You know that feeling when you see good people struggle? When life seems to hand them bad hand after bad hand, despite them deserving everything good in the world?
I have a close family friend that fits that bill. When I was growing up, she stayed home with her kids. She has a college degree, is wicked smart, and chose this path because it’s what she wanted to do.
As the years went on, she endured a series of unfortunate events. The primary income earner in her home was gone. Despite the fact that she’s smart and quick to pick up new things, ageism and her resume gap kept her from finding stable work. Even with her kids grown and independent, she struggled to stay afloat. She had help from her community, but it wasn’t the life she wanted to be leading.
Today, she sits in that uncomfortable place still. In an effort to make things better, she’s drawing on her hobbies–and the actual subject matter she studied in college–to start a new business. She’s working on building a website, creating content, and doing all the legwork that is necessary to gain new and consistent clients.
There’s just one obstacle: she has no connections locally or nationally in this field. It’s something she’s picking up from scratch. And while that’s admirable, it’s not the most efficient way to run a business. You want to be familiar with what’s new in the field, what’s on the horizon, and the most up-to-date way to serve your clients’ needs.
It also doesn’t hurt to have a few names in your symbolic rolodex. It doesn’t hurt to know a few veterans who can field your new-to-the-field questions.
As she persisted on this quest of ultimate self-reliance, she realized that there are three, stationary conference sites in this field that operate 2-3 times per year–primarily in the summer months. Serendipitously, one of these sites is in our home city of Pittsburgh.
Attendance would be logistically easy. She wouldn’t have to put herself up in a hotel, and would have short commute to this industry mecca of education.
The problem is the budget. It’s expensive. While it’s nice to say you want to invest in yourself and your business, that’s really difficult to do when you’re in the early stages and scraping by.
We started crowdfunding her conference fees. We were doing it the old-fashioned way–talking to people who cared about her and wanted to see her succeed, and seeing if everyone could pitch in.
Everyone we talked to committed to the max amount their budget could reasonably sustain. To be frank, I’m pretty sure some people gave in excess of that. But we were still coming up a little bit short.
That’s when Rockstar Finance came in. They asked if we knew anyone who could use a pick-me-up, or if we simply wanted some money to do good in our community. I immediately responded, and Rockstar gave her an effective partial scholarship.
Thanks to Rockstar’s Community Fund, the 1.5 days of the conference we were were scratching our heads over is now fully funded. She gets to go to the conference. She’s going to get to learn. She’s going to get to connect.
She’s going to be able to build her business.
Thank you to Rockstar Finance for their amazing work with their Community Fund! In the past twelve months, they’ve given diapers to low-income mothers, sent flowers to brighten someone’s day when they were down, and helped countless others in times of need.