On May 31, 2014 I had the opportunity to speak to one hundred eighty (180) folks. The talk was on the subject of Decisions and how the quality of those decisions will directly impact the quality of one’s survival. As well, I addressed the issue of their ‘Ideas and Aspirations’ and what makes theirs special – after all ideas and aspirations are a dime a dozen…
The room was full of students, their parents and several notable family representatives from scholarship donor families. The students were there to receive either new or renewal scholarships based on, well, their outstanding scholarship. It was a commencement address of sorts, and I videoed the presentation.
The organizing for the event was handled by a team from the Community Foundation of the Verdugos – a non-profit organization who’s CEO is a longtime, very good friend of mine, Edna K.
Spending Time in Prison?
After a few acknowledgements I made a confession, an admission really. I told the crowd that I had spent a lot of time in state and Federal prisons in California. There was a hush. Then I explained that my time inside was delivering entrepreneurial and inventing programs, more specifically a program called ‘The Entrepreneurial Compass.’ Typically I travel to a facility, present a ‘workshop/seminar’ designed to get the inmates interested in the program. But how do I fill a room in a prison? Is it a mandatory attendance?
Marketing to Prisoners… WTH?
Believe it or not, yes, with the assistance of either the chaplain or an education department staff member we fill the chapel or multi-purpose room with as many prospects as possible. The word spreads by way of a flyer on a bulletin board, word of mouth and of course staff announcements. They’re a captive audience after all! 🙂
Then I give them a good talking to, and sell them on enrolling in the new class. Initially I work with the class then the inmates rotate facilitating the 10 – 12 week lesson plan. The system works pretty well.
I drew a few parallels between the students in the room and how they have something in common with prisoners 🙂 There was a laughter of recognition when I said this…
Ideas Are a Dime a Dozen – What Makes Yours so Special?
The ONE thing that makes your ideas and aspirations special is that they’re yours – it’s as simple as that. But, if they actualize, then and only then will you know what the value of those ideas are to others. There is no money in development, only in implementation, so to find out whether or not you have a worthwhile offering you must build it and start delivering. Here’s a quick video on the point:
But Wait, There’s More!
The address was 45 minutes long and there are many more clips I’ll share. Because the room was full students wanting to hit the ground running and develop their skills in their respective professions/vocations I pushed one particular point pretty hard… The point of having an absolute moral obligation to make as much money as possible so you can do good with it, by passing some of it along. So you too can contribute to scholarship funds… Yes, the very same as the fund managers and families here today handing you these generous scholarships.
I will be posting the origin story for the hit movie ‘The Sandlot’ VERY SOON. Stay tuned!
Graduation Image courtesy of hywards / FreeDigitalPhotos.net