This week I had the privilege—and the fun—of speaking to the students in an entrepreneurship class at one of our local high schools. These young people were polite, attentive, and ambitious. Their knowledge was impressive and their questions were incisive. It was neat to see.
I make a concerted effort to speak to kids at area schools throughout the year, for a number of reasons. First of all, I enjoy it. Helping young people to learn about the real-world opportunities and challenges of running a business and inspiring them to chase their dreams makes me feel good. It fills up my emotional bank account, which is just as important as your financial one for leading a fulfilling life.
I also believe that volunteering your time and expertise to good causes is good business. If you invest in your community, they’ll invest in you. Sure, high-school kids aren’t in the market for a landscaping installation, but their parents or their parents’ friends or their grandparents may be. Creating a name and a reputation for yourself by getting involved in your community helps you stand out from the competition and can be some of the most effective networking you do.