Tomorrow, Sunday, April 22nd at 7:30 am, MSNBC’s show, Your Business, will air a segment on Cash Mobs. Included in this segment should be shots from the filming of the last Bellport Cash Mob that was held on International Cash Mob Day, March 24, 2012.
New and interesting ideas always catch my attention. Many times I learn of great ideas, share them with others who are not quite as moved by them and I do not take action. Or well-meaning friends talk me down and away from following ideas they perceive as potentially hazardous. Of course, there are the perpetual nay-sayers who, never willing to take a chance, hastily shoot down every idea. Once identified as such, I tend to avoid those people. But once I learn of a powerful idea, I can never really let it go.
The My Name Is Not Bob April challenge…
In the case of the MNINB (http://robertleebrewer.blogspot.com/) April Challenge idea, (interjection: I have not learned how to link to another site without entering the whole website address; I want to learn that) I consulted no one. Jumping on board, I found a community of writers, most of whom are more advanced in their craft than I am, but supportive and affirming all the same. Affirmed, I continued to follow this great idea and am very glad I did.
This challenge has taught me so much about writing. Not things such as grammar, punctuation, form and style, but platform building. Who knew I needed to know this? I admit to experiencing feelings of unworthiness and states of “HUH?!?” But each time I feel lost, I step back, breathe and realize the opportunities this new information affords. As Not Bob advises, “…change your focus from what you don’t know and what you haven’t done to building upon what you do know and what you have done.” Even as I learn these new things, I realize that I can do that.
Prior to the Not Bob challenge, the “Cash Mob” (www.CashMobs.wordpress.com) idea landed in my lap. There are just some ideas from which no one can talk you down. I learned of cash mobs last December when my sister-in-law’s store, The Make Good, in San Diego, CA (www.themakegood.com) was cash mobbed. The cash mob idea seemed tailor made for our little Village of Bellport. You see, our Village has a very small Main Street which tends to struggle a bit during the off-season months of winter. This particular winter, Main Street was losing a landmark, family owned business as Wallen’s grocery store decided to close its doors after 50+ years. Spirits were waning; we needed an infusion of hope.
After a few emails, a little social networking, word of mouth and a big boost from www.Bellport.com, our “Hometown Website,” we were off and running. Our inaugural January cash mob was attended by about 100 cash mobbers – representing 5% of the population of Bellport – and the cash mob originator, Andrew Samtoy of Cleveland, OH. Prior to this cash mob, we were contacted by several news agencies, including Inside Edition who sent a film crew to record our event. That show aired in early February.
Acting on a great idea as we did with the cash mob can result in great rewards. It afforded financial rewards to the businesses that were cash mobbed, often resulting in the best sales day ever. It was a great marketing opportunity for those businesses as well. It brought new customers in and reminded old customers to come back. Beyond that, it empowered our community, reminding us of the ability of the individual to make a difference. Taking action brought awareness, hope and a whole lot of fun.
Additional cash mobs were spawned from our introduction of the idea to Long Island. Riverhead and Babylon Village have held cash mobs. East Quogue has a cash mob scheduled for this afternoon. East End Cash Mob will host its first cash mob on May 6th. It is an idea worth sharing; an idea that makes a difference. I must also admit, this affirms that I did, in fact, hit on a good idea…my personal gain.
In larger communities, monthly Cash Mobs can continue to flourish. We see this in San Diego, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Sherwood, OR and beyond. However, in our small community, we will be modifying the idea, to maintain the momentum and allow our community to continue to make a difference, right here on Main Street.
Since our first cash mob in Bellport, we have held 2 others; the last one being covered by MSNBC, scheduled to air tomorrow on Your Business. Our next Cash Mob will be held on May 5th. It will be a celebration. While we will be cash mobbing a local business, it is more about celebrating the great cash mob idea and the great community of people who embraced it. Perhaps you would like to attend.