But for now, the creativity is just bubbling around here. I've been trying to think about ways that I can take what I love to do, and blend that with what the agencies around me need and with my own personal priorities. Any ideas are welcomed! I've been cold-calling agencies and school district people and making a pitch about working together in some way, throwing ideas out there to the wind to see if there are any bites! So far there has been lots of enthusiasm and 'atta girl' talk, which is fun and encouraging.
A little while ago I added workshops to 'what we do', as I really love working with people in a learning environment. I do like sharing ideas, but what I really love is seeing the light go on for other people and seeing them come up with their own ideas to tie in with their current values and beliefs. I'd love to do some of that, and can think of some great speakers around here I'd love to partner up with, but that isn't really a 'steady income' sort of gig usually, so I'm going to just float it out there and see where that goes.
Then today, a ball got rolling in my head, and just couldn't stop! I was thinking about the preschools I know around here, and one of the most engaging things they have going on is the beloved Mr.Plait. He's a music guy and comes in monthly to do a little music session with the kids. My son thinks Mr.Plait might want to come to his birthday party and see his stuffies, that's how much he loves Mr. Plait. :) And it's more complex than most people realize - he is teaching some really great concepts to the kids and the staff while he's there in my opinion, in the context of being super-duper silly. It got me thinking about how I'd love an effective way to reach out to the kids as a group about language ideas, and model to the teachers different ways to read books - partly to build literacy in the little ones, but mostly to build language skills in the kids and capacity in the staff for integrating language therapy ideas to the play and centres and activities. I could offer a monthly session that lasted throughout the school year, and come in and read to the kids on a different learning theme each month - social skills, numeracy, prepositions (under, beside, over, etc., in case you needed a brush-up on grammar, ha!). I've heard that I'm good at reading books - all I know is that my kids love it, and I love it! I could leave some ideas for the preschool to integrate the book ideas in their centres after I leave, and send home a nice handout to the families about ways to keep those ideas building at home. Then I thought about a persona and how maybe I could be the Word Lady. Is that crazy? Ha, yes a little! But it might be fun! My mom suggested maybe I could get an oil company to sponsor the program and give the kids a copy of the book to take home each month, wouldn't that be cool?! Maybe another idea to float out there and see where it goes.
I've also been thinking about where to make the biggest difference in my community within my strengths and abilities, and was thinking about some agencies that provide free services for families with little ones and have worked really hard to be accessible and open and helpful. So I'd love to be able to do some free work there too, volunteering with baby-and-me classes or something like that, and being able to provide some support to someone who might never be able to pay for private therapy.
Most people ask me for a poster or brochure when I call them, so I need to get some sort of deliverable ready and take them around. I'm not a fan of brochures, I know it's weird. I don't like the folding, flipping thing and the long narrow columns...they just bug me. So maybe I'll make a poster and a postcard/bookmark or something? Any other cool ideas you've seen? Maybe something quasi-useful while still having some advertising and useful info on it. And cheap, I'm cheap, so that takes out free playdoh in a can or something. Hmm, I'll have to think on that.
I'm starting to get the idea about why people are so happy for me when I tell them I'm starting a business...they talk to me like they did back when I was expecting my babies! They must know what I didn't know...that this is a whole lot of fun! Thanks for sharing the journey with me...would love to hear ideas or needs that you know about!