“More Than Funny”

 

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KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President

of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020

March 14, 2020

Covenant House

“Covenant House is the largest privately funded agency in the Americas providing shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and an array of other services to homeless and runaway youth. Wikipedia

https://g.co/kgs/4MxXsp

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KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President

of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020

February 29, 2020

 

An Unusual Business Model and Opportunities For An Unusual Mission

What do you do when something is broken and those responsible do not see it is broken or refuse to fix it? You have to find or create something new. Creating something new is what this article is about.

For years, I voluntarily served on various non-profit boards as a director or on a project team or as a volunteer providing a service, such as assisting disabled horseback riders, or even as a paid secretary-treasurer. For years, I worked professionally in a variety of business environments from corporate, retail, and factory, plus as a contractor, sole proprietor, writer, and artist.

Formal education includes business administration, visual arts, design and communication arts, plus some university studies. Additionally I was in a one-year self-employment program and I took a variety of one-off courses, such as marketing and basic French. Various roles included, but have not been limited to department store assistant manager, head cashier, office manager, storefront manager, desk manager, operations contractor planner, human resources assistant, business planning assistant factory worker, nanny, cook, and odd jobs.

As you can tell, I love to explore the world and learn new things, yet I also love to innovate and transfer my natural talents and skills to a variety of roles and responsible for which I have been very successful. Because my learning environment was not financially supported by a university or business, financial success was moderated by the poverty wages paid for part-time contract work,  the reality that is now common to an increasing number of people. Yet, most of my in-depth education has been acquired through personal experience, plus self-directed research and studies done during the past twenty some years.

A key component of my self-directed studies has been the motivation to learn from others who have presented a new idea or created something new and what they experienced. I needed to learn from people who were not in my more limited social and professional circle, but were risk takers, so I could learn what it takes to become successful, fulfilling both a mission and vision, as well as financial independence.

In a nutshell, I learned that the current business models in Canada and in many other countries do not serve innovative creators, but in fact are the nemesis of such people.

EXAMINING THE OPTIONS

Last fall, I spoke with a community administrator who informed me that project grants were only available to artists if artists were not going to make any money from the creative project, begging the question, why should an artist or anyone be forced to work for free or worse: even create something new that many would benefit from, yet not be able to earn income from their creations? Do farmers not get paid? Do ministers minister for free? Do politicians work for free?  Does an inventor not get paid for his invention?

That is, of course, if an innovative creation is not outright stolen first.

When I professionally worked for others and when I volunteered, my ideas resulted in saving organizations a lot of money, such as reducing a monthly planning cycle by one week. But when I struck out on my own, I discovered many people who were eager to take my ideas, even the ones in print for their own use. Some people even tried, unsuccessfully in the long term, to take credit for my creations and make it their own, either oblivious to copyright laws or just did not care about them.

I also encountered people who told me that usually the creator is not the best person to run the company. Such people may get a token role as a board member or consultant, but the creation and rights are handed over to a board of directors and a manager. Unfortunately, when that happens, time and time again, it has been proven that such takeovers often shift the priority from mission first to profit first, at any cost, which I am determined will not happen in this case.

Someone once asked me, “What if someone steals my idea?” I laughed and replied, “Just the act of attempting to steal the idea would prove they really did not get the concept and therefore could not have been the creator.”

A consultant who lead a business workshop and an angel investor’s contest seminar I attended later contacted me to inform me he had created a business plan for my innovative creation, without asking my permission first.

A friend with more formal arts education took over my role for two performance workshops I sold, leaving me to sit on the sidelines while he took the credit and half the money. Additionally, a professional who should have know better, figured she could just take the concept on the road as if she owned the rights by paying for a workshop.

I could go on, but instead, I was motivated to also be innovative and creative to protect my rights, while using what I have created to help the many people, who are often exploited by people who have little or no respect for what is not theirs.

THE UNUSUAL SOLUTION FOR THE UNUSUAL MISSION
Surprisingly, I was inspired by legal and accounting firms, yet also by film production companies operating as limited liability partnership firms.

Of course, discovering first hand and from research what happens to corporations of any kind, also motivated me to instead transform my sole proprietorship in the future to a limited liability partnership in order to prevent the social business venture from being transformed into a political, profiteering organization.

