There's Hope Yet

Last week I shared with you a lot of bad news to prove a point—there’s reason to be angry (“Mad as Hell”). I also shared why being mad wasn’t enough and why you must do more than complain and protest. You must increase your financial IQ by pursuing solid financial education.

A couple weeks back, I also wrote on the Occupy movement, challenging them to start their own businesses and be the change they are calling for in the world rather than just sitting around and protesting (“Are You Occupied?”). I wrote:

In the end, the world isn’t changed by people who complain. It’s changed by people who do. Don’t like the way corporate America and Wall Street operate? Be part of changing the way America does business by being an entrepreneur who starts a company to not only make money but also make the world a better place, starting companies like TOMS, for instance.

This week, there’s still no shortage of bad news. It seems that Congress can’t win—even when cheating. The Super Congress, it appears, will fail to reach any consensus on federal deficit reduction. This means the government now has 12 months to fix the problem, a problem the Super Congress couldn’t fix with bent rules. There’s already talk that this might lead to another downgrade.

Also, the euro is in deep trouble as the growing debt crisis in Europe threatens to topple the currency and the world’s economy with it. Many now believe that the future of the euro rests in the European Central Bank’s (ECB) ability to print money. If that fails, or the ECB chooses not to create massive debt, the currency will fall, sending shockwaves throughout the world.

But amid all this, there is good news this week too in the form of an opinion piece written in The New York Times, entitled, Generation Sell.

The article focuses on the youngest generation that is coming of age, the millennial generation, born in the late 1970’s through the mid-1990’s. The generation is the biggest since the baby boomers, estimated from 70 to 80 million—and apparently the most entrepreneurial generation ever.

According to the article:

Today’s ideal social form is not the commune or the movement or even the individual creator as such; it’s the small business. Every artistic or moral aspiration—music, food, good works, what have you—is expressed in those terms.

Call it Generation Sell.

Bands are still bands, but now they’re little businesses, as well: self-produced, self-published, self-managed. When I hear from young people who want to get off the careerist treadmill and do something meaningful, they talk, most often, about opening a restaurant. Nonprofits are still hip, but students don’t dream about joining one, they dream about starting one. In any case, what’s really hip is social entrepreneurship—companies that try to make money responsibly, then give it all away.

While there is unfortunately a hint of distaste in the voice of the article’s author regarding this trend, I find this to be an extremely positive and important article. Why? Because if this trend is true and continues, the world will be a better place.

While the disaffected youth who make up the Occupy movement get all the press, they make up a very small percentage of the upcoming generation. General numbers for the protests are in the tens of thousands (though these numbers are often disputed as overblown), this compared to a upcoming generation that numbers close to 100 million.

Quietly in the background, with no real fanfare, millions of other young people are doing exactly what I’ve advised. Increasing their financial education, desiring to be entrepreneurs to make the world a better place, and starting businesses that drive our economy and allow them to not only do things they are passionate about—but do so with true influence.

That is the power of entrepreneurship.

I invite you to stop protesting with words and to start protesting with action. Increase your financial IQ, discover your passion, and start a business to make the world a better place. What have you got to lose?

Are you interested in gaining knowledge to start - or expand - your own business? Learn more about what Rich Dad has to offer with our Entrepreneurship programs.

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