Duke and the Map: Another Entrepreneurial Fail

I had another idea. One that I thought for sure would at least get someone to read my proposal. When I was 21, I visited Hawaii and went to a coconut farm. There were signs spread around the farm that said not to walk by the trees because you could get hit in the head by the coconuts falling. I bought a coconut and decided to send it in the mail to the only person with a sense of humor I could think of, my favorite uncle Jim, who was going to Life University to be a Chiropractor. If I could send a coconut, then I could send a map!


I started in May of 2009, trying to build a holistic community health plan, to no avail. I lost all of my investment money in 2016 and closed the business. But I was determined to find the leaders in the Integrative Medicine field to tell them my idea in hopes of finding a partner to fund it. In May 2017, I had found out that Duke had an Integrative Medicine Leadership program. I was unable to afford the Leadership program, but then I saw that they had an Integrative Health Coach program. This would be a perfect fit for my holistic health care plan to use Duke’s Health Coaches and reach consumers all over the country!


I went to Barnes and Noble and got a large map of the United States. At that time, I could look up the directory of Health Coaches and located them all over the United States and cross-referenced them with the chapters of The Holistic Chamber of Commerce. I drafted a proposal, put it in the big tube with the map, and sent it to Dr. Perlman, the current Director of the Leadership program.

Unfortunately for me, Dr. Perlman had just moved his practice and never got the map. I was then referred to the other members of the program, they were very kind to email me back, but they were not interested in my idea.

It’s funny how we start to view our ideas of success. As an entrepreneur, you would think that success is funding your plan or selling it for a huge profit. But when you have tried for several years to get your idea noticed at all, just a rejection email back is a reason for celebration!

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