I have always been a dreamer and when I dream, I usually dream pretty big. Little Pink Houses is a great example of that!
Knowing that I want to provide week long beach retreats for breast cancer families has been the easy part. This week, I have started to really focus on the business side of what I need to do to make my dream a reality. Two things were of primary importance to me this week 1) find an organization that was doing something similar and set up that connection, and 2) discuss the financial aspects of the project with someone who lives and breathes finances for their business. I managed to do both and had a wonderful week!
First, I connected with the Lighthouse Family Retreat Center http://www.lighthousefamilyretreat.org/ . What a wonderful organization! They provide weekly beach retreats for children who have cancer and their families. I was highly impressed not only with their organization and mission, but also with their model. This prompted me to contact their President, who graciously agreed to talk to me and offer some very practical advice. Since this whole project is rooted in giving to others, I felt very lucky to be led to a person who was truly interested in giving of himself as we spoke. Too much to cover with the actual conversation, but the big three things that I need to make sure that I keep in mind:
1) When focusing on the family, do not overprogram their time so that they are capable of reconnecting.
2) Get the right peple to help me make my passion come to life. 3) Fun is the answer!
If you know of someone who has a child with cancer, take a look at their website and pass it on to the family!
I then met with one of the smartest men that I know- my dad. My dad has a history of running the major operations of a Fortune 500 company both here and abroad. I took him out to dinner to pick his brain on the financial side of this venture. I have to admit that this is an area where I am the least comfortable. It is amazing how clearly he can see through the passion and the ideas and get right to the core of what needs to be done in terms of financial planning. Again, too much to cover, but here are the big three things that I walked away with from our talk:
1) Create a financial model based on the total outlay for the cost expenditures for a week for a typical family at the retreat.2) Create a network of people for my board that have specific areas of expertise.
3) Prioritize what needs to be done first.
And of course, finally, he loves me!
I know that I have a long way to go before the first family arrives at Little Pink Houses of Hope, but this week has made me more determined than ever of the reality to help make a difference in the lives of others.