We are not setting up Cats’ Playce because we think it will bring us lots of money. We step into it because we want to live in the flow of our conviction pets deserve a better life, people deserve a cozy place to relax after a tiring day, and because it is a way we can express our creativity in our sleeping beauty town, Ferney-Voltaire. We know there are one million people in Grand Genève area and our questions are ‘What can we do for them through our idea? How this idea can contribute to their well being?’
Here are some principles we have been following for five years, since we’ve started thinking, sketching, and building the project.
- We before me. Actually this is the first principle we learn at kindergartens when we are taught to play together. But why we lose it as we grow up? Never mind, let’s stick to the topic. When we bring the “we” forward, we amplify resources and solutions. And it is not only necessary but also exhilarating; we have lots of fun while growing a community around the same passions through ideas and competencies sharing.
- Change the way things are. A community is a living entity. And there are only two possible states: improvement or decline. Taking baby steps is better than standing still, but making big leaps is grandiose. Our sleeping beauty town needs to wake up now, we don’t need to underline it for you. We bet you have already noticed the deafening silence crawling all over it as soon as people left for work and over the weekend. And well, we cannot blame people for locking themselves up after work. Let’s be honest, there is nothing to do in Ferney after 6 PM.
- Fail fast but fail forward. Failure helps improvement, but to see things in this way we need resilience. And I believe we learned how to become resilient. We’ve had had Cats Playce idea about four maybe five years ago? Indeed! We dreamt about this idea several years ago and started planning. Then big changes, not the best though, occurred and we had to learn to be patient and wait for better times. Then we heard about crowdfunding and tried once, twice and it didn’t work as we wished: many enthusiastic people, few contributors. This enabled us to get the certificates we need to be eligible to set up our place. Still it was not enough, even very far from enough to be able to open the place. But we learned lots of things from these experiences.
- Be ready for discomfort, and believe in Impossible. We live in a world where some people see an idea which succeeds as an individual profit, but it is not this way we see it. People told me our idea is crazy and that it is just a dream, an impossible dream. We haven’t listen to them, even it is not pleasant to hear it, especially when it comes from people you thought they were friends. And all of a sudden, you realize they not only try to knock you down surreptitiously, but they also turn their back on you, and this is very disappointing, believe me! The first time it’s been hard, the second time a little easier, and now we are prepared for discomfort, but we won’t give up.
- ‘This above all: to thine own self be true’, as Polonius said (Hamlet). But what Shakespeare is doing here?, you will ask me. This famous statement has its place here, trust me. It means we need to be ourselves in any circumstance, we need to be true in a consistent way. Each of us is a multi-layered personality which doesn’t mean we need to be a different person at home, another one at work, another one for an after-work activity and so on. In such a small place as Geneva area, everybody knows everybody; we always bump into someone we know. If we want to build a community with people who share the same convictions and passions, we need to stay as we are, in any situation.
- Luck is hard work actually. ‘How lucky you are!’ We are sure you have already heard it. A brick on top of another brick and another brick, day after day, questioning yourself, sweating, waking up in the middle of the night with a new idea born from previous ideas, digging deeper and deeper to find solutions, facing disappointment, embrace disillusion and get the project done. We call it preparation while awaiting opportunity. How lucky we are, eventually, indeed
- Our Purpose is to make our purpose larger. We think this is the most important of all SEVEN. Have the purpose to save a wooly four-leg being abandoned in a ditch is wonderful and we bow in front of people who do this. Yet our purpose is to save more than one life, build a home for several cats we will adopt at the local shelter and get our community involved in our project. So, let’s make our purpose larger and create together a cozy place for our furry friends and for us all!
See you all soon & get involved in our crowdfunding campaign!
Dan from Cats Playce