Over the past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the second annual World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon that Chris Guillebeau puts on for 1,000 passionate renegades living intentional lives that make the world better. Jonathan Fields summarized it best when he called it "Woodstock for world changers".
The conference had a huge impact on me last year and I've already writen about why you need to go to the World Domination Summit and what if real life was more like #WDS, so I won't focus too much on the kind of people that are there or how inspring it is.
Instead, I'm going to focus on the most noteworthy part of the conference: the $100 Investment.
The Parable of the Talents
After J.D. Roth gave the last keynote speech on Sunday night and all the volunteers were thanked, Chris Guillebeau was on stage to end the event. But first, he had a story to tell.
Chris told a tale similar to the parable of the talents, where-in a man gives money to multiple people and returns later to see what they have done with it.
- Had they spent it needlessly?
- Saved it frugally?
- Or invested it wisely?
Chris then went on to share that while last year's WDS didn't make any profit, this year's did. Plus, an anoynous donor gave a large sum of money to the conference's cause as well.
Ironically, the surplus amount was close to $100 per attendee and with the launch of his recent book The $100 Startup, he came up with the idea of giving all 1,000 attendees $100 in cash to do with it as they wished.
I can't imagine you've ever been to a conference where someone is giving $100,000 away for people to make an impact.
As Chris and I talked about when I had him on the Cubicle Renegade Podcast, with a small amount of money you can make a huge step towards making a difference when you harness the power of convergence between your passions and what people need (whether for profit or charity).
What Happens When You Give 1,000 People $100?
As I talked with people over the next day about "what they were going to do with the $100" I felt people's tone change to serious as they contemplated what they were going to do with it.
It was as if they were all harnessing both Voltaire and Spiderman's Uncle Ben:
"With great power comes great responsibility."
— Devon A. Mills (@devonamills) July 9, 2012
People were also tweeting that they were donating the $100 to charity: water. (More on that in a moment.)
And many others, including my wife, aren't yet sure what they are planning to do with it.
One thing is certain though. Everyone I talked to is taking this $100 they were given seriously and are not wasting it like any other $100 they might have earned.
What I'm Going to Do With My $100 Investment from WDS
You might be asking, "Caleb, what are you going to do with the $100 Investment?" Well, here it is.
I'll be using the $100 to create the first product for Pocket Changed: "Make It Rain: The No B.S. Guide to Your Money".
Here is direcly what I'll spend it on:
- Domain (JoinMakeItRain.com) = $9.95
- Bamboo Tablet = $86.56 (For "chalkboard" lessons like Pat Flynn does in this video.)
- That leaves $3.49 for a late night dose of caffeine the night before launch. :)
The "big picture" piece of this and how I'll adhere to the "great responsibility" part of the investment is this:
25% of all revenue from Make It Rain will go directly to charity: water. A non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.
I will be launching version 1.0 of the course (which is currently 0% complete) in two months in conjunction with my 26th birthday (September 9th, 2012). The fundraising campaign will then be open for an additional month till October 10th, 2012. The goal is to reach $5,000; enough to fully fund a well for a community village.
If you don't want to wait two months to contribute you can head over to see the campaign at mycharitywater.org/calebwojcik if you want to get the ball rolling with another $26 donation. We only need 193 total $26 pledges to get a well built for 250 people.
If you haven't heard of charity: water or the founder Scott Harrison's story, check out this video. They give 100% of all donations directly to water projects for the nearly one billion people in the world that don't have clean water.
So there you go. I hope you'll join me in "making it rain". Both in the tongue-in-cheek, learning to be financially successful way and in the helping to bring water infrastructure to those that need it most.
There will be more details coming in the next few weeks, but until then, be sure to sign up here to get notified of early access to Make It Rain.
To end, I have a simple question for you that I'd like to hear your answer to in the comments below.
- If you went to WDS, I'd love to hear what you are going to do with your $100 Investment. (Feel free to link to a blog post that describes it if you have written one.)
- If you didn't go, how would you use $100 towards your own startup or world changing act?
- Caleb Wojcik
Photo by Armosa Studios.