If cash is king, having a mission is queen

By: Eli Crane

Bottle Breacher donates 100% of all profits from sales back to Wishes for Warriors.

Bottle Breacher donates 100% of all profits from sales back to Wishes for Warriors.

TUCSON, Ariz. – As an entrepreneur you constantly hear from advisers, investors and other business experts, the bullet proof rule that, “cash is king.” For those of us who have taken the road less traveled and started our own business with visions of creating something magnificent, building wealth, providing for others, or all of the above, we have learned how important this one rule is. Let’s face it, hugs and good intentions are not going to keep the lights on or keep our staff employed. In addition, I am learning how important it is to also have a mission outside of making money, maintaining a healthy bottom line and being able to report large growth and profits to my partners as my business is quickly growing and transitioning from a start-up into an adolescent small business.

When I say mission, I mean using your resources and platform to do good and bless others. This might mean supporting veterans, sheltering the homeless or planting trees. Your mission is up to you. Like most entrepreneurs in the earlier stages of building a business, you find yourself wearing hats that you don’t have any business wearing. You try to build a better team on peanuts and should be awarded an honorary position at the local fire house for the daily fires you are putting out back at the office. It can be exhausting and very stressful.

angelhouse Grace and Lace

Rick and Melissa from Grace & Lace visiting Angel House. They donate a portion of every sale to help build orphanages in India.

Many of us have found ourselves looking into the mirror asking ourselves “what are you doing?” reminiscing about the good old days when we would clock in at 9 a.m. and roll out a hair before 5 p.m., leaving work and all of our professional worries behind. I have found one of the best therapies, and ways I combat this, is trying to focus less on my worries, responsibilities and burdens and focus more on how many people we are able to come along side and help out. It really has given me the extra motivation and passion to take on this next phase of business and deal with the new fires and complications. As strong as our desires are to take care of our families, get featured in Forbes magazine, or live in that mansion on the hill, sometimes these desires and business goals aren’t enough to keep us battling day-after-day with extremely poor odds of “making it.”

You might be thinking, “We don’t have a mission, how do we start?” The vehicle you use to get there isn’t as important as making up your mind that you’re going to start the journey.  You just have to be creative and think outside of the box. A business owner may say, “We can barely make ends meet now, how can we possible give anything away, or help anyone else out.” Call it Karma, or what comes around goes around. You’ll be surprised to see with your own two eyes how this works.

Three troops overseas enjoying world class cupcakes from Wicked Good Cupcakes.

Three troops overseas enjoying world class cupcakes from Wicked Good Cupcakes.

Our friends at Wicked Good Cupcakes take their product and send their world famous jars of cupcakes overseas to deployed service members during the holidays. Additionally, our friends at Grace and Lace take a portion of every sale and use it to build orphanages for children in India.

You would be surprised at how much additional pride your team will take in their work when they know they are directly involved in something bigger than themselves. Their job is no longer only about making a pay check, but also about making a positive impact for others. Having a solid mission may also bring you so much positive exposure that it might be that one thing to differentiate you from your competitors and land you more sustaining business.

With all the benefits there are to giving back and having a mission dedicated to something much bigger than making cash, sometimes I don’t know how businesses survive without one.  If you are doing it now, thank you.  If you are not, it is never too late, and remember, we only go around once.  Life is too short to be wasted on pursuits, which won’t bring you any real fulfillment.  In the world of business, cash will always be king, but take it from me, you will be blown away and extremely blessed if you make a good mission your queen.

Safety Harbor SongFest to bring music playshop to Seminole Elementary, need public’s help

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. – For the third year, the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center (SHAMc) will host the Safety Harbor Song Fest on April 2-3, 2016 and are scheduled to bring in Joe Craven, a musician and educator, to put on a local music playshop.

The only thing stopping them from bringing this program to Seminole Elementary, is funding. A GoFundMe page has been launched to allow people to make donations online to help pay for Craven’s music improvisation playshop.

Any additional funds raised will go toward future programs at SHAMc and to Instruments of Change, a non-profit that provides mentorship and access to instruments to economically disadvantaged music students in elementary and middle school.

In addition to funding the construction of the center, the non-profit’s goals include providing art and music outreach programs to the Tampa Bay region. Sometimes those goals exceed the group’s budget.

“We recently met with Glen from Instruments of Change and spoke to him about looking for ways we could work together,” said festival organizer, Todd Ramquist.

They found a great opportunity to partner with Instruments of Change by bringing Joe Craven to one of their music classes at Seminole Elementary to teach the kids about music improvisation.

“You don’t work music, you play it,” explains Joe Craven, music educator and musician. Hence the name he gives to his sessions, playshops.

At Seminole Elementary the playshop will focus on how to improvise with music. Learning music is traditionally taught by repetition and stresses accuracy. Craven helps students become more open to the spur of the moment. “Instead of preparing for outcomes, let’s learn how to spend time preparing for what may come,” is Joe’s motto.

“We really wanted to broaden SongFest’s impact on the community. By providing an opportunity like this to a group of kids who would never have the chance to experience it otherwise, we feel like we are fulfilling a big part of our mission,” added festival organizer Kiaralinda (no last name).

