Wholly Canadian is a social enterprise promoting whole-life local living
...a breath of fresh air for those with a heart for local /fair-trade living, & inspiration for those intrigued...
                                     

Wholly Canadian Blog

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Put your Money where your Mouth is

It's easy to talk to the talk, it's harder to walk the walk. Arlene Dickinson (from Dragon's Den), who, in my opinion, has just the right amount of entrepreneurial heart and edge, has on more than one occasion said: "Put your money where your mouth is. . ."

There have been so many opportunities for me to do exactly that. . .sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I let the opportunity slip . . .

It is the launching week of Wholly Canadian, and today I want to celebrate getting it right.  Early on, in the conception of Wholly Canadian, I would engage my community on this idea of starting an online social enterprise that would serve as an extension of social justice in the areas of localism and fair-trade.

After hearing my vision, what amazed me, is how many people would encourage me to source out my website to programmers overseas . . . telling me how I could save oodles of ca$h. {Ironic, I know}  I would respond, and say, well, that's exactly what I want to re-frame for Canadians!

Choosing to re-think the bottom-line. . .

Indeed, I could have saved a lot of cash by choosing cheap overseas website developers, and in the meantime, also created a lot of havoc. Just recently, I had a website designer share how he has to fix several websites due to the shoddy work of these "somewhere-out-there cheap website developers", as well as redesign logos because they were initially stolen from other companies. 

So yes, choosing local website programmers and designers was an intentional decision and a wise investment! So without further adieu, here's a rather organic way to saying thanks to some fellow-Canadians who have made this vision possible:

  • My Designer: Arae Design  I knew when I met Alison in her home, that our visions would coincide. The walls on her home resonated with the look I wanted for my social enterprise. It was love at first sight. Thank-you Alison for all your hard work to making my vision reality.
  • My Programmer: Modern Earth Web Design  I chose Modern Earth because they are local and a multi-employee team. So if an employee quits, my website continues. My website is not reliant upon one person. Thank-you Modern Earth for being so patient with me in this journey.

Here's a note for budding entrepreneurs interested in having a website: designers and programmers are two different type of people. Choose a designer whose style connects with yours. First impressions can only be made once. And then make sure the two (designer & programer) collaborate on specifics while working on your project.

There are so many reasons why it makes sense to live from a paradigm of local & fair trade living. Are you currently contemplating a change in sourcing your business needs? Is the thought daunting? Is the cost overwhelming?  My encouragement to you it to market yourself as a business that is dedicated to maintaining a local and/or fair-trade standard. There is a growing market of Canadians who are hungry for exactly that, and are willing to pay extra.   There is an increasing segment of Canadians who view the "bottom-line" as more than just solely dollar figures. There is a generation rising up that cares about social-justice . . .

Weave a story through your business choices . . .people crave a worthy-story in a day and age that is filled with trivial minutia. . .

Localism is not for the elite, it is not for those with extra disposable income, no, it is for grass-roots people who are hungry to make a difference despite their limited income. I share this as someone who lives in a home supported by charitable wages from a non-profit organization. I can truly say, there is a real cost to living this joy. . .

My journey of local and fair-trade living has not been easy or simple. Attempting to rid myself of the shackles of utilitarianism has proved a worthy challenge — a buying what is "cheapest for me" mentality has not been easy to shake off (Winnipeggers are notorious for their love of deals!). Buying locally and fair-trade has slowly become an integrated discipline . . . yes, even when it affects my wallet and schedule in ways it would not have otherwise. And I am still on this journey. I have not mastered it, but I am a pilgrim . . . on a journey.


So, yes, Arlene, I'm trying to put my money where my mouth is. . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 8:16 AM 2 Comments