One of my first initial meetings I had for the challenge was with a nonprofit that I had met earlier in the school year. I focused attention on them due to my interest in their mission and feeling that they could use my services. Initially I contacted them and laid out a proposal that would benefit their organization. It outlined strategies in outreach, pricing, new services, and entry points for new and existing clients. We scheduled a meeting and discussed the proposal over lunch. Everything was going well up until the point where I unsuccessfully failed to mention that I needed to raise money as a part of this project. The response I got was a little bit of laughter mixed with a no.
It was a difficult line for me to draw because on one hand I am a student and on the other I am trying to meet the expectations of the assignment. This confusion I had to ultimately confront. I left the meeting with around 100 hours of work to do and no compensation. Overall I felt satisfied with the outcome that is doing volunteer work for a nonprofit that I believe in. At the same time I struggled with the fact that I had missed one of the objectives to the $1000 challenge. That night I consulted with a colleague and took some time to think about the project. I came to the conclusion that this is not something that I can balance into my life and with all the other obligations going on. The next morning I made a phone call that was uncomfortable and not something that I ever want to do again. My nerves were high and I was pacing around in my office trying to gain the courage to call and cancel the work that I just said I was going to do. Staring at the phone I eventually said to myself, I better handle this now, and hit dial. Hoping that this went well, the owner answered and I began to explain my situation. I apologized for the inconvenience and what I saw as a level of my inexperience. The owner was disappointed but ultimately ok and thankful that I brought this up now and not in two weeks. In an attempt to rectify the situation I offered ten hours of my time and she accepted it. Overall I gained a lot from this experience and understand now to be more upfront and what it means to be professional. I am more comfortable talking about compensation now. When before I would volunteer my time and never address money.
Since my initial blog post and a week of hitting the streets, I found a project to work on. My focus on the $1000 project eventually becomes a type of consulting for entrepreneurs. It was a interesting journey in testing my particular skill set with present opportunities. I had encountered failures, support, push back and ultimately success. Some opportunities I had to turn down some options and some blew up in my face. I believe that this story best outlines the many difficultly awkward situations I went through to earn $1,000. My follow up posts will be about most of the steps I took and eventually the outcome of this challenge.No Comments »