October is the month where we begin marketing, campaigning, hiring teams on limited funds and putting ourselves out there. Our campaign, One Million Heroes, a showcase ad that will add gamification elements to help fundraise money to build what will be a book and game publishing company as well as home to a pay-it-forward ecosystem built on blockchain.
To give some background. I grew up volunteering, I’ve won awards for my volunteer work in the community and I’ve learned many important life skills and lessons. I once said that I wanted to be a professional volunteer and to take my volunteering to the next level I began to travel and WWOOF with the goal of working my way up to the Corps (or at the very least as an alternative). I read Jacque Frescoes vision and explored bartering systems and money-free lifestyles, traded my time to learn how to build yurts with wonderful people who were conscious of money and how many hours were worth how much. That was my first taste of how obsessed people were with money, and not for no reason, people needed money to live and to eat and their family was struggling work-exchange helped them get something back for their time.
I admired Daniel Suelo and tried to give up money myself, I went to WWOOF and met a family who were the perfect example of what it meant to live on a farm and to take in interns, and introduced me to the mindset that all farm animals and people had to pull their weight, if they weren’t producing they were eating money and had to be killed or sold if they were animals, or let go if they were people. I learned that they didn’t accept WWOOFer’s with children because children didn’t work, they ate food but weren’t able to pull their weight and this mindset was common across the board. To my horror I would later discovered the foster care system had its origins in this philosophy and mindset too, there is a reason why abuse occurs so frequently in these types of homes but that’s a story for another day. Prior to this experience I had volunteered with companies that were run predominately by volunteers who were passionate about helping people and giving back and I saw first-hand how non-profits struggled to raise money in a world that was becoming increasingly jaded, self-centered and slow to give.
I recall a year ago when I was homeless due to mental illness having no place to go. No one would take me in, nor would I have accepted it from anyone were they able. I was agoraphobic and terrified of homeless shelters and I remembered a story where a woman donated candy and junk food to the homeless shelters because they were too unhealthy for her kids. People believe homeless people should be grateful for what they are given and so they must accept anything, ‘beggars can’t be choosers’, and at the same time I recalled a woman who had started a community garden and began giving free food within her own community, and not just her but the people at Unsung. People with a mission to help make the world a better place.
For me the concept of working for free or for little pay solely to make the world a better place and to help someone was not new to me. I was well aware of people taking advantage of others, and had been a victim of this myself, but I thought about it differently than others did. I think about life differently. Only in running my business and seeking help has it become more clear to me that people won’t help you for free, there is always a catch. Codementors a great place where you can meet experts, whether you just need help with something very small and tiny for 15 minutes, or something big there’s a person available, but no one will help you the way they might on a forum out of the kindness of their heart, everyone had a fee attached even to write just 3 lines of code. Afterall everyone has a family to feed, no one would be there if the reward wasn’t worth it.
In my exhaustion from coding I went on fiverr, I’ll have to write about my review of that site later, but what I found was that almost nobody offered anything of value for $5 and people laughed at me when I asked them to assist me for $15 for 2 areas of code. Find someone else one person said, and on craigslist the reply: You will find no one experienced in Foundation Zurb to help you for just $15. I just wanted to know why my columns were collapsing in foundation zurb which was supposed to be responsive by default and to receive help. What had I done and what needed to be adjusted. It wouldn’t take me more than an hour to do maybe less myself but I was beginning to feel burnt out and funds were limited. I had hired three people already on the short-term and my budget was starting to run out. But the issue I faced brought attention to a larger one, a question in the back of my mind. Something that had been haunting me from the beginning. It’s then that I began to realize the biggest problem we face as a people in building a pay-it-forward platform is building a community and environment where people who want to help others genuinely help others out of the kindness of their heart. They pay-it-forward because they know that it may not come back to them directly from the person they are helping, but that it will eventually come back around to them in some way, shape or form. This was Karma in action and it was the very foundation of my entire life and how I had lived.
You see suffering and sorrow and pain has been the very foundation of my life. I have an intimate relationship with sorrow of observing it, understanding it, studying it, I feel sorrow and pain deeply in the eyes and hearts of others, and deeply within myself. I’ve struggled with abandonment and feelings of being unloveable, of unworthy. And like many I went on a mission to find myself, to accept myself, in freedom, to discover me, to fix what was broken in my heart. At times I felt I needed permission from those I loved to be free, to find me, to love, and there were times when I had to let go of their acceptance and walk alone so that I could drop all that I am not and be accepted for all that I am. That journey has led to what has now become been part of my mission, my motto in life, my work. No not saving the world one story at a time, though it’s certainly one of my mottos, a different mindset based on the law of you receive what you give.
If you want love, give love and be love itself, if you want understanding give and be understanding itself, and so on. You get what you give back. If your heart is full of selfishness and hatred that is what you will receive. Fundamentally I began to realize what the problem was. The problems we faced in this world were symptoms of our flaws at our very core. Our Human Nature. Ourselves. We as humans with all our ego, self-centeredness, me-first, survival-based mentality are part of the biggest issue we face in achieving happiness and peace, everything else is a byproduct of that mindset.
My company Zenratstudios was founded as a way to tackle these issues, through games and stories we uncover all that we are by discarding all that we are not, we focus on building compassion, empathy, and love and more. We try to make giving fun, and we work on developing a built in reward system. The biggest problem is philosophical can true altruism arise from this system? Can we make and build heroes or can we only call out the Heroes in our world, the rare leaders, the rare people who want to make a difference?
There are many challenges we face as a company, many human challenges we face as a people in building a system that is meant to help people, to be a solution to the problems in the world around us. But I truly believe that it is possible to build something that can benefit the world and reward people at the same time for being good people. Can we train people to give just for the joy of giving, teach them how the laws of abundance work. I believe we can, or at the very least I believe it’s worth it to test, experiment, and try.
This Month I am bringing together a team to help refine, test, market and launch One Million Heroes, which at its heart is both a fundraiser and a showcase that shows in action the roots for how our system and philosophies work. Raising awareness to the Heroes in our world, taking revenue we earn from the services and products we create and redistributing back into the people, back into the community we serve.
I’ve spent the past year building the roots and the foundations for this company, but now I’ve hit a wall. Working on my own I have quickly become burnt out and exhausted, signs that I am doing too much and need to call together my team. Alone we can only go so far, together we can go far.
For all those out there who need a hero. Please join us on our journey, and our mission to save the world, one story, one adventure, one person, one you at a time.