A few months ago I was diligently writing a book. I was laser focused and for the first time ever truly felt like I was doing exactly what I needed to be doing in that moment. I was never so sure of anything in my life. It felt like I was being guided through the process, rather than my normal approach of doggedly sticking to a predefined plan.
It was an amazing experience, unlike anything I’d felt before.
But since I completed that project I’ve been trying to figure out what my next one will be. I have several ideas but when I try to decide what I want to work on I just feel…I don’t know…kinda meh. They’re all good ideas and I want to do those projects at some point, but I don’t feel a burning passion for any of them right now. None of them feel like the NEXT thing.
Then last night, while I was lying awake once again at 3 am it hit me. I know what I want my next big project to be.
I belong to two parent groups on Meetup. Both have been run by the same woman for the past 10 years. Now that her son is a teenager she hasn’t been focusing on the groups at all and has left it to the members to host their own events. Membership in the groups has been declining (although there are still almost 3,000 members between the groups) but worse engagement in the groups is minimal.
There are few events each month and those events are rarely well attended. People signing up for events and then not showing up is a big problem that has been a source of frustration for those willing to host events. Many members are interested in seeing these groups succeed but after the current organizer announced she is going to step down no one has offered to take the lead.
I have to admit, when I saw her notice I deleted it thinking that I have the same problem she has, a busy life with already insufficient time to do the things I want to do. Definitely not something I need to add to my already full plate.
Except for one thing I realized last night.
This could be an amazing learning opportunity for my kids. For more than a year now I’ve been trying to find ways for them to learn about making money in non-traditional ways, perhaps running a business in some way. While these groups don’t currently make any money, it is possible to lead Meetups in a way that can generate income.
The issues with the groups would need to be addressed before anything else. But this is something I could get the girls involved in. I can talk to them about what makes some groups successful while other fail. We can work together to host events that fit what the group is looking for. They would be involved as business partners and not as event attendees. They could host events where they teach younger kids crafts (something they love to do). They can come up with their own ideas for events to host and ways to get the families engaged again.
This could be how they learn about what it takes to run a business, in a way where the financial risk would be minimal. Over time, if we are able to fix the issues with engagement we could start charging members a small annual fee to generate a little money. But even if we never get to this point the things they could learn will be priceless in the future.
So for this reason I feel like this is my next big project. This just feels right. It is in line with so many of my goals I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. I will be talking to them about this today and then will reach out to the current organizer. What could go wrong? Even if we fail the girls will have learned so much.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Meh