One Red Paperclip = A House?

Ever have a great idea others thought was crazy?  Don’t listen to the dream crushers.  Here’s some inspiration for all those with “crazy” ideas…

In 14 trades, Kyle MacDonald turned one red paperclip into a house with stops at a snowglobe, year’s rent at an apartment, snowmobile and more along the way. Just goes to show with some creativity and fun, ideas can grow into very big things.

Next times someone calls YOU crazy, send them this story.

You can visit his website and find out more about how he did it and what he’s up to now at

Photo credit: forbiddenarts from

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  1. I remember hearing about this story – totally inspiring and fun to see how he proved so many wrong by thinking differently.
    Heather Bestel recently posted… WAHM Tips- Clutter Free is Stress FreeMy Profile

    1. I missed it when it happened originally. Craziness! But that’s some seriously creative thinking. :)

  2. Had heard of this guy back when he did this. It is inspiring to think of what is possible when we do what we don’t know we can! :) Thanks for this vivid reminder, Michelle.
    Steve recently posted… Power of PeaceMy Profile

    1. It is a great reminder. I can only imagine how many people around him thought he was crazy. But it worked!

  3. That’s so awesome and creative . . . and it brought tears to my eyes at the end :). I might have to share this (I keep “stealing” the videos you share ’cause they’re so cool).
    Leanne Chesser recently posted… What’s Your Type Top 25 Types of Blog PostsMy Profile

    1. YouTube is great, isn’t it? I love finding these. :)

  4. Michelle,

    All around us there is creativity. This is one example of how the value of our own creativity can be increased as our dreams grow. I had heard of this one before, but it’s still a good reminder that dreams do come true.
    Bruce W. Darby recently posted… Is time passéMy Profile

    1. Yes, they do! :)
      Michelle recently posted… One Red Paperclip A HouseMy Profile

  5. Wow — this is over the top!

    I applaud Kyle because his spirit moved him to do something on a whim. He took a risk. He took action. He jumped right in and didn’t take months creating a “plan”. And he was fearless!

    I believe Kyle’s story is a wonderful portrayal of passion and compassion. The sheer number of lives he touched with his “one red paper clip” idea is enough to put a lifetime’s worth of smiles on your face.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Melanie Kissell recently posted… 5 Monster Size Marketing MistakesMy Profile

    1. It’s a good reminder, too, that we can help other people along the way when we’re working towards something. Even better that reaching a dream is reaching ours and helping others reach theirs. :) Little dreams, big dreams, they all put a smile on our faces.
      Michelle recently posted… 25 Ways to Magically Transform Your Content to Reach More PeopleMy Profile

  6. Thanks Michelle. The paper clip story put a smile on my face. Thank you for sharing. It goes to show that anything is possible as long as you stick with it. Don’t let any one rain on your parade.
    thanks Debbie

    1. Love that — no raining on our parades! Thanks, Debbie.
      Michelle recently posted… Rethink What’s Stopping YouMy Profile

  7. I thought that was Don in the clip! He’s a good family friend of mine. LOVE this story!
    Lauren Huston recently posted… Osama bin Laden Killed- Mission AccomplishedMy Profile

    1. Very cool, Lauren! It is an awesome story.
      Michelle recently posted… Creating Awesome- Just Swing- Hit and Run Like CrazyMy Profile

  8. His story was included in my college, a paper called “success stories from across the globe”. It’s all about having a dream and the belief that nothing is unachievable.
    Hajra recently posted… AS KREATIV AS I CAN BE!My Profile

    1. Smart professor! Examples of people who think outside the box to reach their goals are wonderful for helping to inspire us and help us find success in unconventional ways.
      Michelle recently posted… Re-use- Re-write- Recycle! Get More From Your ContentMy Profile

  9. A good lesson was also learned – Know your Exit! This refers to knowing how you are going to end what you are doing. Where do you want to finish? What is your goal? Although Kyle knew he just wanted to keep trading up, he had not thought through to the end. I read an article that mentioned that he was hit with a huge tax liability since his cost basis initially started as a paperclip (a few cents) and ended with a house (Thousands and Thousands of dollars). The IRS wants their share of that as a capital gains tax! Ouch!

    Always know your exit!

    Be Well.
    Paul B. Taubman, II recently posted… 5 Mobile Apps to Boost Your Productivity and Increase Your GratitudeMy Profile

  10. I remember when Kyle starting doing the One Red Paperclip project. I followed it at first, and even sent a couple trade offers, none of which were accepted. Still, I was pretty freakin’ amazed at how quickly he turned that little plastic paperclip into a house in Saskatchewan.

    There have been others – like Golden Paperclip and Trading Nothing – and I’ve even recently started my own similar project, called A Pen for a Dream, where I attempt to trade up from a pen until I end up with a motorhome.
    Simon recently posted… Concentric CirclesMy Profile

    1. Very cool. Love the unique pen – I’ve never seen one hand painted like that.

  11. A good lesson was also learned – Know your Exit! Don’t let any one rain on your parade. His story was included in my college, a paper called “success stories from across the globe”. I love finding these.
    Rebekah Hobbs recently posted… Heather PenkoMy Profile

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