I have been so very blessed of late. I have had tremendous opportunities come my way. I have had really awesome readership growth. I have had excellent blog traffic. And, I have both an awesome kid and the Farmer’s Daughter by my side…
And yeah, I have my ups and downs, and I have my drama with family and friends from time to time, and there are bumps in the relationship road to deal with here and there, and I screw up as a parent sometimes, but… life is so good.
Anyway, enough about how awesome my life is. Something interesting happened over the past little while.
I launched a new membership program here on Single Dad Laughing. No biggie. It’s just an option for those who want an ad-free experience here and who want to support the site, but it’s not make or break for me as a blogger. Memberships are never going to be a major part of the business plan here. In fact, my goal is that for those who don’t want the benefits of ad-free browsing, they will never see much of a change at all.
But anyway, this isn’t a blog post about that, it’s about what setting that up and launching it has made me think so much about. I mean… the reason I finally made it an option is because I recently received news that they were making drastic changes to the way ads work (particularly for mobile viewers, but on the main site as well) that would potentially affect my income, and how much it would affect it is very much still unknown.
And… I am blessed enough to know that even if they take away 25% or quite possibly even more of my income with the new regulations, I am still going to be okay as a blogger. Like I said on the membership page, “’I’ll (with gratitude) make a buck or two off of your visits whether it’s ad-supported or membership supported. I’ll still be able to run my servers either way. I’ll still be able to put frozen casseroles into the oven at night. And I’ll still be able to take Delilah for a spin when I need to clear my head.”
In other words, I am blessed with far more than I need to survive at the moment, and that’s a blessing not everyone has. There are many bloggers who these changes will drastically affect. There are many who will see drops that do affect the food on their table or their ability to keep going the way they have. And while I do this blog as a business, and most of us do our blogs for businesses, I will never fail to appreciate that I am more blessed than most. I will never forget that it was large amounts of luck and good fortune that brought me here. I will also never forget that it really wasn’t all that long ago that I almost had to give this thing up because I was so far in the hole trying to get it going that keeping it going was not going to be a possibility.
And, I will never forget that it was all of your generosity that kept this alive and opened up the doors that made this thing actually work for me.
In my memoir that I recently finished writing (and which I now have decided that I will likely go the publishing route instead of self-publishing), I talk about that period of time in which I was poorer than I ever had been in my entire life.
I talk about a moment, in the midst of it all, when I couldn’t afford to run my air conditioner, and in the dead heat of summer I was lying on my tile kitchen floor trying to cool off. Depleted of energy, tired, worn out, barely able to continue functioning.
Things had gotten so bad financially that I literally didn’t know if I would be homeless the next day. I had lost all hope, whatsoever. I had sold almost everything I owned. I was not eating much of anything some days. And I had exhausted every avenue of trying to build this business and make at least some money from it (all of which fell through or failed) to the point that I didn’t know what else to do.
While lying on that tile floor, I fell asleep. I don’t know how long I was asleep for. Time was lost to me more often than not back then.
And then… SNAP! A mousetrap that had been set under the edge of the cabinets went off about eight feet from my face. I opened my eyes when I heard it, and I watched as a mouse flopped wildly back and forth, spasming in the trap. I just watched it, emotionless, and after it died I went back to sleep. I didn’t have the energy or the hope or the whatever to feel anything in that moment. I was belly-up broke, and nothing else mattered. It was an awful feeling. (And, believe it or not after reading those paragraphs, the memoir is actually ridiculous and funny, haha.)
It was shortly after that that I came to all of you and asked for a buck or two to keep the servers going. It was do or die time. I couldn’t keep putting my kid through such circumstances in the pursuit of a dream that wasn’t happening.
And you selflessly gave to the tune of a couple thousand dollars. And from there, everything started clicking into place. And immediately, like within a few days, things just started working, and I suddenly had a real income from ads and I’ve had an income ever since.
And now, a year and a half later, I am making more than I need to be comfortable, let alone survive. And I can’t help but think back to that moment when I had my face pressed to the cold tile watching that animal die in front of me, and feel that it’s time to give back to those who are at just such a point.
Because, you see, the industry is making changes that could really affect my income, and even if they do, I will still have enough. That is what I have been thinking so much about. I have been blessed beyond blessed.
And so, today I am going to give back.
I am going to personally give $100.00 to forty (40) of you parents who are belly-up broke.
And it’s all going to be on the honor system.
To 40 random people who meet the following requirements and fill out the form on the next page, I will send you (via PayPal) $100.00.
These are my requirements.
1) You must be a parent. This is important to me because it was the desperation I felt as a parent that finally made me get over my own pride enough to ask for what I needed not just for me, but for my child.
2) You must be belly-up broke. Not just poor. Not just not making enough money. Not just living paycheck to paycheck. I mean you must literally not know if you are going to be homeless tomorrow or not. I can tell you that there are few worse feelings than that, and I know how hopeless that feels. I also know what a difference even a few dollars makes to the situation.
3) You must promise to one day pay it forward. In your own way, whether with time, or talents, or service, or money.
I believe in the honesty of all of you. I believe that this money will all get to the right places. And I believe with a following the size that I have, there are more than enough people who need this $100 as much as I needed my miracle when I did.
That’s all. No strings attached. No jumping through hoops. Just a few extra bucks in your pocket while you figure things out.
I would be ungrateful for the miracle you all gave me so long ago if I didn’t.
Just know that this comes from a place of gratitude for how blessed I am at this point in my life. Nowhere else. It is coming straight from me, from my bank account. No sponsors. I’m not trying to sell you anything. I have no goal in this beyond giving back.
I love you all, and I’ll never forget what you did for me.
Simply fill out the form on page two and tell me that you fit the criteria, and that you need this.
Thank you for letting me finally pay it forward to all of you. I will leave this form open for at least a few days so that whoever really needs it will have time to find it.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. I’ve added the form on page two so that it doesn’t load for every single person who reads this. That would seriously bog down the server.
PPS. Please note that after I send the money, PayPal will have to pull the funds from my regular bank account which means it may take a few days to clear into yours. Also, please be aware that there will likely be more than 40 people who fill out the form. If that is the case, please know I wish I could send some to you all, and that filling out the form is (unfortunately) no guarantee that you will be a recipient.
FOLLOW UP NOTE: TUESDAY JUNE 04 10:10PM – due to an overwhelming response (of nearly 800 people hoping to be a recipient), I had to remove the form today.
Picking the recipients proved to be challenging. There were many fraudulent and repeated requests that I had to filter out (thank goodness for IP addresses), but there were still 500 or so people who are, right now, at that place I once was. Single moms and single dads. Parents who were still married or together and still struggling. Young people. Old people. Americans. Canadians. Europeans. Asians. Australians. There were those who came to where they were gradually and those who came hard and fast.
In the end, I could only give $100 to 40 people. I think that was the hardest part of all of this. I wanted to give it to all five hundred. But still, I am thankful for those people who I could pay it forward to.
I’ve included a list of recipients on the next page where the original form was. Seven or eight of the transactions are showing “unclaimed” in PayPal, so if your name is on the list and you don’t see it in your account, make sure you contact me.