We were the largest and longest running group for Social Entrepreneurs in the Northwest with over 1,500 members. The pandemic ended seven years of fun when our facility host (Hatch Innovation) closed its doors. I tried to keep it going via Zoom, but virtual reality was a pale replacement for in-person activities.
In case you were wondering, a Social Entrepreneur is someone who is driven by a passion to make life better for others by starting a venture (for-profit, nonprofit, or hybrid) that measures success both by traditional financial metrics and the social or environmental impact the venture actually brings to some segment of our society.
The purpose of this group was to support anyone with the goal of creating, growing or working for a social enterprise. We primarily did this by holding fun, interactive events where we broke into small groups of three and followed a fast-paced but effective process which allowed everyone to really get to know at least eight to ten of the attendees over a period of two hours.
One thing we always needed was an online database for members to find each other. I built the database during the pandemic. I did not load any member info into it. Instead, I decided to offer it online for free to anyone who wishes to find and connect with others with similar interests or to offer their services. If you would like to search the directory or add yourself, just click the link in the menu “Register for Member Directory,” and register.
Personally, I have been a serial entrepreneur since I was a kid, my business ventures were:
Truetronics: Electronics Service Center
Abaris Systems: Electronics Service Center and Two-way Radio Distributor.
Clark County Computers: Computer Services
ThePortalUSA.org: Multisite online platform to allow content creators to manage domains based on their topics of interest and share in the revenue.
Service Store USA: Online platform allowing users to offer their services. We actually worked directly with engineers from Amazon to develop their payment system API on Sellers Central using our site as
Make America Plaid Again: Online platform that sold our trademarked hat for the purpose of educating folks on how corruption and propaganda has destroyed both the red and the blue political party’s ability to represent average working families. In 2010, The Supreme Court allowed the extremely wealthy and their deceptively named entity named “Citizens United” unleash unlimited amounts of dark money into the political process by agreeing that money is free speech and corporations are citizens. We all see what has happened ever since. The Republican Party has become a magnet for extremists, election deniers, and conspiracy theorists and the Democratic party now include many who are clearly working for the same deep pockets as the Republican’s; therefore, no bill of any value to working people ever gets passed. The site allowed buyers to choose any of ten nonprofit organizations where I would donate half of the profits.
It’s been a long fun ride with many ups and downs. I hired over 200 subcontractors and by having a very clear and partner friendly agreement, I had no issues with any of them except the one who sold himself as a “rockstar” at the code I needed him to write.
I made money in my early years and sold off my first businesses to larger players, but I chose to build my online platforms in rapidly changing open-source content management system which proved to be far more complicated than I ever dreamed. Then I tried Shopify and it is locked down tightly and doing things that are truly needed for custom operations require thousands per month in fees. I had it all working, but the fees exceeded my profits and marketing a concept and a lone hat is a major investment. The best avenue will be to attend live events which wasn’t an option during the pandemic.
Make America Plaid Again is still alive on life support as a simple page on Etsy now. I need to get back to some version of this business during this critically important election year. If you are sick of the phony red versus blue fight and realize it’s just another form of entertainment and distraction for the masses and you want to see actual changes in our society that benefit the working, the middle class and the poor, buy our hat and wear it proudly. Make America Plaid Again
My currently up and running business is Medicare Self Help. I helped my wife choose a Medicare plan and learned that the last thing Medicare wants you to know is that private industry is rapidly replacing Medicare. Now over 50% of all seniors on Medicare are on the deceptively named private insurance alternative called Medicare Advantage. I became a licensed insurance agent and then learned the entire process is rigged to ensure a few major corporations capture nearly all of the Medicare insurance business and the certification you are forced to pass every year completely leaves out the disadvantages of Medicare Advantage, thus most agents cluelessly sell it for a decent commission and never realize the trap they just left their uninformed client sitting in. I have decided to drop selling Medicare Advantage and will write a short book: The hidden trap of Medicare Advantage Plans. Everyone in America, old or young should understand how private industry manipulates (actually forces) our government regulators into accepting biased and deceptive information under the guise of well-intended consumer information. To learn more, watch my videos at Medicare Self Help