Recently I was forced to stop work due to an injury caused by an un-extraordinary event which, while frustrating at the time, was a great opportunity to pause and reflect on where I’m at and what I have achieved, combining paid work while starting a social enterprise over the last year and a bit. The loss of my dominant thumb due to a fracture which required surgery resulting in protruding wires, turning my thumb into some sort of aerial, has made me stop, rest and think. While frustrated that many things came to a standstill while I couldn’t lift things, it was a great opportunity to contemplate what’s next. I pondered whether it is still worth kicking on when there are so many challenges during the start up phase of a social enterprise, especially doing it on your own.
The interesting thing was that the fall happened on the way home from the SA Office of Sport and Recreation and Racing’s community consultation on their new strategic directions. I was really happy to wave the Play it On flag as we both have the same goal to increase the sports participation of kids.
One of the recurring themes of the discussion raised by those in attendance that night was that fees for kids sports are a real challenge for many struggling families and it’s only getting harder as economic times get tougher. While it was reassuring for me to hear it again and a great reminder of why I started Play it On, it really reminded me of how I must keep driving this forward in order to get more kids onto the ground/court/field etc.
This pause also coincided with the end of our first year of official business and what a lot of fun we have had learning about just how many people feel the same and are willing to support Play it On, including volunteers and people organising donation drives at their clubs, schools and businesses. There were also many lessons learnt along the way as most start-ups find. The most useful lesson I learnt is that it pays to work with people who are experts in an area rather than try to be one yourself across everything!
This was apparent when I sold a donated cricket bat one day at the markets for $15, to later find out from a customer whose conscience had got the better of him. He came back and told me he saw a similar bat sold on Gumtree for $250 a couple of days ago!
So this brings me to the point that I am now recruiting for a Business Partner, a special collaborator to help build this up and take it to the next level. Someone willing to put in the hard yards voluntarily until we open our first bricks n mortar shop and it grows enough to financially support the role and others as we expand across the metro area.
You might be semi-retired with a successful corporate background, passion for sport and looking to fulfil a purpose in helping kids doing it tough to get the opportunity to play the sport of choice…
You may be a retired elite athlete looking for something meaningful to grow with and have a positive impact on both the environment and others.
A lot of the business planning, prototyping and modelling has been done. While this is a social enterprise it is loosely based on a commercial franchise in the US and Canada with over 300 stores! I’ve done the research and believe Australia is ready for this!
We’ve teamed up with Spare-time to help recruit this role and a few others so check out the ads and contact details. We are hoping to find the right champions to kick some goals and get this off the ground!
Here’s to seeing you on the field!