With a little help from my friends…

Posted on February 17, 2015


From the very beginning of this often wonderful, sometimes mad endeavour of çöp(m)adam, I have had much support from friends, old and new. Those who are far away offer advice, especially when I encourage it; those closer to me geographically have offered advice as well, and they are the ones who push me to do what I am not comfortable with but is necessary to make our business grow.
But just because someone offers advice, doesn’t mean I will listen to it. Just like in any situation, this could be because I don’t agree with it, but by and large, it is because I don’t get around to it as it is too far off my own radar. Or perhaps I cannot be bothered as I cannot see the value of the efforts I would have to make. Then again, maybe other friends came and kidnapped me to take me swimming for the day and the day-to-day work took precedence as it so often does.

Not following advice is no longer a luxury I can afford if I want this business to continue. I don’t think it’s that I can’t see the forest for the trees, I can’t see the trees for the forest.

Initially, I had a few people who know me very well ask me if I was really sure that I wanted to start a business. Neither am I business trained nor business minded; I also have avoidance issues when it comes to dealing with numbers. Not a good basis for a business. I was then and am now still focussed on the social side of it all. As I stubbornly went ahead with the idea of combining poverty alleviation, increased self-esteem for women, raising environmental awareness, and maximizing on existing hand craft skills, 6.5 years later, I’ve learned to be a bit more of a business woman and while dealing numbers still doesn’t really turn me on, I’ve learned to make working them more of a game, at least in my mind if not on paper.

It’s not always easy to ask for help and it hasn’t always been easy to accept it. How much richer my life became when I adjusted that attitude! (it’s still a work in progress) The same goes for the business. Recently, a new friend, Sandrine, pushed me to get her information so she could put out a call for help with social media. Whoever would have thought that I’d need help with getting word out on Facebook and Twitter? Certainly not me – that’s like going to a photo shop to get your profile photo taken. Or so I thought.

I was telling all this to another friend, Dilek, who is known in my personal social circle, as the saviest of the gang, at least in terms of using social media. She is, in her own words, a computer whisperer. I on the other hand, turn it on, press a few buttons, and get upset when it doesn’t do what I think it should. Dilek recently spent many patient hours with me and many private hours on line, helping us get photos up to more accessible sources to get word OUT about what we do and our wares. She then spent many private hours doing the same, finally turning the task back to me.

The upshot of all this is that thanks to these two women who believe in us, and are patient to work with me, we – çöp(m)adam – are now better connected through existing sources, are more accessible by many who don’t even know we exist, and have moved up a few rungs on the proverbial ladder of recognition.

You can see the fruits of our collective interests on our new FaceBook page – Çöp-madam and on Pinterest, çöp(m)adam as well as a new twitter page, copmadamayvalik.

I get by with a little help from my friends, yes.

Another push forward in the life of the garbage ladies.