Utah Entrepreneurs Lead a Happy Life

Steve Gibson, whose license plate is MENTOR, is a successful business
man who spends most of his time and resources giving back. He has
backed some of the most successful startup companies in Utah. He
teaches entrepreneurship at BYU. And he and his wife founded my
favorite philanthopic organization, the Academy for Creating Enterprise, which trains entrepreneurs in the Philippines. He has faith in people and tries to help them succeed. He is one of my heroes.

He is also an accomplished writer. His recent Deseret News column
reports on research that his BYU students have done surveying
successful Utah entrepreneurs to see what they value and what makes
them tick. The bottom line: the vast majority are happy at work and at
home and feel that their religious faith has helped them in business. 100% of the entrepreneurs surveyed enjoy their work.

Thanks, Steve, for pointing out through research how fulfilling the
life of an entrepreneur can be, at least for those who are in
fast-growing companies. Let’s hope that entrepreneurs who are still in
the struggling phases will study, work, and perserve until they too can
achieve business success.

If you an entrepreneur who is unhappy or struggling now, just remember
that things will change, things will improve. As my brother says,
you’ll be an overnight success after 10 years of hard work.

The Power and Speed of “We The People”

Last week I blogged about how individuals and communities can solve problems faster and better than government agencies can:

We are Americans. This is a land of liberty and self-government. It’s all about
“we the people.” We have never hired our central government to take care of all
of our needs. We are a free people and a generous people. Our history is filled
with examples of private individuals caring for one another through private
charity, churches, and organizations. We can solve problems and create
solutions. We the people can do more than we have done to prepare for the next
tragedy that strikes our people.

I hope Americans and our media will stop
blaming the central government for their failures and instead spend more time
and energy donating to and promoting and volunteering in organizations and
churches who do so much good at times like this.

The American Red Cross
was not formed by the U.S. Government. It was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton
and other humanitarians. Funding came from John D. Rockefeller and many
others.

According to Wikipedia, the American Red Cross
responds to 67,000 disasters per years. It’s one million volunteers and 30,000
employees assist victims of disasters throughout the United
States.

Churches and non-profit groups abound in this country, and they
are all pitching in, giving aid and comfort to those who have lost loved ones
and property.

Let’s all give what aid we can, let’s use our energy and
resources to assist the victims, to help them rebuild their lives, and to return
the Gulf Coast areas to their former beauty.

Rather than blaming the
President, the Governor, the Mayor, or anyone else for what has gone wrong, and
rather than expecting our government and military to provide all the relief in
times of crisis (although thank goodness for what the military has done!), let’s
hope that God will inspire Clara Bartons everywhere to step forward and support
organizations that give aid and comfort to millions now and in the future.

Little did I know that some Utah web designers had launched Katrinahousing.org a few days earlier. Americans have offered more than 130,000 beds to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

And through KatrinaCaravan.org volunteers are providing free transport for hurricane victims. The two sites have already partnered.

The actions of a few creative people can mobilize thousands more, and
so much good can be done. Please check out these two web sites and help
out if you can — it’s not too late to help provide long-term support
to those displaced by this horrific storm.

Kuwait Pledges $500 Million

I just learned that Kuwait has offered $500 million in donations
for Katrina disaster relief, following Qatar’s pledge of $100 million.
This is the best news I have seen so far, an amazing gesture from US
allies in the Middle East (including the nation we we liberated from
Iraq in 1991.) Other countries are also offering assistance. There is
good in the world. This is a story that all our media should be
reporting.

San Francisco 1906, New Orleans 2005

It’s hard to think about anything these days but the thousands of
people who perished in the hurricane and floods and the 1.5 million
people who have been displaced whose lives are permanently disrupted.

Today I’ve been inspired by reading an article written 99 years ago in
the aftermath of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire. This was
the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States up until
that time.

Please read this and pass it along, if you think it can give us some hope and a new perspective.

Source: Great Epochs, Vol. 10, p.163-8. Author: Henry James Forman, “The Earthquake and Fire in San Francisco”
Three-fourths of the city of San
Francisco have been destroyed by earthquake and flames. Three hundred
thousand people have been rendered homeless, and are facing, for the
moment, want and misery. The Federal Government, the States, and the
cities, newspapers, societies, and individuals are urging and
hurrying aid to the sufferers of the greatest calamity of the kind in
American history. No one is blind as to the extent of the disaster.
Yet, from every quarter comes that word of cheer and encouragement, of
sympathy and friendship, that is so helpful in times of distress, so
typical of the American character. Fortunately, says the New York
Journal, “it is certain that the spirit of ‘Forty-nine’ lives in
California to-day. The same courage that changed a wilderness into a
great State, and a strip of land by the sea’s edge into a beautiful
city, will do that work again. And from the ashes and the ruins, the
blasted hopes, the broken fortunes, there will arise another San
Francisco, more beautiful, more worthy of a brave people

Donut Auction to Help Katrina Victims

This weeked government rescue efforts and private charity have kicked
into high gear. It seems we have turned the corner in providing relief
for the 1.5 million displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina. Donations
to the Red Cross and to church-based relief efforts are in the
millions. I saw first hand yesterday how generous people are here in
Utah.

One creative way to help the victims was to bid on this eBay auction for the “world’s most expensive donut.”
The winning bid was $5,200. All proceeds went to the Red Cross, and the winner will
appear on television.

Worldhistory.com lists some of the most destructive hurricanes in history, but nothing seems to even come close to Katrina.

BYU Conference on Economic Self-Reliance

An outstanding conference on families and economic self-reliance is underway at BYU today and tomorrow. There will be many discussions from practitioners about microcredit programs, microenterprise, microfranchising (a new term to me) and more.

Stephen R. Covey will be the keynote speaker tomorrow at 1 pm. But the whole conference schedule looks great with speakers like Steve Gibson, Warner Woodworth, Louis Pope and many more.

Raising Money for Non-Profits

In the past year I’ve been asked to help with fundraising for a local college, a private school, and a non-profit media company that is developing inspirational video footage of modern heroes to inspire young men and boys to become great. I have learned two things: non-profit fundraising is very difficult and I don’t enjoy it at all. I don’t mind asking people to invest money in a business opportunity that may deliver a positive return on investment; but asking people for donations to a cause is extremely difficult for me.

Fortunately, I’ve recently learned about the Philanthropic Foundations of Utah directory, which is updated annually. I’m suggesting that all Utah non-profits should purchase this guide and contact the 375 foundations which exist soley to provide capital to good causes.

I also found a web site published by the Foundations Center, which lists foundation directories for almost every state in the U.S.

If I were very active in non-profits, then I would definitely join the Omidyar Network, a free community web site for networking about social causes. It was founded by Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, who has pledged to donate 99% of his wealth to philanthropy in the coming years.

Providing Relief in Southeast Asia

I am deeply saddened by the devastation and loss of life from the earthquake and tsunami which struck southeast Asia on Sunday morning. The New York Times reports the death toll is more than 23,000 with one third being children. It is hard to think about anything else today. I just learned that a close friend left a Thailand resort with his wife and children just two days before it was wiped out by the tidal waves.

The Southeast Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog has been set up to give people ideas on how they can help with donations and to make them aware of various relief efforts and the latest news. Paidcontent.org’s author Rafat Ali is safe in India; editor Staci gives good advice for those wanted to help with donations.

May God bless all who lost loved ones in this tragedy and may He strengthen all those who are providing relief to those who are suffering.