Opening the Money Chain
Last Friday I was wandering around downtown Seattle, looking for The Westin. Why? I was headed there to meet an old friend from high school for coffee. Why was I wandering? Since I have now lived in Seattle for on official 6 years, I figured I knew where The Westin was.
Turns out I figured wrong.
During my wandering, a canvasser approached me. If you live in a big city, this is a fairly common occurrence. You see the clipboard and big smile and know that they’re collecting signatures, looking for donations or want you to sponsor a child from a third world country.
I normally smile, make eye contact and keep walking. On Friday, for some reason, I struck up a conversation with the canvasser.
He had the most adorable Irish accent.
His name was Elijah and he had been in Seattle for almost two years caring for his ailing grandfather. He was desperate to get back to Ireland, but I confirmed this was more from the aftermath of a messy relationship, than from hating our rainy city.
I mean, doesn’t it rain in Ireland too?
As we walked together for several blocks, I teased him about approaching me, “I’m not carrying any shopping bags! Perhaps you should pick your targets more carefully, because I don’t have money to donate right now!”
Elijah told me that the “regular folks” are far more likely to donate to his cause, because they appreciate that life can be hard sometimes. He said the young and the hopeful are more giving because we have compassion and a quest to make a difference.
Hmmm… I pondered his logic.
He asked me what I did for a living, since I had already quizzed him about his life. I told him about my coaching and Stratejoy and the excitement of feeling like you really do make a difference. I explained that it was a tough time to start a business, and that’s why I didn’t have any money to donate, even though he was right- I was young and hopeful.
He had never heard of a life coach before, so we talked a lot about what I actually did and what kind of issues my clients were dealing with. It turned out he was just 5 days older than me and understood the quest to “find oneself” as a 20something.
20 minutest later, I admitted defeat and asked someone where The Westin was located.
Elijah walked me over to the hotel and across the street from the lobby entrance, I finally learned that he worked for Children International.
“Molly, I have to ask one last time. Do you want to sponsor a child?”
It took me only a moment to decide. I thought about something my coaching friends always say (You must give in order to receive…) and the hope I carry in my heart and the way I’ve been on such a strict budget trying to launch a successful business and how miserly it makes me feel. I thought about all of that and decided to take a positive step forward.
I told Elijah I would be thrilled to sponsor a little girl in India and after thanking me, he asked me why I had changed my mind.
I told him honestly, “I’m opening the money chain. I’ve got to start living the way I want my life to be. Plus, how can I say no to that accent?”
I figured it can’t hurt anything and regardless, I would be making a difference in some little girl’s life.
That night I returned home to an email asking me to be the keynote speaker for a local woman’s show. They had such and such a budget and would I be willing to speak to the crowd about “bold women and internal beauty” for that amount?
I danced about in my apartment, as it was the perfect audience for me and really, what an amazing topic… I told the Big Man about it and he said, “You know why you got that offer, right?”
“Umm, because my SEO is finally working and they loved my website?”
He kept staring at me. I hopped from socked foot to socked foot and stared back. And then it hit me…
The money chain was open!