Last Saturday, I attended The Day of Foster.ly - an all day expo designed for metro DC area entrepreneurs.
The organizers said the event was open to everyone, but most of the attendees were software developers, founders of tech start ups or aspiring founders of tech start ups.
Despite the fact that I was the only personal finance blogger present, I learned a lot, had a great time and met some pretty interesting people.
Since I wasn’t there to pitch any products or seduce an unsuspecting developer into cofounding the next Mint.com with me, my job was simple:
1. Look presentable.
The night before, my tresses were washed, conditioned, and styled. (OMG. You should’ve seen my hair the day prior to the event. It was so nasty.)
2. Engage others.
For someone who doesn’t like people all that much, I’m quite personable. I don’t have a problem talking to strangers, so there was nothing for me to do here except show up.
3. Have my business cards ready in case anyone asked.
Now we’ve got problems.
Business cards? I had them. But I began to realize the Ziploc bag I used to store my business cards was a wholly unacceptable solution for a professional of my caliber.
On the morning of The Day of Foster.ly, I drove to Staples in search of a business card holder. For some reason, I envisioned a sexy, sleek, stainless steel case that I’d whip out whenever I heard the question, “Do you have a business card?”
Well, Staples didn’t have that. What they had was a black, faux leather contraption that resembled a man’s wallet. Uh, no thanksss.
So what was my solution?
I simply put my business cards in a pocket on the side of my bag. There, they were easily accessible and safe from the other crap jostling around in my purse. That’s it. I saved enough cash to buy two glasses of wine and leave the bartender a tip.
Why didn’t I think of this option before? It worked. And I’m pretty sure no one noticed which hat I pulled my business cards out of.
If I paid more attention to the non-monetary alternatives, I would’ve remembered I left TWO business card holders in an old purse. Both are sitting in my closet as we speak. There’s also a pocket in my laptop case that I could’ve used.
This got me to thinking. What would you do to solve a problem if money couldn’t fix it?
I didn’t have the time or the desire to go hunting for a business card holder. My energy was better spent networking with like minded entrepreneurs. So I went for the free and quick fix.
How much money would you save if you simply asked yourself, “If I can’t purchase the item I want, what will I do next?”