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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

Will Work For Free (If you want to change the world)

Mary Schmidt

Sep 28, 2011

Need your ideas!  I’m seeking a pro-bono, limited-time, deep-dive gig to change the world (or least a small part of it.)

I’ve been thinking deep thoughts (biz-related and otherwise) since getting back from SOBCON Portland. One big question is how can I make a real difference and still make real money?  As many of you know, doing good doesn’t always pay well, and yet I’d love to follow my heart more (taking my big ol’ brain and decades of experience along to REALLY make a difference.)

So, I totally groked and locked onto the biz model of Misfits. Inc.  A young couple, AJ and Meiissa Leon, (met them at SOBCON) totally changed their lives a few years ago - moving to a 80/20 biz model.  The 20% is working for free, with people who need just a little help to change the world. They think way, way, way outside the box (and even the country) to make a very real difference in a very short time. (Their first project helped raise $150,000 to build a school in Sudan.)  And, funny thing.  That 20% helps drive the 80%.  Hmmm…

I believe I can translate the Leons’ international model into local/NM.  We’ve certainly got enough problems right here.  I am, not, however, interested in doing things the usual way. Hittin’ up the same people time and again for dinero. Writing brilliant (? ack ack) donor letters. Planning the standard fundraisers (Does anyone get jazzed about yet another silent auction? C’mon.) Board strategy retreats (which - sadly - almost never translate into action). Etc. etc.  Been there, done that.  Not going there again.

My passions are animals, the homeless and the environment. I bring No BS, creativity, problem-solving, and calmness in crisis to the table.  As more than one client and boss have said, “If you want it done, give to Mary and get out of the way.” 

So? What needs to be done? Ideas? Drop me a line at mary at (Yes, I realize I may well be overwhelmed here, but need to start somewhere.)

In Brain Food

Susan Lantz says:

I have an idea for you. Be an employees advocate. In the job market today it is very hard to find someone you can trust when something goes wrong. I believe if there was a person that was willing to be truly be confidential when confided in, while helping a person have the ability to stand up for simple rights without fear of retaliation, people would pay. I know this sounds somewhat like a union. But that’s not at all what I imagine. I think the reason so many are jobless has more then just the economy to blame.
Sincerely, Susan Lantz

Mary Schmidt says:

Susan, it’s a worthy idea.  However, I can’t see where I could make much of a difference, given the complexity of the problem.  My focus is a quick, limited-time project to help someone change the world. 

The jobless problem is caused by many things - including ongoing global economic changes; lack of education; and geographic location (rust belt mfr. jobs are never coming back, no matter what our politicians like to say).

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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