Bringing on four management partners will result in partner investments, a vested commitment, the opportunity to belong to an unusual organization designed to do good on a grand scale, and also the acquisition of their bonuses from their partnership’s  percentage based on net profits.

There is a lot of talk about equality these days, but after working directly for management and in human resources, as well as a manager, trainer, and  supervisor, this social business exemplifies what equal pay for equal work is supposed to look like. My salary and the partners’ salaries are all the same and will remain the same even with increases. The only difference is with regard to year end net profit distribution. Each four partners (see the online job descriptions) will receive five percent annually, while I as developer, founder, and president will receive ten percent  initially, leaving seventy percent to be poured back into the business. In time, the percentage will skew as funds will also be redirected to establish the foundation and Spirit Ranch and as otherwise required. (Visit  http://www.connectingthedotswiththerespectprinciple.com for additional information.)

THE CHALLENGES

Transforming respect from a discretionary value to a global principle may seem daunting, but then again, any great work is daunting, often seeming impossible.

Not being a non-profit organization or even a for-profit organization means most grant sources are not available for this global initiative. In contrast to the typical organizations, contributor recognition can only be acknowledged by being listed as one of the supporters rather than being provided with a tax receipt for writing off contributions. This method also serves to separate the philanthropists from the altruists.

Borrowing money, whether through investors or any other means, also puts the social business venture’s integrity at risk, including the potential loss of ownership for something I have spent much of my life developing. From my perspective, I have given and sold enough to others, it is time to fully respect my work and be paid accordingly as everyone else should be also.

The goal this year is to secure the initial financial support for the first project and/or year and after that to become financially independent through sales, rather than dependent on the whims of politics and other influencing factors that are often reflections of the interest of a few  people rather than all people.

THE SOLUTION

We know tradition has its place. It reminds us from where we have come, which can either help or hinder us as we move forward in the present and into the future. And we can learn from the wise ones who have come before us. In this particular case,  Albert Einstein’s wisdom rings loud and clear, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity.”

Let us not continue to be trapped by thinking that “what was” is still “what needs to be.” Our world has changed and continues to change more rapidly, so we all have to continuously adapt in order not just to survive, but to thrive. And that means all of us, rather than a select minority who are in control and work diligently to keep it that way, proven by the fact that the wealthy could use their means to eradicate the majority of the world’s problems, but historically and presently continue to choose not to do so–which means we must be the change we need to thrive as individuals, families, and collectives that share the world with everyone.

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President

of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020

February 19, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Spirit Ranch

Once established, Spirit Ranch will complement Covenant House as a home base for youth who need a safe place to launch into adulthood. In contrast to Covenant House and other city-based centres though, Spirit Ranch, will specifically suit introverted youth who thrive better in quiet environments and/or those from rural areas that are not safely prepared for city living where they often become prey to people who target introverts who are often loners.

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President

of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020

January 18, 2020

 

Barriers Out-of-the-Box Creative Innovators Face

A few months ago, a conversation with a local economic development administrator regarding community grants for artists summed up my years of experience, or should I say my frustration, about securing funding for an innovative creative project designed to address local and global social, economic, and environmental needs.

“We fund artist’s community projects, but the artist cannot make any money from the project,” was the administrator’s comment. After informing her I certainly do expect to make money from the original work I created, not just for myself, but also for the social business venture driving the global initiative, in part fuelled by creative projects I solely created, she suggested I apply for business funding. But since I do not have what is often labelled “cash equivalent” to match potential funding, plus still have the debt I incurred from the three plus years to be with Dad during his last years where I served as his personal care manager, part-time personal care assistant, and driver her initial enthusiasm wavered, as it has been with the many other people I have contacted over several years, so I do not expect to hear from her again.

Unfortunately, her response is typical and reflects one of the many barriers out-of-the-box creative innovators and their ideas encounter. The following presents a closer look at the barriers and their impact, many of which often prevent concepts from either never getting off the page or to take years to achieve, that is, if the originator does not give up in frustration or because economic desperation.

