Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Virtual Frontier - Supporting Rural Entrepreneurs

Some people I know out here are great. That's just it. There are so many people who are just fantastic, and trying to really make a difference in their world. Betty Buckley and her staff are such folks out here in the Inland Northwest. Shop the is one such organization--they are trying to make a difference, and THEY ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Go to:
Run by the non-profit, Stone Soup, and its director, Betty Buckley, I think it's a fantastic testimony of perseverance, attitude, and economic saavy. Betty and staff do a wonderful job promoting our tiny neck of the woods--and the artists, craftspeople, and artisans that live in this rural place.

Last Friday, I was invited by Betty to attend a meeting with a possible funder--a site visit. I was happy to do so. I hope the funder was receptive to all that Ferry County has to offer, and all that Stone Soup is doing for economic development in this ultra-rural community. If you don't know what Shop The Frontier is, please see their website
Here is some information from their website:

The Virtual Frontier evolved from Stone Soup, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1999 by sisters Jody and Betty Buckley to help rural women in the Pacific Northwest. They designed programs intended to boost rural communities and the women who reside in them. Stone Soup’s mission is to assist women through organizational, individual and community capacity-building projects. For seven years Stone Soup has been providing capacity building grants, training, and technical assistance to organizations and communities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Stone Soup’s programs have reached nearly 250,000 men and women. Two invaluable lessons were learned through this extensive work in rural communities: The first is that in order to genuinely serve women in a rural community, one must serve the community as a whole. The second lesson is that entrepreneurial success is the key to moving individuals and communities out of poverty. These lessons have shaped Stone Soup’s focus all across the board--from grant making to the hands-on development of entrepreneurs and the systems that support their businesses. In 2001, Stone Soup began working in Ferry County, WA through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This grant made it possible for Stone Soup to begin planning and promoting micro-enterprise in small communities. A team of Economic Development and community professionals was formed to brainstorm and solidify the project that became The Virtual Frontier.

To contact Shop the Frontier:
Shop the Frontier600 S Clark Ave #3PO Box 1019
Republic, WA 99166phone:
(877) 807-7278 or (509) 775-3217 for local calls

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements

If you ever had the feeling that others do things because of you, please read "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. Excellent advice from a Toltec Wizard and Master. The Four Agreements are: 1.) Be Impeccable with Your Word -- Have integrity as to what you say 2.) Don't Take Anything Personally -- My interpretation is this: everyone is in their own world, their own dream! It's not about you, it's about them! 3.) Don't Make Assumptions 4.) Always do Your Best -- funny enough, this one is right from the Boy Scouts of America Cub Scout Manual and promise!

I love this book, and keep it at my bedside. Recently, a friend of mine was having a bit of a problem. She applied to be an artists' model from an artist in Spokane. The artist and my friend were corresponding via email nicely, and all was well, until she told him to look at her blog.
There, (OH HORRORS!) was her age - 43. He stopped writing to her, and she broke two of the agreements, No. 1 and No. 2 (see above).

When she told me the story, I told her, "don't worry, he'll call". Knowing it was not about her, her age, or anything like that.
Here is her email she wrote to me today:

Hi Gloria, I just thought it was funny that I was a bit touchy about feeling 'dropped'. (By that artist who wants to hire a model) I got on line and found a very nice letter from him and yes he is still interested but ran into some major, unexpected house costs (roof sprung leaks). I just wanted to tell you, "You were right" and I'm glad you were.I get back to you when I know my schedule. Looking forward to modeling again.
Love D_________________________________

I think the most satisfying thing about this encounter and the advice I gave my friend was that I was right, and I helped her--it's all about ME! I told her about "The Four Agreements". I'm definitely a big fan of Don Miguel Ruiz. I heard about this book when Ellen Degeneres had talked about it an aritcle I read about Ellen in some popular magazine I can't recall now.

Here is my reply to my friend:
Hi D,

Good to hear that. One book I would really recommend for you is: The four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I keep it by my bedside. It's a very short, good read. and very helpful.

One of the agreements you must make with yourself is: "don't take it personally". Here's what the jacket flap states about Agreement Number 2.) "Don't take ANYTHING personally":
"Nothing others say and do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, and their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering".

So many times, too numerous to count, I was guilty of this, and realized most folks are in their "own world" and really don't take notice of your world, (only if they must intersect somehow, or interact with your world!).

This is too true. IT's all about HIM, and HIS problems, not about you --- hence, don't take it personally!