When I first learned about blogs, I was intrigued by this powerful tool that allows the instant expression of ideas globally. I never really thought I would start my own blog though…never say never.
A little background about me might help you understand why I chose to do a blog about honesty. I am the president & founder of ImHONEST.com, a non-traditional lost and found service whose success relies on people’s honesty. As you might imagine, people often ask me “Do you really think people are that honest?” My reply is, yes! Although, I can understand why people have their doubts, when unfortunately, our daily input of news is dominated by tragic stories, corporate scandals and dishonesty.
There is no doubt that there are a lot of bad things that happen daily, but I know there are as many good things. In this blog, I will post stories about honesty and good deeds. I also hope that you will share your stories of honesty and good deeds.
Joël A. Núñez
In 2003, while visiting my family in California for Thanksgiving, I realized I couldn’t find my wallet. I panicked and frantically started looking for it all around my brother’s house and mentally retracing my steps. As I was looking, I wondered if I had lost it outside of the house whether or not someone would know how to return it to me since only my driver’s license had some kind of contact information on it. Also, with how busy people are in LA, I wasn’t sure anyone would be too excited to have to go to the Post Office and pay for the shipping.
Then I got this idea, that didn’t really solve my problem a the time, but it could address these worries I had in the future. It was some kind of an ID label to adhere to my wallet. On the label there would be a number people could call, a Web site address, a unique number and a message that was compelling. I also realized there had to be some kind of a shipping solution that would make it really simple and painless for the person that found the item to return it to its owner. I got excited about this idea for a few seconds before I realized I still hadn’t found my wallet. Long story short, later in the day, I was relieved to find my wallet in the house. I made a mental note about this idea and thought it was kind of cool.
When I had this label idea, I was still working for the Importer of Porsche in the Caribbean as the Regional Manager. Even though this was a fun job that I really enjoyed, I mean who doesn’t love Porsche and the Caribbean? I decided early in 2004 to move back to Atlanta where my girlfriend lived and to pursue a few business ideas. In the meantime, I continued my online MBA program I had started in Puerto Rico.
One of the ideas that came up was an exciting startup a couple of friends of mine were working on in Lima, Peru. Their business, AquaWorks, was based on the idea of bringing clean inexpensive drinking water to Peru by means of water stores. Many people in the US don’t realize how expensive water is in Latin America. People can’t just drink tap water, even though some might argue that we should drink tap water in the US either. I loved this idea, and still do, so I volunteered to help them in revamping their marketing and assisting them in their quest for capital investment. Unfortunately, the funding that was needed at that time did not materialize.
I realized I needed to find a job that could pay the bills so I spent less and less time helping AquaWorks and working on other projects. In October of 2004, after a summer trip to South Africa and Europe, I decided to give this label idea a shot. A year later, ImHONEST.com went live. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to be doing something I am passionate about, since it is a practical service from which everyone can benefit. Not only does ImHONEST promote and encourage honesty, it shares a percentage of proceeds with charitable organizations.
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