A New Venture a la Florence [RAK]

posted in: Wholehearted Leaving | 0

I have been meditating on a new venture. The idea I have in mind combines many of my passions. While my concept seemed, at first, brilliant, my enthusiasm is now slowly deflating. In hindsight, it looks so small and admittedly, a tad nutty.

However, while sharing my idea with my eldest son, I decided maybe it was worth trying.

Let me back up.

 

Idiosyncrasies-r-Us

Come on, you know we all have them, idiosyncrasies. Yes. The very peculiar habits which make us, well, which make us, us.

Anyone who knows me well is also well acquainted with mine. Ask my kids. I am quite sure they keep a — long — list for posterity’s sake.

Some of my peculiarities are downright scary. For instance, there is my French temper which — while it seldom shows up — is entirely volcanic when it does. Most of the time, I am pretty patient and easy going.

However, when I have reached my boiling point, it’s not pretty. The good news is that I give plenty of warnings before the eruption. An astute individual would be wise to heed them. I get quite smart-alecky when I am angry.

The thing is, I hate being angry.

My temper is not a fun quirk of mine though.

On the fun side, I have built in eccentricities solely from being a foreigner. Supposedly, I pronounce some words “differently.” At least, that’s what I am told.

Rubbish, I am sure.

Moreover, I also readily dance to any upbeat tunes even if I am in an aisle at the store. I love drums and helicopters.

The list is lengthy and probably tedious. But, you get the point.

What Makes Me, Me

These are the things — big and small – which make me unique. You have them as well. We all do.

Another of my “Florencisms” is my very fertile imagination.

My mind can be equally friend or foe depending on the circumstances.

For instance, true story, a sheriff car parked in the desert as another deputy stopped me on the street to ask about the location of a neighbor. Meanwhile, a helicopter circled overhead. I had no doubt someone was dead in the desert, and they were looking for a body — as in a dead one. Yes. I do go there. And, my kids laugh while blaming my love of cozy mysteries.

On a more positive note, I can come up on a dime with all kinds of fun ideas to surprise those I love.

My Fertile Mind

When my mind gets going with a new idea, it resembles in every way an Alka-Seltzer in water. It sputters and fizzes — sometimes for days until it finally arrives at some satisfying solution.

It is a process which can be most aggravating for me.

When a story pops into my head, my best solutions are to regurgitate every single letter on paper or, to string them along in a semblance of fable in my head for later retrieval. These resolutions work rather well until the next idea shows up.

Walking or driving alone in particular causes my mind to become quite active. Having a companion infers I am busy talking and don’t have time to sprout new ideas.

To put it succinctly, talking keeps the fizz away.

Left to its devices, my mind — as a young puppy — bounds happily from bush to bush — or rather idea to idea.

If, as is my habit, I am listening to a book while walking, my ideas seem to come up with greater regularity and intensity.

 

A New Venture

 

Young Florence

From a young age, I have had certain traits.

Yes, besides talking, writing and a fertile mind, smarty pants.

  1. I tend to stand for the underdog. I assume that’s from being empathetic.
  2. I am a great cheerleader although I have never had a desire to become one. Jumping on cue while holding pom-poms and wearing an almost non-existent skirt has never been my idea of encouragements. Moreover, this type of motivation is utterly foreign to my French mind. I have to encourage on my own terms while wearing — preferably — my yoga pants or something equally unfashionable and comfy. Fashion is for the birds, but I digress.
  3. I love random acts of kindness — RAK. Yes, this love is birthed from kindess and benevolence. It also contains some strong roots into selfishness. You see, while the receiver is blessed by random acts of kindness, so is the giver — that would be me. I like feeling good.

I have an inkling that numbers 1 and 2 originate from a lack of support and praise as a child.

At this juncture, allow me to set the records straight. My parents were not uncaring, unloving adults by any means. They were, however, the product of a very different era which believed that praise and support produced self-centered kids. My responsible parents — not wanting to sire and raise nincompoops — adhered very firmly to these beliefs.

In the end, these views left my brother and me parched for some words of affirmation and praise as well as a sense that no one had our backs. Fend for yourself lads and lasses.

Then again, maybe my proclivities have nothing to do with my childhood years. Either way, it is not relevant for now.

A New Dose of Inspiration

In addition, to my natural tendencies, two other events collided to make the “here and now” a perfect storm for the emergence of a new idea.

In September, I read The Happiness Project and decided to embark on my own. Then, in December, I listened to The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown (and several of her other books since then) which encouraged me to live Wholehearted. One of the guideposts of wholeheartedness is meaningful work.

Shazam.

Florence had an idea for a new venture.

Furthermore, on my walk, I put together two other essential pieces of the puzzle:

  1. We no longer write cards and letters (as in snail mail). Most of us only get bills and junk mail.
  2. Despite the heavy use of social media platforms, many individuals feel more disconnected and alone than ever.

While I cannot remedy all the world’s ills, I can do something. The “something” was my idea.

Tada! A New Venture

My best friend and I have been writing — old fashioned — letters for almost half a year. We love it!

So, allow me to roll out my new venture.

What if I wrote a letter or a card to some people who wanted to receive them every month? In this fashion, I could use my strengths and likes to bless others who may feel lonely or in need of praise or support.

I have one friend and one client I do this with already.

From this seed, more ideas flowed.

For a fee, I would send snail mail once per month and some emails as well. Each would be personalized. For this reason, I would create an intake form to get to know my customers better.

Additionally, I would create a private group for support on various social media sites. For those who paid for a yearly membership, they could have add-ons like flowers, a care package, or chocolates. They would not know when these items would be sent.

Surprises in the mail!

How fun!

I could create a platform for community support and encouragements.

Let’s be real.

Life is hard.

The Fire Dies Down

I was at first woozy with excitement over my new venture idea.

As time went by, my idea felt silly and flat.

Why would anyone want ME to write to them and, to add insult to injury, pay a fee to boot?

Foolishness.

Why a fee?

This charge would be for three reasons:

  1. To buy supplies.
  2. To offset some of my time. A new venture means time and effort. I don’t have loads of extra time (I am sure, neither do you). I am not looking to be wealthy just to make a few bucks for my time — which won’t be much considering my own investment. However, I think I will get plenty of “feel good” as payment.
  3. Moreover, I want each individual to have some teeth in the game. I am of the opinion that we value something much more when we invest something in it.

While my enthusiasm deflated over time, on Mothers’ Day, my eldest son was so encouraging, I considered my idea anew.

He shared some additional ideas as well.

What about making your own cards?

This was an attractive idea.

Monday morning, I was searching YouTube for card making videos. They reminded me of my scrapbooking years decades ago. Sadly, I have long ago donated all my supplies.

 

Testing Out my New Venture

I have a new plan. I think I am going to stick with my new venture and pick a few people to be part of a testing group. Additionally, I will also donate one — or more– memberships. All for free.

I will give it a few months and see where this leads. In truth, I don’t have much to lose. A little time. A few stamps. Some ink. We won’t go hungry over this.

What do I have to gain?

A lot.

It would be nice knowing I followed a dream which could make a difference in a few people’s lives — including mine.

 

Guinea Pigs Needed

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