Business

At Last – Not Free

At Last – Not Free

Listen to “At Last – Not Free” by Fred Smith   Max Pennywise, a local small business owner and new Chair of the Long-Range Planning committee at First Church had just finished reading the latest book on making churches sustainable – “Five Steps to Freedom: An Innovative Business Model for Congregations.” In it, he discovered how the leadership of First Church could mov ...[Read More]

The Glitter is Gone

The Glitter is Gone

Listen to “The Glitter is Gone” by Fred Smith   In the past there has always been an unspoken bond between the very rich “one percent” of our world and the rest of us. During the Great Depression, people flocked to the movies to escape the harshness of their lives and catch a momentary peek at the one percent who were doing well. For years, the most popular movies were those with ...[Read More]

Monks And Money

Monks And Money

Listen to “Monks and Money” by Fred Smith   One of my treasures is a framed picture of Peter Drucker, Bob Buford, Tom Luce and myself outside Peter’s house in Estes Park in the early 1990’s. Underneath it, Bob wrote, “The Beginning of the Social Entrepreneur Network.” It was an idea we had been working on for several years and one that was close to Peter’s heart as it combin ...[Read More]

The Beginning And The End

The Beginning And The End

Listen to “The Beginning And The End” By Fred Smith   I have worked with a number of entrepreneurs over the years and there are a few common themes and characteristics in their lives. One of them is an extreme focus and a personal identification with projects. They start things, grow them, and then look for exit strategies. In fact, the exit strategy is built into the plan from th ...[Read More]

Catch A Wave

Catch A Wave

Listen to “Catch a Wave.”   Several years ago, our local Chamber of Commerce brought in a renowned demographer to talk with a large group of business and civic leaders about the future impact of immigration (legal and illegal) on our community of 100,000 people. “Your community will soon experience the full force of a tsunami of brown, young, unemployed, fertile, sometimes violent ...[Read More]

A Better Life

A Better Life

Listen to “A Better Life.”   As I handed him the check for the work he had been doing for us he paused before folding it neatly and putting it in his shirt pocket. “Are you happy with your current lifestyle? Would you like to know about a business opportunity that could help you get more income and be able to afford a better life?” I knew what was next and, fortunately, I had a pr ...[Read More]

When the Lights Go Out

When the Lights Go Out

Listen to “When the Lights Go Out.”   One of my treasures is a framed picture of Peter Drucker, Bob Buford, Tom Luce and myself outside Peter’s house in Estes Park in the early 1990s. Underneath it Bob wrote, “The Beginning of the Social Entrepreneur Network.” It was an idea we had been working on for several years and one that was close to Peter’s heart as it combined two of his ...[Read More]

Organizing Genius

Organizing Genius

A.S. Neill was the iconoclast founder of the Summerhill School in England. His educational philosophy of allowing children to pursue their own interests free from the interference of artificial standards, adult experts and the use of “teaching through fear” gave him both accolades and scorn. Neill himself, while a poor student, became one of the most influential (and controversial) educators of hi ...[Read More]

Be Ruthless

Be Ruthless

Like many Gathering participants, I have an affinity for entrepreneurs. That is one of the reasons so many of us look forward to Praxis being with us at the annual conference. Entrepreneurs are often identified (mistakenly) as risk-takers who don’t calculate before acting. Nothing could be further from the truth. They work hard to eliminate as much risk as possible but having done that they are wi ...[Read More]

Would You Be My Mentor?

Would You Be My Mentor?

While my father served as a mentor to many over his life, I asked him to share what he had looked for in a mentor when he was young. What were his criteria? Dad continued mentoring through www.breakfastwithfred.com into his late 80’s giving great insight into the selection process of mentoring. He passed away in 2007 leaving a legacy of wisdom, integrity, strength, and insight.   It’s ...[Read More]