Have you ever been confused by something that seemed like more than a coincidence?
You’re chatting with a mate over a coffee, or down at the pub tipping in a frothy, when you finish you story, break eye contact and look off into the distance with a sigh…
“Yeah…I can’t explain that. Weird…”
Then, seemingly out of the blue, the penny drops from a great height, splits open your skull and you think to yourself,
‘Fuck! of course that was it.’
Well, after that overindulgent setup, here’s my skull splitter.
And whether you know about Bucky Fuller or my business 101 Tokens, this tale may offer a insight into how to make the sky rain pennies.
So grab a helmet.
When I started 101 Tokens, I was excessively drinking. Five nights a week, including two or three proper belters.
It was fine before it wasn’t. And it started to really get in the way when I’d promised to deliver a project with Premier League football club, Southampton FC.
If you don’t know football, the Premier League is one of the world’s biggest sporting leagues in the world.
In 2016, Manchester United’s was the third most influential brand. Behind two religions and ahead of many others.
Southampton, while not at the level of Manchester United, are still a big deal. They pay their best player about $130,000 AUD per week (cheeky 6mill’ PA) and the club is said to be worth $4billion.
You might have heard the story about the 3rd of January 2016.
I was balancing a beer on my stomach like Homer Simpson but with less coordination, while ironically watching Premier League reruns at my flat in North London.
I’d lost my job and was drinking for the third day in a row…
I didn’t want to quit drinking, just cut back from five nights a week and change my relationship with booze from a mostly negative to a mostly positive.
Not too much to ask, but I couldn’t find a system and or community.
Mindful drinking wasn’t a thing yet.
Except for a bunch of wankers telling you to ‘drink responsibly’ and they still do, so it was sobriety or bust.
Semi-pissed off and semi-pissed from the 4 cans I’d finished that day, the original 101 Tokens penny dropped in and away we went.
I’m proud of all the people across the world who’ve played around with the Token lifestyle. There’s been almost 100k tokens entered on our app and from 76+ countries.
All you do and have ever done to spend a token is every time you drink alcohol, the next morning you enter into the app whether it was worth it or not.
The rest sort of falls into line.
Everyone who’s been successful has had a clear motivation for changing their drinking habits. While it might sometimes start somewhere superficial, it always ends up around the ballpark of family, legacy, health and that lovely word — vitality.
It’s pretty simple though, if you don’t have a real reason for changing a habit you’re not going to do it. 30 day abstinence challenges for charity is great for the charity, plus your ego and FB wall; but not a reason to change a serious habit that’s fucking you up.
I’m not going to lie, besides my friends and family who’ve successfully given it a crack, there are a bunch I’m most proud of.
And that story; the weird one I was telling to not only mates at the pub, but boardrooms full of suits and theatres full of seasoned career drinkers, was that many people who’d embraced the Token lifestyle had suddenly become more philanthropic (fancy word for giving more fucks about the planet and our fellow sentient beings).
I was always confused by this. I assumed it may have something to do with me mentioning my past-life working for a few charities or the project with Southampton.
Which went really well! In just over a month of observing and tweaking my pissheadedness the event went off without a hitch.
The school change rooms got a full make-over, a bunch of volunteers and their kids got to go to the game, Southampton won the match (most likely due to us) and about a month later the idea was close to a partnership with Ticketmaster.
But, with that project eventually fizzing, I’d forgotten about its true significance in the life and conception of the 101 Tokens idea. It was never supposed to be a movement beyond the movement of my arse off the couch.
But now, right before me, the true value of that penny has been revealed to me through a mentor of mine Christine McDougall, and her mentor Bucky Fuller.
Christine is guiding a bunch of rad humans across the world to rethink how we design business applying many of Bucky’s systems and designs for regenerative being and doing.
Bucky Fuller mused that every thought has a ‘source idea’ and if that’s strong enough, you will bring it into action.
Not quite rock bottom, but adrift; 101 Tokens was a source idea for me to change shit habits, to open up the space for better ones, with the core habit ‘giving more fucks and doing good things for other people.’
According to Bucky, every source idea has an evolutionary purpose and so the evolutionary purpose of 101 Tokens in 2016 was to run a charitable event where we needed to repaint a struggling primary school in Southampton colours, and the volunteers would get a ticket to the game.
BTW Premier League tickets aren’t cheap and especially for a town with a lot of people earning minimum wage, this was a more than welcome option.
So what I’m starting to understand is that the ‘source idea’ is to inspire people to transition their habits, so they create space for the magic to occur AKA to do the work that truly matters.
This may not sound revolutionary, but hold my mid-strength:
Ben (Australia) found Tokens and found more time to go out and build stuff with his teenage girls, before volunteering at the start of this year to head to bushfire stricken towns to assist in the rebuild.
Jean (England) who was working in a job she disliked, while her eating and drinking habits were compounding this and causing her ill health. Jill finds Tokens, finds work in a positive impact role at a charity that allows her to feel good both physically and mentally. And not to mention travel the world too!
Eric (Canada), An entrepreneur running five businesses and partying too hard finds Tokens. Finds himself sitting next to Richard Branson at a dinner in Africa. He explains his ideas for giving back, Richard gives him his daughter’s number to contact her when he’s ready to launch. The last time I spoke with him, he was setting up a business to supply essential service material to health facilities around the world.
There are more stories like these and while I’ve felt a little shaky about how to move forward with this project. With the help of Christine and Bucky, this penny drop has given me the clarity and drive to continue inviting people away from the shit and into a shift… See what I did there? Could use some work, but so could we all ;)
101 Tokens isn’t about changing drinking habits. It’s about unlocking how you can better show up in the world.
Alchemising your shit habits into healthy ones just gives you more space, money and confidence to know you can do it.
Caveat: Ben, Jean and Eric are inherently awesome humans and I’m not saying they wouldn’t have done these things without Tokens.
Because I believe they would.
I have no doubt that we can all connect with our evolutionary purpose if we move in the right direction.
The thing is, although we are hard-wired to be good, home grown humans; most of us get choked out by life / our vices a lot of the time.
Let’s honour ourselves and if it aligns, have our cake and vino too. AKA enjoy life, while empowering others to enjoy theirs too.
And about that beer with Bucky. Because I’d love to have a beer with Buck.
Well, I can have one with Christine and the other fine folks at Syntropic World, discussing how we can find more metaphorical & physical pennies for ourselves and others.
Unfortunately Bucky passed away 37 years ago and besides, he quit drinking at 47 as it was getting in the way of his potential…
And we’ll leave it there.
Want to know more about Christine and joining us to reimagine business ?— Check out https://syntropic.world/
Want to know more about the maddog Bucky Fuller? — Check out this epic resource https://www.bfi.org/
Want to transition a vice to open up space to give more fucks? visit —www.101tokens.com