$5,000 – How Should We Spend It?

I meant to make a video/blog about this earlier in the week, but… Things have been pretty crazy. Let me give you the back story… Oh! And Chinese lessons will start up again the week after the competition is over (September 8th).

The Project

Last week I heard about a contest that the company Kohl’s is having. They’re giving away ten million dollars ($10,000,000) to 20 different schools. Every school in the country is competing to win five-hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). The money is going to go to the 20 schools that get the most votes during their campaign. There’s an awesome school here in Milwaukee (St. Marcus) that was already in the top 50 schools and they want to use the money to help with expansion.

I got all excited because it was an “epic” project to work on (you know how I love epic projects). So ever since last week I’ve been brainstorming ways for them to win, and all of this week I’ve been putting videos and webpages together. (One page being a contest to win an Xbox 360 Slim, go vote and sign up if you haven’t yet!)

The Money

Now… You know me (or you should!) I was prepared to go into bipolar-epic-manic-LETS-DO-THIS mode without the incentive of money (although I do need to start making some of that stuff ;) ). The school being AWESOME is reason enough for me! BUT the superintendent of the school wanted to compensate me for my time, so he said he’d write up a contract. He told me the hourly would be low, but that he’d make it performance based. So if they win… a bonus!

Yesterday he hands me the contract and the hourly was… I guess it was “low” in terms of what people charge, but it was a lot higher than what I’m currently getting ($0/hour playing Xbox and eating sardines lol). So I’m already happy with the hourly and BOOM! A $5,000 bonus if they win.

Now I suppose I could have moved forward as planned and tried to keep the $5,000 for myself but… It doesn’t feel right. There are going to be a bunch of other people helping out, plus I had a goal for how much money I wanted to make this month. That goal was $500 (and I was stressing about it at the beginning of the month! lol). The hourly gets me to my goal and some. So… We might as well do something cool with the $5,000 right? :D

How Should We Spend The $5,000?

OK, this is the part of the blog where you tell me how we should spend this money. I see this money as is another resource to use to make sure St. Marcus wins the $500,000. I want St. Marcus to win the $500,000 more than I want the $5,000, so I’m putting my money where my mouth is!

I see the money working 3 ways:

  • We use it to setup some kind of competition
  • We use it to “bribe” an “A List” blogger to join our squad (I’ll give an example below)
  • Or… The MilTownKlan combines forces of awesomeness, makes sure the school(s) win(s), and then we decide how to use the money for… MORE awesomeness! :D

The contest is pretty straight forward. We use either cash or prizes to get people to hustle and get votes.

The “A List” blogger thing could be cool. One idea I had was trying to contact Tim Ferriss (for example), letting him know about the competition (he’s hardcore about education reform too) and getting him to feature St. Marcus and some other schools of his choosing in a blog post about the contest. The $5,000 gets used inspire his readers, or… We could buy like 250 copies of his new book when it comes out! :D

The MilTownKlan option is… Pretty freaking cool. Basically we all come together and work on this in hardcore mode for the next 2 weeks THEN, after we win, we have $5,000 to… Donate, use to setup the MilTownKlan into a real legal asskicking entity, apply towards another epic project (epic projects are FUN), etc… Anyhow, I need your feedback and ideas. The idea would be that we came together as one, VOLTRON style, and turned into an epic Level 5 Tribe “Delivering Win” the way Zappos is “Delivering Happiness.”

The Poll

Let me know what you think. I’ll post the results on Sunday night.

A Video For My Mom

My mom said she liked the TEDTalk videos in my blog posts, so I’m going to try to be regular about doing that. Here’s a good talk about “Tribal Leadership” that I watched the other week. He’ll go into further detail about the “Level 5″ reference I made earlier. You can also listen to the “Tribal Leadership” audio book FOR FREE. [Follow this link for that.]

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12 Responses to $5,000 – How Should We Spend It?

  1. That’s a tough question. All of those things are good in their own way…But my vote would have to go with the miltownklan :).

    My reasoning for that is because the MTK is freaking awesome, and if organized and funded, could really accomplish some amazing things! I kind of see my own life goals meshed into what it represents, so I can’t help but be drawn to it lol.

    Let me emphasize though that there’d be absolutely nothing wrong with you keeping it for yourself. If the school didn’t feel like giving it to you for winning was worth it, they wouldn’t. Don’t be modest to the point of not accepting gratitude :).

    • miltownkid says:

      “Don’t be modest to the point of not accepting gratitude.”

      True… True… Well… Something I’d want to do with it is having the MTK rise from the ashes! :D

      It’s funny that what’s leading is me keeping it… lol

  2. chris says:

    This is personally what I would do with it. I would give the money away to the community, people in need maybe document yourself giving 100$ away to 50 different people or 500 to 10 people or whatever. It would make you feel amazing helping out less fortunate families and if you put it on youtube or something you could use it to promote the Kohls contest with the act of kindness.

  3. Chris says:

    buy halo reach instead

  4. Penney Morse says:

    It is noble of you to want to use the $5,000 to create a greater good. You are in a better position than me to figure out what that would be in Milwaukee. How did you find St. Marcus school and what makes it so awesome? Have you read Three Cups of Tea or Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson? Another person who, through his passion about an idea, made a difference. I think you should decide what you are passionate about and go with that idea.

    • miltownkid says:

      I found St. Marcus through Spreenkler (remember that monthly group of creative people I would meet with?) First I heard the superintendent of the school speak at Spreenkler, then they held a meeting at the school once.

      What makes St. Marcus so awesome is that it’s being run by someone who is SUPER passionate about education reform in Milwaukee (and everyone working together to do it), he’s doing it in Milwaukee’s central city with VERY positive results (over 95% HS graduation rate when they leave St. Marcus, it’s like 50% for the same demographic in Milwaukee) and he’s staying up-to-date on the latest things schools are doing to be awesome (like visiting KIPP schools in New York).

      I haven’t read either one of those books yet.

      Following my passions is EXACTLY what I’m doing now. :)

  5. Millard says:

    Okay, so I’ve never commented on this blog before and I’ve only seen a few of your videos on youtube (the first one being this video you did about Go, because I was just starting to learn how to play and was looking at a million videos), but I had a random urge to comment.

    Keep the money. 5,000 dollars in a national contest like this isn’t going to win it for them. Not only have you probably earned it do to your enthusiasm and hard work, but you need money badly, and in order to keep the awesome machine that is miltownkid on the track of greatness, a certain level of financial stability is required.

    Btw, Go is the best game ever.

    • miltownkid says:

      Go is the best game ever isn’t it? I wish more people (in the US) played. :)

      A lot of people seem to share the same thoughts as you. Only thing left to do now is HUSTLE MY NUTS OFF this week. :)

  6. Dave Whitby says:

    Hello Mr Kid

    I would use the money to start a social enterprise, one that is self generating so in essence it could make money so that it could be put back to continue good work.
    You could look into match funding and get the $5000 doubled and then get more match funding etc etc. But do use the money to work with people in need to educate and hopefully create a business which will make money in the community for the community. Create a product or service which could be staffed or made by volunteers who could eventually be paid start a series of relevent services or products which help and forward the community. One example could be a fresh food garden (the land hopefully donated just for temporary use) the local community could grow their own and sell healthy food at good prices and put the money back into the project. It could be the start of the Miltown kid community gardens all across the US. But doesn’t just have to be gardens it could be anything.

    Good luck

    From a small seed great things can grow.

    Dave

    PS if you check my site its poo at the moment so be gentle.

  7. Jacob says:

    I’m not exactly sure what the 5 grand should be used for but I wish I lived in Milwaukee instead of Parachute CO

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