Raising the Entrepreneurial Spirit

One of my favorite characteristics of the American Dream is the cultivation and reality of the entrepreneurial spirit, the idea of carving out your own path and building something that is covered with your fingerprints.  What an awesome pursuit.  It takes courage, knowledge, dedication, and sometimes even a little luck.

It’s this entrepreneurial spirit that drives our quality of life here in America forward, and I would love to see an increased effort to help raise more entrepreneurs here in Nebraska.  What can we do to encourage our youth to think outside the box and create something meaningful while doing what they love to do?

One way that we can foster the entrepreneurial spirit is to recall and share examples about the meager beginnings of great American success stories.  We’ve got some great instances right here in our own backyard.  I’ll reference one of our most famous ones because this story speaks directly to the notion of taking something that interests you and finding a creative way to make a living while adding value to other people’s lives.

Forgive me if you‘ve heard this story a million times, but it never gets old to me.  When Warren Buffett was a boy, one of his first business endeavors was the purchase of a pinball machine for a local barber shop. Once the machine was in place and being used, he returned to that shop once a week to collect all the nickels.  Pretty soon, Warren had a lot of nickels. So he bought another pinball machine for a different barber shop. Shortly thereafter, he had twice as many nickels as before. So he bought another machine and then another and another… Eventually Warren needed some help collecting all the nickels.  You get the picture about how he learned a valuable lesson in acquiring assets.

We’ve got terrific values and resources here in Nebraska and I think we as parents and grandparents can do a great service to our youth by encouraging more of them to be entrepreneurs and to use their creativity, passion and courage to build something that is meaningful and fulfilling to them.

Successful entrepreneurs need to be willing to fail and re-work their plan to make things happen, to pursue or create their calling within their “sweet spot.” These are the sort of things that get me really excited about being a part of a community like Omaha and having my kids contribute and participate within it.  Wouldn’t it be fun to help equip their generation to seize opportunities and put their fingerprints on our city?   ©2014

Matt Atchison is a father and local independent Financial Advisor with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC.  He can be reached at matthew.atchison@raymondjames.com (402) 505-7700   13321 California Street, Suite 320 Omaha, NE 68154.

Any opinions are those of Matt Atchison and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

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