BY DEBBIE NAZARIAN, LEMONADE DAY NATIONAL DIRECTOR
In this week’s blog, I want to reflect not only on the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday but on his leadership traits and vision for economic equality. Over 57 years ago, Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech,” which inspired many people back in August 1963 and continues to inspire today.
Dr. King possessed all the typical leadership traits we talk about in our youth entrepreneurship program. Self-confidence. Determination. Intelligence. Resilience. Passion. Persistence. Communication skills. Dream big! An often-forgotten part of Dr. King’s “Dream” speech is his economic vision. His comments on helping Americans secure a better future for their families ties well into Lemonade Day’s message on the importance of financial literacy in youth entrepreneurship education. Dr. King understood the uphill battle so many faced to have their own dream.
My conversation last week with our Board Chairman, Charlie Hamilton, covered the finer points on the importance of financial literacy in youth entrepreneurship education. I invite you to read it if you missed it. [hyperlink to Charlie’s blog]. One of Charlie’s key points was that “financial literacy is arguably the most important skill that is missing in our kid’s lives today.”
Daymond John on Two Things Entrepreneurs Need
The idea of financial literacy is underscored by Shark Tank’s Daymond John. A successful entrepreneur himself, John thinks entrepreneurs have a “knowledge deficit.” In a talk John gave at a Kingonomics Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Investment Conference, his message was that “entrepreneurs struggle to understand the financial side of the business which prevents the business owner’s ability to scale the company and attract investors.” John also acknowledges the importance of mentors in guiding entrepreneurs on their journey. He pointed out that “minority communities are especially hungry for the sort of financial education that will help them steer clear of bad financial decisions. To find a good advisor, entrepreneurs should look close to home. Mentors don’t have to be Daymond Johns or Mark Cubans. A person running a successful bodega or a tax firm in your community for the last 20 years, that person is working just as much as the individual who’s running General Mills.”
Financial literacy and mentors are key life skills every person should have. At Lemonade Day, we know that not everyone is born to lead but those with the traits of Dr. King and Daymond John can have a positive affect on everyone around them from school to work to sports to the boardroom. We know we make a difference in the trajectory of the lives of our kids who participate in Lemonade Day.
We know Lemonade Day works. We also know not every Lemonade Day kid wants to be a CEO and that’s okay. But we know that our program content and mentor model provide the tools necessary for kids to create a successful future. We would love for you to join us at Lemonade Day and make a difference in a child’s life and the future of our country. That’s our dream.
Please feel free to share this blog with others and share my contact information, email@example.com with anyone who would like to know how to help us provide our program to more children and youth or start Lemonade Day in a new city!
Thank you for reading. I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. For more information about Lemonade Day, please visit www.lemonadeday.org.