In a world filled with so much violence and hate, where it seems that there’s another school shooting or terrorist attack every week, Joanne Steenberg is on a mission to spread love. She has started a global, pay-it-forward movement with “The Love Card.” It’s a small, circular card that says, “You are holding this card because you are loved. It delivers a powerful energy of love and self-love. Hold it tight, take three deep breaths, and feel the love. When given away, you give the gift of love to another.” Over 50,000 of these cards have been given to friends, family, and complete strangers around the world, and right now, they’re completely free to purchase; although a donation is encouraged.
What was your inspiration for starting The Love Card?
It’s very simple; the inspiration was ‘how can I spread love a little further and wider?’ Spreading love to friends and family is easy, but I wanted to figure out a way to extend that. It’s harder to spread love when we are in a grocery store, bank, or anywhere in public because people are on their phone. They may not be paying attention, and you don’t want to freak anybody out or make them uncomfortable. The Love Card is the solution!
What do you hope to gain by participating in Top Gun?
Top Gun has been so incredible. This began as a simple gesture from me, I bought the cards and had just carried them with me. I am now ready to step into this, grow it as a business, and make it more powerful so it reaches more people. So far, Top Gun has helped me with marketing, it has helped me with being able to stand and talk about what I do, and to really hone in on different aspects of the business.
What's a story from one of the givers or receivers that has moved you the most?
I have a short moment from a woman who works in a hospital. When she got out of work, she found a Love Card on the windshield of her car, and when she saw it, she sat in her car and cried for 20 minutes. She explained she was having a particularly hard day doing her job as a nurse, but seeing that card turned her day around.
Sometimes it isn’t easy to just slip somebody a Love Card; I recently found myself judging someone in a hair salon. I was irritated by them and couldn’t wait to be done and to leave. Although I am embarrassed to say that, I was judging this person. I put my hand in my pocket to go out of the door and realized, ‘oh no Joanne, you’re judging, getting angry, and sending this person negative energy.’ After I walked back in and gave this lady two cards, she teared up while saying she loves this idea and wants to give some to her grandchildren. It was one of those moments where you realize that every single person on the planet needs love right now, so don’t judge other people.
How do you plan on funding The Love Card?
Right now, it’s self-funded, which is not sustainable. I can’t do that much longer, so I’m seeking donations and corporate sponsorship. I think it’ll be neat if there is a corporation or business entity that wants to support The Love Card movement. It could be as simple as ‘corporation x’ sending Love Cards to their local high school, for example. Something like this would be great, and I wouldn’t mind going along to speak with students about how to pay it forward. As far as funding The Love Card, we’re definitely looking for help!
For the next few weeks we will be featuring other innovative entrepreneurs from our Top Gun Bangor Class of 2018, so be on the lookout for other write-ups about these fantastic individuals! If you would like to hear more about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Accelerator, visit our program page here.
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