Learning from the Past to Impact the Future

This post was originally posted at Impact Capitalist

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
– George Santayana

Welcome to 2018!

I don’t know about you, but I am very excited to put 2017 in the past and move on to making an impact on 2018 and beyond.

About 18 months ago, I went to a conference at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The keynote speaker, originally from Senegal, spoke about how she was trying to preserve her culture and heritage. While I remember disagreeing with her on many of her key points (her primary focus was on “social entrepreneurship”), I do remember asking myself and thinking about my culture and heritage. That is, what is it about my family’s culture and heritage that I would like to preserve?

I’ve already written that I want my children to know that they have options and opportunities in my blog post “Why Did I Start Impact Capitalist?”

I’ve been connected to small businesses for most of my life. I’ve owned and operated businesses formally since I was in college. And like many other entrepreneurs, I actually started mowing lawns when I was 13.

My parents owned and operated an electrical contracting firm that I worked with from pulling wire to negotiating contracts.

My grandfather (my mom’s dad) was a business owner.

My great-grandfather (my dad’s grandfather) was a business owner.

My great-great-grandfather (my mom’s great grandfather) ran a coal and ice business during the early part of the 20th Century.

It seems as if being an entrepreneur and business owner is in my blood.

But what is really unfortunate, other than my parents’ business, I know very little about the entrepreneurs and business owners in my family.

Why is it important to me to learn about my family heritage of business ownership and entrepreneurship?

Because I wonder what lessons I could learn from their experiences – their successes and their failures.

In 2018, I plan to write about both successes and failures. So many times we only hear about the positive stories of business owners and entrepreneurs. And yet, some of the greatest lessons that we can learn come from being aware of, and understanding, failures – both our own and others’.

So, here’s to learning from the past so we can make an impact on the future.

Happy New Year and Godspeed in 2018!

For Impact and Profit,

Mark

amdg

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