Most Awesome news yet from Awesome Inc

A lot of cool stuff has happened at Awesome Inc in its first month of operation. Like holding the first ever Forge Lexington meeting of over 65 entrepreneurs and investors.  Or the 4th Geeks Night Out which had over 80 guests and featured a live DJ along with some fierce ping pong matches followed by a swing dance lesson from Premiere Dance.  Then there is the front page article on the Herald Leader Business Monday which promoted not only Awesome Inc but also the companies working out of the Awesome Space – aBetterOffice, APAX Software, BookExchange.com, Premiere Dance, Prosper MG – Done in: 60 seconds, Vision Business Solutions, and Xperience Education.  But all of this activity gets trumped by Awesome Inc’s most important contribution thus far – the small part it played in getting a homeless guy off the streets.

“I can cut in better than you,” yelled Pete from Main Street one night.  He was standing outside of Awesome Inc while I was on a ladder painting the front wall yellow.  My initial reaction was, “Oh great.  A homeless guy is critiquing my painting abilities.  I hope nobody heard him.  That would be a pretty serious blow to my confidence.”  I ignored him and figured he would go away.  Pete was persistent though and wasn’t going anywhere.  Instead he continued to tell me how bad of a painter I was and that he could do a professional quality job for just a sandwich and a drink. The break room - Petes room 

I opened the door and let him in. He painted alongside Nathan and I for about an hour. He killed it and sure enough he didn’t ask for much. It was 2 am and I didn’t have a sandwich or drink for him so I gave him a $10 bill. I hesitantly gave him my phone number as well to call me and come back and do more work for us. About 3 weeks later, Pete had significantly contributed to painting the entire building and earned about $250.

I had no idea what Pete was doing with this money.  If I had to guess it would have been something irresponsible.  It wasn’t until he came by the Awesome Space one day and asked for a letter stating he had been doing part time work for Awesome Inc that I figured out what he was actually doing with the money.  He had been saving it (along with other income from side jobs, I’m sure) to get into a subsidized housing program and rent an apartment. 

Probably my favorite moment in the last month came when Pete came by not to do work, but to prove to us that he had closed on this apartment.  I’ll always remember driving Pete from the Awesome Space to his apartment the first night he stayed in it.  When we got there, Pete gave Luke, Matt and I the full tour which included his shoe collection in his closet featuring some Nike Jordan’s from the 90’s.

Pete’s off the street and in his new apartment.  And I think Awesome Inc played a role, even if it was only a small role.

Pete is a quality guy who fell on some hard times.  He has a long way to go, but I believe in him.  Pete is available for inexpensive freelance painting and does a heck of a job. He is painting my friend Matt’s house this week.

Pete’s apartment