Categorized | Shoestring Startup – I Realized I’m An Ass…And People Are Ok With That.

Company: Jack The Donkey Inc.


Since launching, I’ve made an ass of myself…sometimes intentionally…and sometimes less purposefully. Why? Because, but didn’t realize this or what it meant until recently.

A couple of years ago, I took a few weeks to travel and to reflect about life, where I’ve been, what I’ve done…and what I ultimately hoped to accomplish. While traveling, I reconnected with friends I hadn’t seen in years and felt as though at this point I was the only one who still wasn’t satisfied with the direction of my personal and professional life (for me, these were somewhat intertwined).

During this period of reflection, I realized that once I graduated university, I stopped working jobs that truly interested and excited me. When I was a “kid”, I loved cars and music…so I got a job valet parking and another working for a music retailer. Seeking dollars instead of my passions was more than likely the reason I had never grown accustomed to the rat-race that seemed to agree with many friends and those around me. I realized that the only sense of satisfaction I felt the past decade came from the volunteer work I had been doing on the side (mainly as a coach and League Administrator with the Ontario Special Olympics). Sadly, and perhaps as a surrogate for having a real life, I also realized that I had been spending more and more time online…as were many others.

I began focussing more on these epiphanies and realized that whatever was next in life was going to take more than a lateral move professionally. And that’s when it hit me…I had just watched the movie Hancock. There’s a scene when Jason Bateman broke it to Will Smith’s well-meaning yet slightly boorish character that, “you care…but are a bit of an ass.” For me, this was a sign to start figuring out how to bring to life, a URL I had purchased years earlier as part of a backhanded tribute to a relative’s ex-husband, knowing that one day this could actually be used for good in this world.

Taking into account what was happening with the global economy and bailouts being granted across numerous industries…I realized that it was time to create a bailout for the nonprofits I cared about and that have touched my life…and thus began the life of

Since launching (beta in Feb 2009 and more “officially” in November 2009) the community where your time online supports the charity of your choice, Jack has evolved to the point that some people are now calling us Facebook with a conscience, as Jack donates 1.1 cents every impression to more than 20 charities from Canada, The US & UK…the number of impressions and how you create them is up to you.

Thus far, there has been some social media support for Jack, a few blogs of support…and I’ve periodically dressed up like a donkey to get people to give a poop…but awareness to date has been minimal and admittedly, Jack hasn’t had the impact on the world I know he can. This has been a learning for me! So while we continue to evolve the site (including the recent addition of iGiveapoop for new music discovery and promotion…while doing good) we’ve been working with corporate partners on some exciting promotions which I’m hoping will aid in the spreading of the giving a poop freely, regularly, socially and musically movement further.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the tests of entrepreneurship…but have savored the lessons learned. That being said, one of my biggest learnings along this journey has been the importance of social networks. I’m not talking about your friends on Facebook and Twitter. I’m referring to your family, friends, the people you walk dogs with, the ones you see regularly at the local coffee shops. Anyone in your real world. Be open about what you’re doing…and don’t be scared to let your enthusiasm out…it sells your business and you to those who will be there for you in good times or bad…the times you simply need someone to be there to listen…or to provide a referral to an altruistic PR agency! This is your network that will stick with you…even if you act like a bit of an ass (sometimes).

Since embarking on the entrepreneurial journey, I have had the experience of a lifetime…and though I’m not really sure what’s next in the road, where we need to end up is getting clearer each day. At the end of the day, I’m convinced that making an ass of myself will help get people to give a poop…a little more freely and regularly for the charities we should all be supporting.

David Katz

Jack Of All Trades
On Twitter @inyourfacebook

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