Heart of the Matter – Encouraging an Entrepreneurial Spirit to High School Students
In the past several months, I have had the opportunity to participate in, and report on, a project that I believe will change the way we look at our home town communities. In this week’s issue is a follow-up to the “Hollowing Out The Middle” community book read (Community Leaders Discuss the Future During Eastland HS Learning Lab). This occurred in the Eastland School District, but the message pertains to each and every one of our communities.
As publisher of this newspaper, I was pleased to have been asked to share my story with the Eastland High School Classes of 2014 and 2015. Eleven other community leaders participated, hoping to express their sincere desire to help these young people look at their community in a different way.
The main premise of the book is that we all want what is best for our children. As a community, we fund their education, support their extra-curricular activities with fervor, and share in their parents’ pride when they go off to college, get their degrees, and move on with their lives and careers.
There is nothing wrong with that, it’s just that we seem to urge them to “move on.” This effort is directed toward reversing that trend. The group wishes to instill a different attitude among the students. That being, to be of benefit to the community. It is filling a need that perhaps no one else has thought of before, or it could be a need everyone has thought of.
The primary motivation is to be of benefit to the community, and being receptive to being compensated for it. If you do something of the highest good, one should be compensated, and people will be happy to do that.
The giving is most important because that gives us all purpose, and joy along with it. It gives our lives meaning. When doing something of benefit for others, we should all be willing to receive benefit back because that is a law of life, the give and take of things that we are all familiar with.
I just read an article called “The Invisible Hand of the Free Market,” written by Tim Schmidt, Publisher of the Concealed Carry Report and USCCA Founder (www.usconcealedcarry.com). It is a profound message to every high school senior that will take the giant step from high school to Brave New World next summer. It is also a real solution to saving the U.S. economy.
I believe that entrepreneurship is one of the chief cornerstones of our great nation. Not only did our founders fight our theocratic oppressors both militarily and politically, they also led our nation by living out their beliefs in practical ways.
And there is no more practical way to achieve the American dream than to start your own business from the ground up.
Most people know Benjamin Franklin owned a printing press and was a successful business man, but there are many unknown stories about other founders that may inspire you as well. Among my favorites is one of Maryland’s Thomas Stone, who was a lawyer. He’s quoted as saying he practiced law until he was able to “discharge the obligations under which he had laid himself for his education.” After he quit practicing law, he went into farming. It’s widely believed that he simply practiced law until he paid off his student loans and then found something he was more passionate about investing his life in. It was truly his American dream.
For me, this is a deeply personal subject. I believe in the wisdom of the free market and its invisible hand so much that I left behind the comfort of a successful career in engineering many years ago . . . I am thankful every day that I risked it all and started the USCCA.
Tim’s personal experience should remind our students, our community leaders, and our federal and state elected officials, that with great risk, comes great reward. That spirit is what made this country great.
I work with hundreds of entrepreneurs every week as we prepare another edition of this newspaper and web site. I know the spirit of these men and women is what drives them to succeed.
If our leaders had half of that spirit, this country would be well on the way to a rebounding economy that benefits all of its citizens. We have the tools. Let’s use them.