Wherein I ask you for money.*

* It's not what you think!  

It's 11:15 a.m. the day after a long weekend, and I'm not at work. I don't have to be at work ever again, actually.

Letting go of the monkey bars was pretty easy for me. I love taking risks, and I'm at the age where it's silly for me not to: At 28, the risks I've taken have made me bolder and more confident in my decision-making skills, and more well rounded personally and professionally.

Yeah, well. I found out last Wednesday that those same monkey bars that put me in control, made me princess of the playground, can also be pretty treacherous little stinkers, greasing up and letting you slip off into a crumpled, mulch-covered pile underneath.

Which is a convoluted, not-very-effective way of saying that I lost my job last week.

It wasn't going well. For either of us. The best kind of breakup, the kind where you're relieved when the other person finally says, "You know what? This isn't working out," then gives you a really awesome present to send you on your way into the world. (Winning concept to explore later: relationship severance.)

So, it's fine: My biggest predicament that night was actually how to get home on my bike with a Whole Foods paper bag full of almost everything I had at the office.

* No, it's really not what you think! Though I wouldn't be mad if you sent Starbucks gift cards.

I'm not writing this to whine about the fact that I'm soon to be largely without income and have no idea what to do with myself. (That's what Twitter's for, until I snap out of it and realize I know exactly what to do: get up, brush the mulch off my butt and hit the slides instead — the monkey bars are stupid anyway.)

I'm writing this to talk about my new friend Marcy, who I met here for the first time (after weeks of stalking each other on Twitter).

 

Marcy is a genius. And so is this new concept, Junto, from her media production studio, Polymathic.

What the heck?, you ask. How do I even say "Junto"? Well, it's the same "u" sound as "junk," only it couldn't be further from that. Here, direct from the website:

"Almost 300 years ago, Benjamin Franklin started a club called The Junto (juhn-toh). The group consisted of successful entrepreneurs that used their knowledge and resources to advance small businesses within their community.

"We’ve modernized the Junto to operate online, so that it can incubate ideas that don’t fit into the existing mold of seed fundraising or venture capitalism. … We want to make great ideas become market-viable realities through community-funding, collective wisdom, thorough testing and nontraditional investment incentive…

"That said, we’re simply a group of young, motivated and multi-talented creatives that are listening to the needs of new entrepreneurs. We want to help the little guys with big ideas get their start."

A startup! For startups!

I love it.

But like any startup, Junto needs a bit more funding before they can kick things into high gear and start helping these other startups.

And it was recently determined — not that we're scheming or anything — that if just a fraction of my Twitter followers used some of their wherewithal to support Junto, they'd be in remarkably better shape at the end of today.

So what do you say? Can you afford $25? (Maybe watch this video and then decide.) Your week in Starbucks — well, if you're anything like me — to help baby businesses grow up.

Back to me for a moment: My motives are not pure here. You see, Junto eventually needs a writer and community manager. And I want to be that person.

The closer the Junto team gets to reaching its funding goals, the closer I'll be to some freelance work that I'm pretty keen on getting — with a business I really believe in.

So I'm asking you for money, sort of. But really, I'm asking you to help me get a rockin' gig. I'm bootstrappin', baby!

* And if you really actually want to give me money, well, make me an offer.