Where would you be in life without the constructive influence of a resourceful mother? For some people, the answer to that question is prison. And the way out and into a better life is getting in tune with the entrepreneurial mindset.
I grew up in a single-mother household. Shortly after divorcing my father, she started her own business. My brother and I were vaguely aware that she struggled from time-to-time but she succeeded in isolating us from the stress. We grew up feeling very secure about ourselves and starting a business seemed normal.
My mother is a tough woman with strong masculine energy but she still somehow managed to fulfill the mission of the divine feminine: nurture and raise successful children. We grew up in a family culture that was essentially entrepreneurial and despite the limitations of the family structure, we acquired a mindset that serves us to this day. Without that entrepreneurial mindset I am curious about how we might have fared.
I met Kristie Wisniewski while coaching her husband's executive team in Houston. She is part of the counseling team for the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) that has led to 350 inmate-initiated start-ups, half of which have gone on to hire other "graduates" of the prison system, who went through the nine-month program (a program that includes personal growth support and a Shark Tank style business plan competition). The economic and social benefits are obvious as the program lowers the high cost of the high rates of recidivism. Entrepreneurship gives purpose and challenge and a framework to do something constructive: "It's simply practical life skills administered with love and an abiding belief in the redemption of all." That sounds an awful lot like my mother's mission statement for her sons.
A signifiant majority of people in the prison system came from single-parent (mostly single-mother) households. With one parent gone, it falls on the shoulders of a resource-deficient person, stretched and diluted across a number of fronts, to somehow defy the odds and successfully launch her children. Whether single-family households drive people into the prison system is a controversial idea, it's certainly a highly-correlated one. I am not surprised that the PEP is working, as I am not surprised that the entrepreneurial mindset is working.
Nothing ventured nothing gained. This is one part of the entrepreneurial mindset and the mantra we had growing up. I owe my mother not just for my life but for the path under my feet. Youth is a dance on the razor's edge between learning to do something constructive and falling under the influence of less constructive characters on a less constructive path.
Please share this post with the enterprising youth in your family and community. My book series is a study on the entrepreneurial mindset and I have priced each book at $19.64, the year of my birth. I think it's good value and saves people a ton a grief. Order yours here.