I formed the Family Dinner as a 501 3C because it’s counter cultural–we want people to take ownership. However, last year I realized my business model needed to change because it comes with several expenses.
Describe your team and the basic elements of a “Family Dinner.â€
There’s two level of support. We have about 150 hosts around the world, and five hosts in each city who help the ambassadors. We also have a dedicated team of people including a head of international operations and city relations, marketing relations, digital awareness and digital reach support staff.
When it comes to the family dinners, we have hosts that are trained to treat you like family and make you feel at home. We do a formal welcome, which gives people the mission of the Family Dinner. Then when people sit down, we encourage them to get to know one another, without discussing the traditional thing such as running downing your rÃ©sumÃ©. There’s no standard topic, but we may suggest some family oriented discussion points.
Our Family Dinner meets every six months in cities across the nation.
Since launching Our Family Dinner, what have you been most surprised to learn about yourself?
This experience redefined my view of “security.” Before I left my job, I thought security was just about money. But now, security is about freedom. Security is about living the way you were called to live. I feel more secure doing work that is not in a traditional sense financially secure, but, I feel secure because I know I’m where I am supposed to be, doing the work I’m supposed to do and serving people. Doing work like this is humbling because you have to ask for help and put yourself out there.
You also have to be comfortable telling a story that 90% of people probably won’t get. If everyone got it, then everyone would be doing it. So you have to be comfortable with sitting alone. I also wasn’t prepared that the journey would feel incredibly lonely. Sure you could have people around you but you’re lonely in your spirit because you feel like you’re the only one who understands this journey.
Tell us about your long-terms goals for Our Family Dinner?
My goal is to ensure we are financially sustainableÂ and make sure we are in every continent by 2017. I want to continue to make sure that people feel like they’re at home, no matter who they are or where they live.
We are looking forward to rolling out a neighborhood-based dinner for smaller groups of 10 people, this would occur on every Thursday and Sunday. We’re also working on another program “Family Recommendedâ€–similar to Yelp, it would provide resources local to the area for families. Bringing on partners is another goal. We want the tradition everywhere. We want people to value families and dinners in a deep, transformative way.