This year, SongFest’s confirmed lineup includes national recording artists Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, Otis Taylor, Shawn Mullins, Love & Theft, Ben Sollee, Matt the Electrician, Daphne Willis, Chris Gelbuda, Joe Craven, Billy Strings, SHEL, Anne Harris, The Vespers, The Shook Twins, HONEYHONEY, Dan Rodriguez, David Jacobs-Strain, Tall Heights, The Mastersons, and more musicians to be announced that pull from a wide range of influences, including blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, pop, world beat and more.

Donations are being accepted at www.gofundme.com/hyp43yj8.

Performances will be enjoyed at two stage areas on both days, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Musicians will also perform at local venues in downtown Safety Harbor throughout the weekend. Tickets can be purchased directly from www.safetyharborsongfest.com.

Event sponsorships are still available and will directly go towards funding the festival.  For more information on Safety Harbor SongFest and Safety Harbor Art and Music Center please visit www.safetyharborartandmusiccenter.com.

About Safety Harbor Music and Art Center and Safety Harbor Song Fest
SHAMc is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote education in the fine art, visual arts, and performing arts. Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda (no last name) wanted to create a community arts center for many years. SHAMc is currently under construction in downtown Safety Harbor and is quickly becoming a landmark. Founders Ramquist and Kiaralinda are both local artists who are globally renowned for their art house, Whimzeyland.

Navy SEAL vetrepreneur gives back to special ops charity

TUCSON, Ariz. – Bottle Breacher, a veteran-owned and operated manufacturer of custom beverage openers from ammunition rounds, announced their new partnership with the Eagle Fund program on Wednesday.

The Eagle Fund is a non-profit organization that supports active duty, wounded or retired members of the special operations community. Since 2010, the Eagle Fund has provided 607 special operations men and women with physical therapy, performance training, nutritional support and massage therapy.Breacher2

The owners of Bottle Breacher, Eli and Jen Crane, were eager to help after learning about the charity in December. As a result, they will offer a special Eagle Fund branded Bottle Breacher and will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the program.

“Giving back is a large part of what we believe in here at Bottle Breacher,” said Eli Crane. “In our veteran community, it is very important that we do what we can to ensure each veteran has the support they need and the Eagle Fund is great chance for us to give back to the special operations community.”

Additionally, each service member who goes through the Eagle Fund program will receive a personalized Bottle Breacher at no cost.

“It was our vision to give them something tangible, something to show our gratitude to them for defending our country, to show them how thankful we are to be able to serve them and that’s where Eli made that vision a reality through Bottle Breacher,” said RJ Kasper, coordinator for the Eagle Fund. “When we get a package that says Bottle Breacher on the label, I am excited because it has quickly become the best day of the week.”

Eagle Fund Bottle Breachers are now available now through http://bottlebreacher.com/eagle-fund-bottle-breacher-with-gift-box. To donate directly to Eagle Fund visit their website at www.theeaglefund.org.

The Eagle Fund is a restricted fund established in AREF, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations made to the Eagle Fund are restricted to support wounded and injured members of the Special Operations community and will be used to directly support our active duty service men and women.

About Bottle Breacher
Based in Tucson, Arizona, Bottle Breacher is a veteran-owned company providing hand crafted 50 Caliber bottle openers made by active duty service members and veterans. The staff at Bottle Breacher previously used 50-Caliber ammunition to defend their country while down range, and now they use them to provide the best man gifts, groomsmen gifts, and promotional products on the market. Open your next cold one in style.

About Eagle Fund

The Eagle Fund is a program developed as a partnership with the Andrews Research & Education Foundation (AREF) and EXOS, world leaders in sports medicine and human performance. This program exists for the purpose of supporting active duty wounded or injured members of the Special Operations community. We provide our participants with physical therapy, performance training, nutritional support, and massage therapy.


Dimmitt dealerships raise over $10k for Red Kettle drive

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Dimmitt Chevrolet and Dimmitt Cadillac spent a combined 25 hours ringing the bell for the Salvation Army during their annual Red Kettle drive and from Dec. 23-24, which raised $3,408.76.

In addition to the money collected at the red kettles, the Dimmitt families and an anonymous donor both pledged to match all donations collected during these hours. As a result, a total of $10,226.28 has been donated to the Salvation Army.

“I am so proud of everyone from both dealerships who took the time out of their holidays to make this donation possible,” said Lawrence Dimmitt IV, owner of Dimmitt Chevrolet. “The Salvation Army is a great organization and it is exciting anytime we can step in and help a wonderful cause.”

Dimmitt Logo

Dimmitt Chevrolet and Dimmitt Cadillac raised money for the Salvation Army donation drive as part of a friendly competition between the two dealerships. Dimmitt Chevrolet came in first by raising an amount of $1,821.69, followed closely by Dimmitt Cadillac with an amount of $1,587.07.

About Dimmitt Chevrolet:

Dimmitt Chevrolet was established in Clearwater, Florida in 1924 and employs more than 110 people. The car dealership was selected as the best auto dealership for 2015 by Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay. Dimmitt Chevrolet was also named one of Tampa Bay’s top 100 places to work by the Tampa Bay Times in 2015.

About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Approximately 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). For more information, go to salvationarmyusa.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.