September 10, 2007. The sixth anniversary of the last day of innocence.
I spent Sept. 10, 2001 playing chief councillor at PROFIT Magazine’s GrowthCamp, its annual conference for the leaders of Canada’s “Hot 50” emerging growth companies. It produced, as always, a stunning combination of dynamic entrepreneurial personalities and creative idea-sharing.
On the way home, still charged with the passion and idealism that comes from spending three days with such an electric group, I parked the car at the side of a country road and wrote my editorial for the next issue - urging entrepreneurs to use their talents to make a difference beyond business.
Here is an excerpt.
'Now is the time to begin using your skills to benefit your community. Take this energy, and all your many gifts — for sizing up a situation, seeing an opportunity, planning, leading and analyzing — and focus your efforts on organizations and issues outside of your business.
'What can entrepreneurs give the world? Contagious enthusiasm and a bias for action. There are too many committees where lawyers debate process and nothing gets done. I've seen what impact one courageous board member can have on a group. By raising questions no one has asked before, suggesting new ways of thinking and proposing creative solutions, you can make an impact on any interest group.
'It won't be easy. Entrepreneurs are used to giving direction. And they like things done right away. Getting involved will require levels of patience and diplomacy you never knew you had. Don't give up, because you have unique gifts to share.
'Don't give up, because the world needs you.'
I still believe this to be true today. Perhaps more than ever.