Why did you agree to do this?

I find myself in a unique position this morning and one that I haven’t been in for a few years – I am the underdog.

I don’t mind being in this position except that I’m down 183 to 59 and it seems to be a pretty big hill to climb – not insurmountable but definitely daunting.  I do wake up in the morning in a cold sweat wondering what I can do today to get more people involved in The Nine Day Challenge.  I do worry with every passing minute if we can raise the funds that we promised we would for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters (South Simcoe chapter).  Monday night, Krystal and I gave a pitch to their board of directors, and aside from some concerns about the humiliation part, they were in support of it. Now we have to deliver on our promise.

So the big question is – why did I agree to do a social media challenge with a 19 year old girl?

Yes, I realized when I agreed to do it that her generation lives and breaths social media with the same fervor that my generation adopted the PC.  Take into account that she had setup her page within five minutes and had ten ‘likes’ five minutes after that – I’m up against someone who is dedicated to win and knows what she is doing.

I agreed to do this challenge for two reasons: to help a local charity and to help a budding entrepreneur.  Six weeks ago, Andie at the Nottawasaga Community Futures Development Corporation asked if I would sit down with Krystal to talk about starting her business (Krystal Kares) and applying for the Summer Company program.  From our first meeting, I would see the potential that Krystal possesses.  The enthusiasm and passion that she has for wanting to make a positive impact in her community is contagious and I found myself asking “How can I do more?”

Ten weeks ago I was experiencing one of the worst earthquakes in recorded history while living in Sendai, Japan (as well as experiencing the emotional roller coaster of being on an island while two nuclear power plants melt down and dealing with dozens of aftershocks).  On April 1st, I was part of a team that put together Stories From Sendai to raise funds for Habitat For Humanity to help with rebuilding parts of the North-East coast of Japan.  I realized from that and past experiences, that many local charities have issues raising enough funds to keep their programs running (let alone maintain an office and staff) and have the much larger issue of getting people involved – to either sit on their Board as a director or as a volunteers to run / participate in the programs.  It was also from running that fundraiser that I was able to see how a marketing campaign and fundraising event could rapidly be crafted, fleshed out and then deployed within a very short time frame.

I know that for me, this Nine Day Challenge is exactly that – a challenge.  So I ask for your support in three ways:

1.  Go to my Facebook page for Gobi Capital and click “Like”.

2.  Go to The Nine Day Challenge web site and see how you can get involved.

3.  Take time today to think about what you can do today to make an improvement in your community.  Then act on it.  Pick up the phone, send an email, talk to someone.  I dare you to find your voice and ask a charity or not-for-profit “What can I do to help?”

Whether I win or lose this challenge, I know that I’ve done my part to make this community a better place.  Now I ask you to do yours.  Get involved today.


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