How many times have you received a gift from someone, only to stash it away, with no intention of ever using it? Think about all of those gifts that we don’t need, don’t want or simply receive just because certain occasions demand that gifts, any kind of gifts, be exchanged or given. In the end, what’s the point of accumulating more stuff, year after year, that will spend its existence rotting away in a box pushed into the back corner of a closet?
It seems a bit silly.
Well, does it always have to be this way?
Fellow bloggers Bessie and Kyle over at OnOurOwnPath.com don’t think so. In fact, they firmly believe that the gifts we receive should not help us accumulate stuff we’ll never use, but should help us achieve what we really want and what will truly make us happy – our dreams.
I happen to agree, as would most people I’d imagine. And instead of just sucking it up, slapping a fake smile on their faces and accepting yet another book on towel origami for their birthdays, Bessie and Kyle decided to change the formula of gift-giving altogether.
Enter WiseGifter.com, a very cool and inspirational tool that not only helps save you some closet space, but even more importantly, helps bring you closer to accomplishing your life goals.
Consider it a wedding registry, but instead of a wedding, your personalized Gift List will focus on whatever you’re trying to achieve at any given point in your life. After creating a quick and completely free account, you can then add as many items as you want, along with their value, to your list. You can list absolutely anything. For example, my Gift List is focused on my upcoming trip to the Middle East and therefore includes my first night’s accommodation in Istanbul, a meal at a recommended restaurant in Aleppo, Syria and a traditional Turkish bath at a hamam. You can also always check out the sample Gift Lists on the WiseGifter site, which list such items as tango lessons, a plate of fresh empanadas in Buenos Aires, car parts, yoga classes and even a kayak trip, in order to help get your creative juices flowing.
Setting up your account takes about one minute and you’ll be instantly provided with your own personalized Gift List page and link that you can share with family and friends. You can also add photos and descriptions to each item on your Gift List and you can even break up more expensive items into smaller increments, turning that $300 flight to Costa Rica into 10 separate $30 gifts that others can give you.
Here’s a snapshot of my Gift List as an example…
The more creative you make your Gift List, chances are the more inclined your family and friends will be to help you achieve your goals. When someone wants to give you a gift, they simply visit your Gift List and read through the items that are still available. They then choose a gift, transfer the money via Paypal through the WiseGifter site and just like that, a gift will be checked off of your list.
Who should use WiseGifter?
Anyone can use it. It doesn’t matter if you’re about to start a one year round-the-world adventure, if you’re trying to start your own business or if your goal is to fix your car. Whatever would make you the happiest or whatever you need most, that’s what you put on your list and that’s what others will contribute towards when it comes time to give you a gift. As a result, wasteful gift-giving and the accumulation of useless stuff is eliminated!
And what I believe to be the most rewarding aspect of WiseGifter is it’s ability to inspire and motivate others to live a fuller life. Once you sign up and invite friends and family to check out your Gift List, they will hopefully begin to realize that they, too, can achieve their life goals, just as you’re setting out to do. Perhaps they’ll create their own Gift List, using it to inspire even more people as well. The potential for creating a massive wave of positive change is infinite with this project, which is the main reason I’m participating in and interested in spreading the word about WiseGifter.
Of course, you may wonder how Kyle and Bessie earn money with this site if setting up an account is completely free. Basically, they take a small 4% fee of the gifts that are sent your way in order to maintain the website and allow them to reap some benefit from all of their hard work. This fee is actually about half of what similar sites charge, and Bessie personally assured me that they’re more interested in helping others achieve their goals than they are in earning huge profits.
And after meeting the two of them a couple of weeks ago in NYC, I am convinced that their motives are nothing but genuine. These are two wonderful, inspiring people who are clearly passionate about this project. If you want an indication of what these two are all about before you check out WiseGifter, have a look at their excellent blog, OnOurOwnPath.com, where they write about every aspect of their “global life” (which has involved 900+ straight days of traveling so far).
I’d love to hear from anyone that gives it a try or even just your thoughts about this project…