Pogo the possum was the star of his own comic strip. He is best known for the line . . .
"We have met the enemy, and he is us."
In August, I wrote Dispatches based on some of Pogo's witty insights, and proposed a three part challenge to Prove Pogo Wrong. I promised to meet those three challeneges myself, to lead by example. And so did these DC Downsizers, who gave us their permission to use their names . . .
Sandra C Pierre, Jeff Jahn, David Field, Judith Kitchen, Ryan Tew, Peter denDulk, Roman Sovkoplas, Randy Norton, Lizbeth Webster, Terry Kinder, Katie Hackett, Alan Weaver, Erik Bottomley, Peter Cappello, Paul Blackwell, Sandra Short, Allen Bohart, Virginia Schilling
In this message I'm going to tell you how I did with each of the three challenges.
CHALLENGE #1: Send at least two messages to Congress EACH week.
You might think the President of Downsize DC wouldn't have to make an extra effort to do this one, but the fact is that I get busy too, just like you do, and sometimes I've failed to send letters to Congress on our actions items. Sometimes this has happened because I've been busy writing or editing the next action item!
But I've done much better since I made my pledge to send at least two letters to Congress each week.
I feel good when I send a message. I know my letters are unlikely to be read by my elected representatives, but I know that they're at least counted, and reported up the chain of command.
MOST IMPORTANTLY! -- It feels good to register my position with my elected representatives, so they won't take my consent for granted.
I urge you to think of this activity in the same way, and commit to yourself to make it a regular part of your weekly routine. I'm doing it. I hope you will too.
CHALLENGE #2: I was supposed to make a list of at least six people I could personally ask to join Downsize DC. I did it. Here's my list . . .
1. Chip M.
2. Dave D.
3. Dave F.
4. George S.
5. Mark F.
6. Sean S.
I was worried about this list. I wasn't sure I could think of six good prospects. After all, I work for Downsize DC, so my family and many of my friends are already members. Could I really think of more people to recruit? It turns out I could. And, I've begun making my personal appeals. In fact . . .
I asked Sean S., in person, if he wanted to subscribe. And he did! In fact, he said he'd been meaning to get around to it. As a result, he's getting this very Dispatch!
That's how EASY it was.
You CAN DO the same thing. Here's how . . .
Let's say you ask a friend if he wants a subscription to the Downsizer-Dispatch. You can subscribe him using the form on the website. But first, tell your friend . . .
"The Downsizer-Dispatch doesn't want anyone to be spammed. So you're going to get an email to 'confirm' you want the subscription. I need you to open that email and click the link in there. Otherwise, you won't get your subscription. Will you do that?"
If you ASK for that commitment, your friend will very likely follow-through.
CHALLENGE #3: Start a monthly pledge, or consider increasing my monthly pledge by at least $1. If we averaged a dollar per subscriber, each month, our annual income would increase by almost $150,000. If ANYTHING IS NEEDED FOR GROWTH, it's finances.
I did this too. And so did all the people listed above. If you will join us in doing this then every $1 you pledge will be matched by $2 from Bill Haynes of CMI Gold & Silver.
He's putting up $5,000, from now until December 31, with the goal of raising $2,500 in NEW monthly PLEDGES. That could be worth $30,000 extra dollars for the DownsizeDC.org mission in 2012!
Our average monthly pledge is $14. To get to $2,500, and claim all of Mr. Haynes' money, we only need 179 new pledgers, at that rate. Right now, a little over 500 people pledge each month. Yet with 31,100+ subscribers, that should be challenging, but doable.
Of course, even larger pledges would require fewer people and help accomplish the goal faster. We have pledgers who give $25, $50, $76, $100, and even one who gives $250 every month. At $35 per month, we'd only need 72 new pledgers to claim all of Mr. Haynes' matching fund.
Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,