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January 31, 2022: Little Amazon Rides Again

I call myself Little Amazon, and I liken myself to Jeff Bezos, who is Big Amazon. He started an online bookstore and turned it into a corporate empire. I remember visiting Pete’s brother Chris, who then lived on the outskirts of Seattle, WA. We walked over to the building that housed the bookstore and looked in the window. It was a Sunday. Workers were stocking books, lots of books. Pete asked me if I’d like to live in that area and work for Amazon. I said no because then, this was the mid-1990s, I envisioned myself getting a job teaching creative nonfiction writing at some high-powered university.

I had no regrets. This just wasn’t the direction I wanted to go.

Bookcase for Dorothy's house: bone maple white with a light tan of shellac

I am now sort of following in Big Amazon’s footsteps. Sort of. I have large feet, but my stride is much shorter, on account of the fact that I lack height. However, like Bezos, I do have plenty of ambition.

I didn’t give it much thought initially. I started the book project thinking that books should be free. If someone with business savvy had intervened, I suppose I might have taken the initiative and started a bookstore.

I instead have continued as I started, getting books into the hands of appreciative readers at no cost to them.

My success thus far has partially been due to blind luck. I did not then know what a nonprofit entity was, nor did I know that if you are a nonprofit entity that you can get grants, and with grants you can pay your bills and whatnot. The whatnot, this is where the monetary rubber hits the road. Whatnot, bookcases and mileage, and the like. No, I didn’t know about any of these things. The fact that VCRS (the local recycling center) is a nonprofit entity meant nothing to me.

I learned about this early on, and we got a small grant from the Mat-Su Health Foundation. This paid for our early, operating whatnot.

I also had no idea as to the fact that nonprofits have boards, and board meetings.

All this was the gorilla in the room.

We’ve got bookcases all around Palmer. And books are going to villages. And today we had our first board meeting. We did this via Zoom, rather than in person. Zoom is okay if you have brushed your hair and teeth. You can mute the video as they say. It does not matter if you, like us, don’t currently have hot water because no one can tell that you have not bathed in several days.

It was a good meeting. All involved (except for me) had plenty of previous board/meeting experience. I ended up (for now) just being a board member, which is fine with me. We approved bylaws, elected officers, and prepared to set up a bank account. Motions were passed.

I suspect that Jeff Bezos had the wither all needed to carry out his corporate vision. The question is, do I have the whatnot needed to carry out my nonprofit vision?

I think what’s holding me back is that I am equating myself with the term nonprofit. It does not mean the one in charge isn’t generating an income.

Enough said. For now.

Next: 32. 2/1/22: Tick, tick, tick

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