Mark Boyle is a crazy Irishman. He decided that, starting on “Buy Nothing Day” in 2009, he would live without money for a year. He wrote a book about his experience titled “Freeconomy” and a great blog site called www.justfortheloveofit.org. Yeah OK, living without money is a pretty radical idea, but Mark invested himself heavily, painfully, wholeheartedly to his cause. He is totally inspiring as far as that’s concerned.
The idea of living on less money has always appealed to me – probably put there by my father – watching him grow his own rhubarb, plums, raspberries and veggies. I’m doing the same, and generating 10Kw of solar off my roof. Solar hot water, power, rain water… but not quite “off the grid” – actually not by a long shot. But having an abundance of produce gives me the opportunity of being generous. Jams, chutney, berries… but we are actually the recipients of generosity too.
Our neighbour has chickens. He begged for bread (Oh OK maybe not begged, he just asked the manager) and got an abundant offering from local donors. Once a week he comes over with a big bag of bread for us – left overs of the left overs. But it’s great bread. Usually.
It’s a far cry from the dumpster diving Mark Boyle describes in his book, but its a really amazing idea. I’ve noticed that many of our super stores, and our large supermarkets “have to” throw out perfectly good food. Legally mandated “used by” dates were there to stop unscrupulous local retailers. But the big boys throw out tonnes of stuff because their marketing cycle requires them to upgrade. What’s up with that?
Mark is setting an example, he is getting outcomes I think I want. He inspires me to go ask for food – for others. They do that at the soup kitchen – go ask Woolworths and Coles for left overs – and there’s plenty. The Salvation Army do it too. In terms of coaching, I can model myself on Mark to come extent. I can read his book, his blog and copy his example. You know that works for almost everything. When someone is getting outcomes you want, ask the how they did it, then follow their lead. They are probably being someone, doing something, believing certain things you don’t.