I love what Sol Orwell is doing.
Almost two years ago, he started to organize charity food offs – events where all money go to charity. And you get to eat chocolate chip cookies made by professionals and then rank your top 5 fav cookies.
The first event, Chocolate Chip Cookie Off, was held at the beginning of January 2017 – he convinced 27 professional chefs and bakers around Toronto to make cookies and raised $2,500.
One year ago, the next charitable event, Sausage Showdown, raised $8,500.
Last autumn, the NYC Chocolate Chip Cookie Off raised $30,000+.
He wanted to raise more money without selling more than 100 tickets, so he doubled the price for the next event, the Toronto Chocolate Chip Cookie Off 2018 (coming July 8), from $250 to $500. It was sold out in 19 days, raising $50,000 (!!!).
And now he thought of another incredible way to raise more money: his friends agreed to be part of a Charity Auction.
I’m talking about highly successful entrepreneurs and writers who’ll be donating their energy and attention for one-on-one consulting. These are people who run huge businesses and aren’t usually available for consulting, so it’s a unique opportunity.
Among them: Ryan Holiday, Ramit Sethi and Brian Dean – I’m specifically mentioning them because I’ve been following their work for so many years now and they’ve been an inspiration to me, but there are many other high achievers on the list.
Sol is first and foremost known as the founder of Examine.com, the largest database on nutrition and supplements. He’s been making money online for almost 20 years (must-read: Benji Hyam’s article about how Sol built 7-figure business off of Reddit). He made enough money that he was able to retire in mid 2000s and travel around the world for five years – that was before starting Examine.com.
I love his direct and honest, no-bullshit, no-sugar-coating approach and I highly recommend that you follow his blog and subscribe to his newsletter.
Here’s one example: Sol wrote about how 90% of his success should be attributed to the factor of luck. In the “ovarian” lottery, he was lucky to be born to the right set of parents who decided to move from the East (from Pakistan) to the West (his family moved to Canada when he was 14). He argues that his cousins and relatives who remained in Pakistan are smarter than him, work harder than him, and, even so, he’s 100x more successful than they are.
Another example: in our interview, Sol talked about the reason why he hates business books:
“They are full of wishy-washy inspirational stuff and rarely of anything actionable. And even when actionable, it’s from the context of that founder and the story they’ve spun, not the reality that most people face.”
That’s exactly why our mission at The CEO Library is to cut through clutter and help those with an entrepreneurial mindset figure out which books are right for them – put them into context and always take them with a grain of salt.
Now back to the charity event. As I see it, I have two options:
a) Sigh and feel sorry for myself. Complain to everyone that I’m based in a poor and corrupt country, and can’t afford to travel there, buy a ticket to the event or participate in the auction and get to meet all those incredible entrepreneurs.
b) Be grateful that I’m able to learn from afar what these extraordinary folks are doing, but accept that I’m living in Romania and contribute in my own way to what’s going on here. Why not support the awesome friends I have and who are also doing incredible things for the local community?
Guess what I’m choosing.
P.S. photo stolen from Sol’s personal Facebook account.