After the death of Colorado Free University founder John Hand, his sister Helen stepped in determined to continue the program he had founded twenty-five years earlier. When I was there last weekend, I picked up their latest catalog and was intrigued by Helen’s essay. She wrote:
John Hand based the school on the principle that communities have within them the resources to solve their own problems. For every person with a problem or need, there is someone with a solution or an answer. CFU is the place where those people meet.
What Helen points out is that CFU is a business which created a habitat with a special purpose. She goes on to say, “Clearly, unemployment is a huge problem today. Being stuck in jobs that are not gratifying is also a problem for many people.
CFU’s Un-Job Fair is an opportunity for people with those issues to meet with real-world entrepreneurs who have ideas and solutions.”
While it could be argued that even the most ordinary of enterprises may involve designing a habitat to house it, (i.e. restaurants, gift shops, car dealerships), there are numerous unconventional businesses that don’t fit the old bricks-and-mortar model.
These businesses often come into being to serve a neglected or overlooked niche. Consider, for example, Sober Cruises.
As anyone who has tackled alcohol addiction learns, travel poses some special challenges since partying is closely associated with vacationing for many people. For the recovering alcoholic, determined not to relapse, travel may seem a thing of the past.
Enter Sober Cruises, a company offering travel experiences for those wanting to travel without jeopardizing their hard won sobriety. They’re not the only such company. One of the oldest companies in the business, Sober Vacations International, takes over an entire Club Med resort once a year.
One of the purposes of my business is to inspire people in beautiful places. Should you be attendiing the upcoming Inspired Livelihood seminar in Sedona, AZ, you’ll be entering a habitat with the specific purpose of doing just that.
Looking for ideas? Keep asking yourself, “Who’s got a problem I know how to solve?”
Begin answering that and you’ll discover endless possibilities for adding a habitat where people with a problem can connect with a solution.
If you’re in the Denver area, check out the new CFU catalog which announces our upcoming special event, The Un-Job Fair happening on May 1. (You can also find information at www.freeu.com by going to the Special Events page.) It will be a day of exploration and information on becoming your own boss. Would love to see you there.