Please give me a second chance

Dan MillerBusiness Start-Up, Coaching, Entrepreneur18 Comments

I saw this post over the weekend – Denver Coffee Shop Hires Homeless Youth, Gives Them Second Chance ‘No One Else Would’.    Yep, the Purple Door coffee shop takes in homeless teens and young adults three at a time and provides them with a job for one year.  They have a 52-week training program that teaches a diversity of skills, including financial budgets and projections, while interacting with mentors and encouraging customers. Even the name has a focused meaning.  “Our name comes from the fact that historically the color purple is the color of royalty, and we truly believe … Read More

I don’t beg…..

Dan MillerBusiness Start-Up, No More Mondays, Wisdom meets Passion16 Comments

Joanne and I were in Chicago last week for our annual pre-Christmas excursion.  The weather was bitter cold and the streets were bustling with the usual shoppers.  And as usual, the sidewalks had all too many people with quickly constructed cardboard signs who were hoping to capture the sympathy of passing shoppers. We saw tons of the normal “Homeless Please Help” signs.  But one sign grabbed my attention as being much more creative.  That’s me in the picture with the young guy whose sign said: “I don’t beg.  I tell jokes for $.25.”   Even when life is hard we … Read More

Arrested for giving free hugs

Dan MillerWisdom meets Passion4 Comments

Well this time of year seems to bring out the best and the worst in people.  But getting punished for doing good – that seems difficult to comprehend.  Here are some notes from just this week. A man in Minnesota quickly became the most popular Black Friday shopper at the Mall of America after he began showering cash down on unsuspecting shoppers from the upper level of the mall.  The 27-yr-old guy dropped $1000 in $1.00 bills as the mall choir sang “Let it Snow.”  He said he just wanted to spread some holiday cheer, as he had had a … Read More

Homeless but Classy

Dan MillerFinancial Freedom, Finding Passion, Personal Development9 Comments

Boston artist Kenji Kayayama has started creating high-quality, hand painted signs to replace makeshift cardboard posters typically used by homeless people.  Their original art is used and they are given an opportunity to tell their story.   It seems many of the homeless are trying to find their voice as much as they are trying to solicit for money. Can you imagine the frustration in being homeless?  Not only is there the need to find food and a place to sleep but it often is the ultimate in feeling like a failure. What do you think is the most helpful … Read More

Opportunities – not Handouts

Dan MillerBusiness Start-Up, Personal Development13 Comments

Several years ago Joanne and I were walking down the sidewalk to a restaurant in Atlanta, GA.  A street vendor approached us with a newspaper “for sale.”  I gave him $2.00 and we continued down the sidewalk.  I laughed when in the next block we saw a dispensing box with the same paper – free for the taking.  But I admired the salesman for creating a little business nonetheless. Now in Nashville there is a similar legitimate program.  Homeless people are given 15 copies of The Contributor at no charge.  They can sell those for $1.00 each and then return … Read More

Homeless Man returns to “Theatre of the Mind”

Dan MillerFinding Passion, No More Mondays22 Comments

Now here’s a story that is inspiring on several levels.  A homeless guy beside an interstate ramp in Columbus, Ohio has a great voice.  A regular traveler shot a short video displaying the homeless guy’s golden radio voice.  The video goes viral – over 11 million views in the last two days – and the guy gets tons of job offers. The Cleveland Cavaliers offered him a full-time job and a house.  Alcohol and drugs derailed him from any career but he says he’s been clean for 2.5 years now.  People are likening him to the discovery of Susan Boyle … Read More

When you have nothing….

Dan MillerHomepage, Personal Development14 Comments

Joanne and I were in Chicago last week for our annual pre-Christmas excursion.  The weather was bitter cold and the streets were bustling with the usual shoppers.  And as usual, the sidewalks had all too many people with quickly constructed cardboard signs who were hoping to capture the sympathy of passing shoppers. I saw one sign that said: Lost my Job Lost my Home Lost my Hope Please Help What’s the next step?  Is this really an inevitable sequence?  I was reading this morning about the inventions that are coming out of the slums of Nairobi, Kenya.  The tagline on … Read More

Homeless yes – stupid no

Dan MillerBusiness Start-Up, No More Mondays46 Comments

I’ve been chuckling about this story for a couple of days now.   Still not sure quite how to frame it. Last weekend a 29-yr-old homeless guy in Penryn, CA broke into a bar that had gone out of business.  He bought a six-pack of beer across the street, got into the vacant bar, put up an “Open” sign and began serving customers.  With that initial six-pack income being reinvested he was open for four days before the police got wind of what was happening. But at that point he had over $1300 in cash and merchandise. Placer County sheriffs arrested … Read More

Healthy, Homeless and Happy

Dan MillerUncategorized22 Comments

Can these three terms really go together?  Saturday night Joanne and I went to a party for a local non-profit organization.  As part of their work some of the volunteers often take food to the homeless here in Nashville.  One of the gentlemen they see there just looked the part of a Santa Claus.  While he has never dressed up or grown a beard to look like Santa, his daily presentation made him a natural choice.  He resisted when first asked but then relented under the charms of the ladies serving him food.  I took advantage of a lull in … Read More