Success is like a 26-toed cat

When you look at something, do you see what it is? Or, do you see what it could be?

No one succeeds in this life by being ordinary. To succeed, you must set yourself, your business, or your product apart from the competition. To do this, it frequently requires the ability to see beyond the traditional. Case in point, the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center.

The shelter was facing a rent increase of 100% and was scrambling to raise funds to buy a building where all their animals would be safe. One of those animals is Daniel, an orange and white tabby who happens to be polydactyl (meaning he has 26 toes instead of the standard 18). Someone at the shelter had the brilliant idea of centering their fundraising efforts around Daniel, asking supporters to each donate $26 to the building fund--$1 for each toe!

The shelter has raised $80,000 dollars so far, $50,000 of that coming from $26 donations. Now, this is a creative promotion that has really delivered! (Daniel has since been given permanent residency at the shelter and is its honorary mascot. To donate to the relocation efforts, click HERE)

So, I ask, would you look at a kitty with way too many toes and see a freak? Or would you see a solution to your money woes? What are you looking at each and every day and completely ignoring? Is opportunity right in front of your eyes, but you can't see it?

What is your 26-toed cat?


  1. I see is as a solution; think they will let me borrow him?

    I have struggled with having too many prospects/suspects and trying too broad of an approach instead of concentrating on the 'best' ones that would be a good fit. Part of the challenge is, in my business there could easily be a 3-5 year 'courting' period. Therefore, you might miss a perfect opportunity if you are not minding your P's & Q's. It's not that I'm ignoring them, but they might have slipped below my radar at the wrong time. 

    That was an interesting story and kind of like making lemonade out of lemons, huh?

    I saw you stopped by my place; thanks for the drive-by, I'll get over there shortly.

    I hope you are having a great week. 

  2. Hi Bill,

    I don't think you can borrow Daniel. You have to find your own creative endeavor, but I have no doubt it's out there.

    Look at something, anything, today. A cookie jar, for example. What could it be used for instead of storing food? It's a good creativity exercise that may getting you thinking a little broader.

    As for the Ps and Qs, don't mind them. Let them run around for awhile and see where they land ;-)

  3. Yes! I'm a big proponent of letting your "freak flag" fly out in public view -- especially if you want to differentiate from your competitors. Branding is so important -- your freakiness is the base for creating a Secret Sauce that's uniquely YOU.

  4. Ha ha, Tea. You really are focusing on the freak part of this, aren't you? ;-)

  5. Hi Amber ...
    We had a Six-Toed Kitty, "Peaches", she use to walk on a
    leash, visit the Library w/ us kids. Great cat :0) Enjoyed your post ... Very pawsitive =^..^=

  6. Hi is SO weird (okay, maybe not SO weird) that you featured Daniel today...he has been on the news at my favorite radio station, Wisconsin Public Radio...and when I heard his story and how success and positive outcome was created over a little physical quirk, I was so impressed.  I guess that I shouldn't be surprised that you picked up on this delightful win/win story.   This is a true example of how one can make lemonade out of lemons.  The most profound (IMO) question that you ask is one that we should ask ourselves every single day...."What are we looking at each and every day and completely ignoring?" could be life changing....


  7. Hello Claudia! ;-)

    I'm big on trying to see things that others miss. Multi-purposing things; tapping into something and making it different. 

    Whoever thought of using Daniel's toes as a fundraising gimmick is my kind of people!

  8. If only I could figure that out. :) I think that is one adorable foot!


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