Apologies if this is a negative blog, it probably is but I feel slightly like I'm drowning a little. The Hippo name is becoming quite well known in our little circle which is great, but we didn't really think through the business model in terms of a community business and I'm starting to struggle to hold all the strands together. As a start up there are 500 things going on at once and all happening in my head alone which is confusing me let alone those around me!
For instance, if you sell with us why on earth should you then give your time and money to essentially help us have a living? No-one in their right mind would do that, especially if ultimately it's what you want to be doing yourself. You're stuck in a 9-5 while I appear to be swanning around meeting lovely new people and having cups of tea and biccies with groups that I find, and then I have the audacity to say please help me? Not on your nelly is the gut reaction - and think it would be mine too!!!
So, we are going to have to have a re-think about the structure of Little Hippo. Because as a community worker at heart I think what's happened is I assume that everyone understands what a social enterprise is, but the reality of it is that most don't. Why should they? Again, it's like expecting me to understand quantum physics just cause you've mentioned it once - err nope, not happening. Also, it's not clear what the sellers get out of it for themselves because at heart whether we like it or not we are selfish creatures. That isn't a criticism - after all I'm selfish in that I want to work for myself, want to poodle around and meet lovely new people and play with glass. However, the other thing that has come to light is the level of risk that each deem acceptable. I didn't realise how much of a risk taker I actually am until seeing others more cautious approach and thinking come on, get on with it, make a decision!
So, Little Hippo is going to hole up for a while and do the usual divving around to try and explain the logic and actually put it down on paper for people to read, understand and then decided if they want to play or not. It has been pointed out on more than one occasion that I can be a bugger for not giving you the whole picture but assuming you get it and then being confused that you don't!