ART COUNCIL SOURCING BARRIERS

For the artistic project I created, an original school play I wrote, plus but will be directing and filming as part of promotional material for schools, as a film to sell to schools, and as one of the key tools in driving the global initiative, I can only apply for a grant if I am recognized as a professional in that field, but of course, if I was a professional in that field I may not even require the funding because I would be making money as said professional.

Also sad, but true is the reality writers who publish their own works are not considered professionals because their writing or ideas are not yet valued by someone else first in the same way we have been conditioned to believe that respecting–valuing someone is something a human life must earn whether through social status and/or achievement–is a disrespectful, prejudicial, limiting, and even harmful principle that inspired my development of the conflicting principle concept, plus created the books, products, services, and established the for-profit social business venture, Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle to change the consequences of the historical and present prejudicial belief.

GOVERNMENT SOURCING BARRIERS

Community, local, provincial, and federal organizations also have the limited boxes a person and a project must fit into before government sources will look at an application, let alone consider funding.

Other than having to already be established as a professional, such funding applications also  require a person to be affiliated with a university or a think tank.

Entrepreneurs, to be recognized as professionals, also often must have a proven track record of company sales or at least have a minimum of cash capital to qualify for funding. Since intellectual capital does not count in the eyes of many funders, entrepreneurs encounter the same dilemma new jobseekers encounter. How does one move to the next stage, securing funding or employment? And particularly with creative innovators, the other challenge is not being forced to sell or give away their rights for what they have created in order to secure the financial help they need, even if their venture creates jobs and adds to economic development.

NON-PROFIT SOURCING BARRIERS

Most non-profit organizations/foundations I have personally searched will not fund an organization that is not a not-for-profit organization, or if they do, the barriers are similar to the art council and government sourcing barriers exist.

PRIVATE SOURCING BARRIERS

Philanthropists, whether individuals, organizations, or foundations do give to causes and projects, but usually they are also expecting tax receipts from non-profits and often media coverage including, but not limited to advertising, though not necessarily at the same level sponsors expect for a financial contribution to a project or cause.

In contrast, altruists are the rare people, who do not expect a receipt or publicity, because what they give are true gifts, meaning they expect nothing in return, which is also the reason many altruists require their donations to be anonymous.

EMPLOYER and ACADEMIC RIGHTS

When working for someone else, whether a business or an education institution, we may not be aware or forget that the work we do for them legally falls under the auspice of their owning the results we generate during our time working for them. Yet it is also the responsibility of employees to not steal from those whom are being compensated by to work on their behalf. When an employee leaves, it is a common requirement for such people to sign a non-disclosure and non-competitive agreement to inhibit their creating competitive products for a given period of time.

Gratefully, this is not the case for my concept, thesis, and all related creations which were created not under the auspices of an employer or a university.

PROTECTING CREATIVE INNOVATORS RIGHTS

Unfortunately, not only does a creative innovator encounter many barriers to securing funding, especially grants, the other challenge frequently encountered is the compulsion other people have to take someone’s idea, without permission, to make it theirs; thereby stealing the creative innovator’s idea, plus the income from the stolen original work.

We know this is true because of what continues to happen as we have moved into the digital age. Piracy, the stealing of copyrighted creative work, became prolific as CDS and DVDs were copied and sold without permission. Of course, now the problem is much more wide spread, including the copying of computer games, software and hardware, plus our personal information and assets.

RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Several years ago when “Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle” was still in its infancy/development stage, a volunteer community leader asked me, “What if someone steals your idea?” At the time, I actually laughed and replied, “Because if they steal the concept of respect as a principle, that is proof that he or she does not understand the concept and therefore did not originate the idea.”

However, since then, people certainly have tried and succeeded, to a point.

Case #1

Several years ago, when I was still naive about copyright law, a proposal for a workshop based on my play, Charles Choice, motivated a few professionals to infringe on my copyright. A middle school and a high school contracted the workshop, which resulted in a friend with theatre experience, but without permission took over the project saying I did not have the qualifications, even though I wrote the play, recorded it in a studio, pitched the concept, and attracted the first interested parties.

The friend’s misdirection and rewriting of my work for the two workshops did not reflect my initial intent and message of the play, but then again, he was a very forceful, abusive, and controlling person who resented my creative talent, his lack of success, and disrespected me immensely, yet had no problem stealing my creative work for his own gain.

