With family still in my hometown of Minneapolis, living in a smaller community in western Minnesota lead to countless hours of driving. Along the way, I would stop for gas breaks, and I would read flyers for different fundraising benefits that were posted in other small towns. I gave money to many of these programs, but that lead to the idea to start a nonprofit to help these people on a bigger scale.
It didn’t take me long to connect the wires: an unlimited supply of money and people who really need it. What a great use of that money! At that moment, the conception of The JTG Foundation took place.
However, there was still a serious obstacle in this idea: I was not a rock star, nor would I be. Then where would the money come from to provide for those in need? I’m not the type to repeatedly and continuously ask people for help to make sure this nonprofit has the monetary support it would need to provide for all the hardships that people suffer.
Then came the idea to establish a private enterprise that would dedicate 100% of its profits to this organization.
I asked myself what people do daily that could potentially capture the largest pool of consumers. EAT! People eat out constantly, so it made perfect sense to open a restaurant and put all of the profits into The JTG Foundation.
Now that the idea was established, there was yet one more hurdle to get through: obtaining the capital to build the restaurant, hire staff, devise a menu – and implement this idea without leaving the foundation in debt.
So here we are, trying to raise enough capital to build a restaurant to fund this nonprofit in order to help each other in times of need. What a mouthful! But we are asking for help to get this wonderful idea off the ground. If you will, it will no longer be just a dream!
The foundation didn’t materialize until a few years later. At that time, I was completing the production of a music CD, an item on my bucket list. Despite being recorded in the garage and being a little rough around the edges, I finally had a chance to lay down tracks for music I had created. It was an exciting moment in time for me. A few of my friends and I joked about the sold out concerts and endless sales of my CDs. Then of course we would try to devise ways to spend all the money that seasoned rock stars make. We eventually faced reality: neither the sold-out concerts nor the millions of CDs were ever going to happen. Still, it had been fun talking and dreaming about what we would do with those millions of dollars.