2016 has been one of the most exciting years of my life. I’ve experienced challenges and wins in equal measure, and it’s been one of the best.
When I started this business, just over 12 months ago, I expected a challenging and sometimes scary adventure. What I didn’t expect was the incredible and almost immediate response we’d get from people wanting to join us on the journey.
Over the last year we have laid the foundations for The Room Xchange launch in 2017 – refining the business model, getting the investment right, partnering with the right people, building the starting platform and educating people about the possibilities of the new Xchange economy. We’ve encountered an array of people along the way, and have been blown away by the enthusiasm and support for The Room Xchange – from business partners to media to Government Ministers. And we haven’t even launched yet!
If I think about it, I shouldn’t be surprised.
Some people say the best ideas come over a cup of coffee and some scribbles on a napkin. When my husband I and I decided to launch The Room Xchange we were at the kitchen table and knew we were on to a good thing. At its core, The Room Xchange connects people with a spare room with guests who are willing to exchange their time for food and accommodation. We had been living this way for over 3 years and knew the profound benefits it had on our lives.
Sounds simple? It is. It’s also a game changer for our society.
The Room Xchange has the power to impact on our social, environmental and economic lives and has the power to change how we define our reality.
The Room Xchange is something that everyday people can do to help tackle some of society’s most entrenched issues, such as inequality, climate change, and the rising cost of living. So how do we do this?
On a social level, we provide a way for people to connect with others in the simplest of ways. We welcome a person into our home to share a meal at our table, and in doing so, open the doors to new perspectives. We combat the divisive commentary that we’re hearing around the world by embracing new people and new cultures.
On an environmental level, we maximise existing resources. As a society, we have more than enough rooms and beds to go around, it’s just about sharing them with the right people. Don’t get me wrong, I love IKEA as much as the next person, but why fuel the production of more furniture and electricity if we don’t have to? Why spend money on furniture when you can use this to experience more out of life?
On an economic level, we make the acquisition of housing, food and time free and feasible for all. It allows families, busy professionals or empty nesters with an extra room in their house to put it to use and get something in return. And it addresses the current affordability issue by allowing travellers, young people and independent youth, students or new starters to find a roof or their gateway to independence, without paying impossible rent.
This is the power of The Room Xchange, and this why it will be a global phenomenon.
I am so proud of what our team has achieved this year. And we are so excited to launch our first Xchanges in 2017 and start this incredible movement to change our society for the better.
So if I can leave my readers with one message before Christmas, it’s this: Dream big and persist. If you have an idea or are thinking of starting a business, go for it. I am not your stereotypical start-up CEO. I am a 50-year old woman who has drawn on my work and life experience and love for people to create a global company.
Spread the word!