). I try very hard to keep the two distinct because it simply makes sense to do so.

But on days like today, when I'm mind mapping plans and conjuring up great big dreams that I hope to put some 'oomph' behind, I wonder if they should be more integrated. After all, what I do for a living is quite similar to what I do on this blog; I write, tell stories, help others clarify their goals and keep the accountable to themselves. The main difference is that on my business blog it's obviously business driven, while here it's not.

So today I'm merging my blogospheres and sharing a post from that blog here. One, because I want more people to see it and take advantage of it. Two, because it has the potential to benefit charity, and that's important to me. And three, because I can. So, the post below originally appeared on my ReInvent-U blog last week. Read it here or click on through, but please do read it. If you don't need it, consider bidding and passing it along to someone who might benefit. Either way, it's a win-win.

Paying It Forward

Ever tried to balance what seem to be contradictory worlds? I've been trying to do that in my business. On the one hand, I have far too many people who say to me 'I'd really love to use your services, but there's just no room in my budget right now. Any chance we can work something out?'. On the other, I am indeed running a business, not a hobby or a charity. I charge a fair rate for my services, and work not just because I love what I do but because I support a family.

Then, the other day, I was driving and had one of those hair-brained ideas. It's not an original idea (do those exist anymore?) but the application, I'd like to think, is creative. You've all probably heard of a half-and-half raffle. Usually at networking events or expos, it's a raffle that splits the accumulation of contributions between a winner and a charity. If $1,000.00 in raffle tickets are sold, $500 goes the winner and $500 goes to a charity.

So I thought 'why not do it for business?'. Here's the deal: there's a button down below that says 'add to cart'. Choose an amount….any amount in a $5.00 increment….and complete the PayPal process. All funds collected between now and December 31, 2011, will be split in the following manner: 50% in a gift certificate to the winner for ReInvent-U services and 50% to charity. The charity portion will be divided one more time: 25% to a second winner's charity of choice and 25% to my charity of choice (The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society). I choose that charity because my cousin, Curtis, died when we were in the fourth grade of leukemia. Had he been born 20 years later, he'd likely have survived much longer. I still miss him

Make sense? The fine print is this: I will accept entries until December 31, 2011. On January 1, 2012, I will use a random number generator to choose a winner. That winner will be contacted personally and posted here on the ReInvent-U blog. That winner will have a credit balance with ReInvent-U that equals one-half of the total amount received. That credit can be applied to coaching, writing or marketing strategy services at my standard rates. The credit can be transferred or gifted, should the winner choose to pay it forward.

Not sure what coaching, writing or marketing strategy services entail? Well, it's different for every client but a few examples are:

  • If you're overwhelmed by the idea of getting your message out there, not sure how to address your target market and need help sorting it out, then strategy is where we start
  • If you know what you want to say but just can't translate it from your thoughts to the page, then we'll talk about ghostwriting
  • If you are stuck–in business or with a goal–and need accountability, fresh ideas and renewed focus, then we'll establish a coaching relationship
  • If you're ready for practical applications, we'll talk about newsletter programs, LinkedIN profiles and social media strategy

A second winner will be chosen in the same way, and that person will decide which charity gets 25% of the total contributions. And the remaining 25% will go to my charity of choice.  

Each $5.00 contribution is one entry (so if you contribute $5.00 you get one entry; contribute $500.00 and you get 100 entries). Questions? You know where to find me.

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