Mar 17 2011

the one for one model [day 295]

Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes, was a keynote speaker this year at SXSW.  Not only was it incredible to hear his story, but just to hear the magnitude of positive change his company has created in the world.  Here’s the best part.  Blake made this statement at the end of his talk.

“From this day forward, TOMS is no longer a shoe company. It’s a one-for-one company.  Our next step is meeting those needs around the world.”

Yes, TOMS is now a one-for-one company.  In June, they’re launching their next product.  You buy one, somebody in need gets one.  It’s a for profit model, and an extremely successful one.  I have to say here that I would love to go out and buy a pair of TOMS shoes.  With my one year of no retail shopping, unfortunately that’s not an option.  If I buy them used, a person in need will not get a new pair of shoes, however, even in the secondary market, good can still be done.

  • If I get them at a thrift store, that money goes to charity.
  • If I wear them, I’m marketing TOMS and this one-for-one model.
  • If I buy them used, paying less than retail, I’ve saved money that I can donate to one of my favorite charities.

How else can we apply the 1-for-1 model?

I’ve been pondering this question for a few days now.  I don’t know how anyone can hear the TOMS story and not wonder how we can all be a part of it.  TOMS is obviously onto something here.  I have a few ideas of how this could be applied in other ways to benefit TOMorrow.   Continue reading


Mar 4 2011

stuff is not an investment [day 282]

I had an eBay business while I was doing freelance work several years ago.  I started eBay for one simple reason.  I sell my Syquest Sparq drive and cartridges.  Back in the late 90’s, the Iomega Jaz drive was the industry standard for backing up you data.  They were great, but they cost a lot of money.  The drive was around $400 and the 1GB cartridges were $100.  I was really excited when Syquest came out the Sparq drive.  You could get the drive for half the price of a Jaz and the cartridges were 3 for $100.   I bought one the same week they came out on the market.  They were running a design contest and the prize was 50 cartridges.  Wow!  With those I could get rid of all my 3.5 disks and a lot of my cd’s.  To the drawing board!  Digital, of course.

I entered 3 designs, and here’s the one that yielded me 50 of these amazing cartridges.

Yes, by today’s design standards, it’s lame, but it got me over $1,500 in digital storage.  Sweet!  As one of my friends said back then, I had enough of these to tile a small room.  That was all great until these drive started having big time issues.  The company replaced my drive at one point, but I already knew these were not going to last.  I joined eBay, sold off my new, unopened replacement drive and all of the cartridges for just under $2,000.  Before ceasing my good eBay business, I had done over 5,000 transactions and at several points, was a power seller. Continue reading


Jan 21 2011

are you sucktastic? [day 240]

I seem to be self-motivated by imposing challenges on myself, ones to better my artistic ability, to make positive changes or to just do something I feel is worthwhile.  Sometimes we get so bogged down with life that we don’t make time for the really important stuff.  A friend of mine has been struggling with not making time to be artistic, afraid that if she creates something, it will be “sucktastic”.  Okay, I love the word, but I hate what it means here.  Half of the crazy art I make is sucktastic, but it comes from my heart so it still has meaning for me.  I might not ever post my sucktastic art, but the artistic expression used during the making of it is a much needed emotional release.

Sometimes we have to be sucktastic before achieving fantastic.  I was listening to a talk radio show about success and failure in our school system.  They spoke about a pendulum, with success and failure on each swing.  The pendulum theory, as I like to call it, basically means that you’re allowed to succeed as much as you’re allowed to fail.  I have had many failures in all areas of my life, and sometimes it’s hard to get back up, brush yourself off and try again.  Allowing for big time failure can bring big time success, the sky being the limit.  If you allow for a little failure, you can achieve a little success.  This often feels like being in a box or being grounded, and sometimes we don’t even realize we’re in this position.  And the worst case scenario in this theory?  Non-movement or no room for failure.  This creates a vast black hole of nothingness.  Sometimes this is us being paralyzed with fear, sometimes it’s lack of motivation, but the important thing is identifying your issue and finding a way to move past it.

What does all of this have to do with Trash Society?  A lot.  Sometimes I loose sight of why I’m doing any of this.  Is it really making a difference?  I’m not in this for the money, obviously, as if I were to place a financial statement on it, it would be in the red.  I could use my blogging time to do freelance work.  I have a passion for what I’m doing, but I do sometimes lose sight of it.  Trash society is to make a difference, hopefully in less waste.  If you apply the pendulum theory to you and your talent, and if you’re not allowing yourself failure, then your talents are being wasted.  Where are you on the pendulum swing?