Struggling to recognize myself as a creative professional, as well as a person worthy of being treated respectfully, sharing a residence with an psychological, emotional abusive person constantly made me feel small and worthless because my experiences conditioned me to accept that was I all could expect because of my mistakes, even if my previous successes  were noted as above average for going above and beyond the call of duty. Venturing into the new territory of the creative arts and social entrepreneurship dedicated to addressing a social need meant I was in unfamiliar and increasingly unfriendly territory. As a result, I failed to stand up for myself and my rights when the school social worker stated she was excited to be taking my work on the road. I should have said you cannot do that because you did not buy the play, but only the workshop opportunity to help you present the play to your school, not to your school board. As a professional, I thought she would have known that doing what she planned to do would be taking advantage of an artist’s copyright. Nonetheless, her un-professionalism certainly motivated me to learn more about protecting my original work.

Case #2

In preparation for the career changes I was making to become a social business entrepreneur with innovative creative books, products, and services, I was fortunate for the opportunities to participate in self-employment programs, and even an angel investment contest, for which I had been accepted into the presentation preparatory workshop.

Still too naïve and trusting, months later I was shocked when a consultant, who had led one of the workshop series I participated in, until I dropped out of because of a move out of the area, contacted me months later, and without permission, sent me a message informing me he had created a business plan for my initiative. The very fact he did this compelled me without discussing the notion first resulted I my not even being able to consider his proposal because of how his presumptuous and invasion of privacy also demonstrating his low “Respect Level” for my original work and me.

In contrast, not wanting to infringe on another creative person’s rights, when I initially registered my innovative creative idea, first registered as the non-profit organization, It Is All About Respect Inc., I did my research and discovered a male American writer was using respect as a key element of his book. However, my research revealed his use of respect was significantly different in context and therefore was not a copyright infringement. His premise was that respect is something men need in relationships rather than my broader thesis that presents the idea of transforming respect to a principle versus the historical and present discretionary context as a value, unfortunately used to divide people by fostering prejudice and exclusivity.

Considering all these barriers, and even other barriers not mentioned here, it is no wonder many people give up, not only on their dreams, but also on who they really are and the unique value they can add to our world. As for me, at an early age, I was redirected to other paths people regarded as right for them or were socially acceptable, though not for me. Now, with a “Respect Level” high enough to overcome the barriers and challenges encountered, I choose to stand with those who believe, not only in the value of their work for themselves, but for the value their work adds to the lives of others and as a result, I forge on demonstrating to others who need role models to inspire them to believe that who they are matters regardless of their uniqueness, approved or not.

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President

of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020

January 18, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercy In Action: Coming Together To End Homelessness

So, the question is “When is everyone going to work together to solve this solvable problem?” rather than averting their eyes, walking around the people and skirting the issue of inhumane circumstances in our affluent western country? Our country (Canada) is dotted with empty buildings, including churches and schools, and houses that could be transformed if we all pitched in to help.

If I had the resources I would lead the task force in Canada to change what must be changed … because I know what it feels like and what it takes out of a person to be homeless, drifting, hoping for kindness, mercy … respect simply for being a life … even if a life that has lost its way or simply experienced so much hardship that living like this is all that is left of a person’s life.

https://torontolife.com/city/rents-high-shelters-full-8700-torontonians-homeless/?fbclid=IwAR2HJuPe6iWxmhTUkqEBBm4X_Xptcre0w7h8uq9gYOaLl4nyh033—Cxw0

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President

of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020

January 12, 2020

 

“The Ultra-Wealthy Who Argue That They Should Be Paying Higher Taxes”

“In the U.S., executive compensation has increased, on average, by nine hundred and forty per cent since 1978, according to one estimate; during the same period, worker pay has risen twelve per cent. Income inequality hasn’t been this extreme since the nineteen-twenties.”

Quote from the following linked article by Sheelah Kolhatkar for The New Yorker

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/01/06/the-ultra-wealthy-who-argue-that-they-should-be-paying-higher-taxes?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Shared by

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President

of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020

January 7, 2020