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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

Do Good Do Well: The Power of Home

Mary Schmidt

Apr 29, 2016

“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” — Charles Dickens

Friends and regular readers know I love to “nest.” My home is my sanctuary and the foundation for much of my sanity and calmness. However, what if I didn’t have that? Here in the “first world” we often forget that many of our fellow human beings don’t have even the basics…forget not being able to afford a new car or a kitchen upgrade…they have neither cars nor kitchens.

Yesterday, I attended a fundraiser for a local Albuquerque nonprofit, Saranam. They’re taking an unusual and effective approach to homelessness. They provide not only housing, but education and a community. It’s a two-year program, and their educational programs include helping parents learn how to help their kids with their homework. They also help people learn how to grocery shop?! Think about it. If you grew up on the streets, the simple act of food shopping is unknown to you. Much less managing a food budget or budget-friendly cooking.

As I was watching the video and listening to the speakers, I (once again) reflected on how extremely fortunate I’ve been throughout my life.  Although there have been really, really tight times, I’ve always had a roof over my head and I’ve never been forced to go to bed hungry.

Personally, I’d rather forego kitchen upgrades…so that someone else can have a kitchen. 

So quick stats: It takes about $24,000 a year to support one family at Saranam. Their current capacity (in the apartment building—community, remember?) is about 30 families. They hope to expand to 50 over the next two years.  And, of every family that finished the two-year program, 100% of them are still self-sustaining years later (college degrees, home buyers, good jobs, etc.) All of which save our community millions of dollars (as well as contributing dollars to the economy..)

So, consider helping others have that foundation for success.  I’d bet there’s a similar program in your area. And, Saranam is wanting to expand into other cities or states.

In Do Good. Do Well.


Start-Up Sanity Check for B2B Tech Ventures

Got a great idea? Are people telling you it’s crazy? Good! You’ve got to be a little insane to take that start-up leap – rather it’s out of your garage, the lab or a day job. I'll help you decide where and when to leap (and what to do when you land).

Investment: $500.00 (Why do I call it an investment? Two reasons: 1. If you’re willing to pay, that tells me you’re serious. 2. When you pay for advice, you’re more likely to value and use it.)

Drop me a line and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. If I can't help you, I’ll tell you (and if possible, tell you who can.)

Got funding? I work with one to three start-ups a year, on retainer (minimum of three months, maximum one year).

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Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

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