Labor Day was just celebrated in homes and workplaces around the USA, to commemorate time spent by employees who work together to make this country great. Labor Day is really an acknowledgement of our nation's story, of our repeated attempts to find balance between work/home, right/wrong, and the self/collective. This story can be seen in the Huffington Post article by Caroline Fairchild.
It can be seen in the speeches and the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose teachings 50 years ago are being remembered this month. Dr. King's memorable blueprint for conduct and balance, the "I Have A Dream" speech, made him both a hero and a master storyteller. His attempts to bridge time between the past and future, and orchestrate meaningful change on a global level; socially, economically, and psychologically, inspire people to this day. It caused him to rightfully earn the title from Time magazine, as one of the premier "architects of the 21st century", according to Jon Meacham.
This month, in general, affords many people who are celebrating the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (this week and next week) a chance to ponder their own story and harness time. It allows us to actually hit the "pause button" and reflect on how our story has intersected with other Stories, other people's tales, and how that will promote change. We have an opportunity to harness time and make it work for us, by freeze framing past memories and offering up collective prayers, based on mistakes made and lessons learned.
As someone celebrating these two holidays, as well as coming from an educational background as a pediatric speech-language pathologist specializing in social communication and behavior and time management for children with autism, I am well aware of this concept of harnessing time. I have experienced it personally at the start of every school year, when I hit the "reboot button" and venture forth, attempting to yet again forge a path of innovation and progress for my students with special needs. I have experienced it as a bootstrapping, newly minted (3 years ago) female entrepreneur and iPad evangelist, trying to balance the craving for humanity and technology in today's fast paced, competitive, diverse, and global startup culture.
Because of my personal and professional background, I see so clearly how female entrepreneurs in particular, are already in position to harness time to create a legacy. We need to leave a legacy behind, physical (sustainability, philanthropy), and metaphysically (altruism, mentorship, meaningful content curation).
A legacy has the ability to be self sustaining and promote change. A legacy enables others to plot the course of their trajectory, to continue fostering a culture of sustainability, kindness, and giving. That culture is in danger of being extinguished, by today's somewhat narcissistic, "survivor mentality." One that is steadily permeating the way we conduct ourselves; in business, and frankly in life. Many of us will need to rethink this, especially at this time of year.
It's time to take note of our own strengths and challenges, and emerging tech trends, like iPad use and social media. It's time to examine the role they all play in commerce and communication. It's time to ponder the ramifications for eLearning and curriculum development in schools around the globe.
It is in our female DNA to grow, nurture, and care about the welfare of our children. We are hard wired to measure overall job satisfaction and pride in our performance, by calibrating how much of a positive impact we have on community, not just ourselves.
But a valid question has been raised in corporate boardrooms and conferences around the world, especially in the past 6 months, when the Entrepreneurial Revolution and the Tech Revolution, noticeably intersected:
Can Entrepreneurship Really Be Taught?
I'd like to add one more question: Can Entrepreneurs Harness Time?
Yes, and yes, particularly for female entrepreneurs in the educational and healthcare arenas. We can do so through tinkering with our internal timing based on the ability to observe and exploit patterns, and to emotionally nurture collaborative, symbiotic relationships. We can do so through fine tuning time management of our resources and responsibilities. We can do so by honing our problem solving and storytelling skills, which have a common denominator; causality.
At the end of the day, we're all struggling to harness time, make it work for us, and restructure The causality loop, i.e., action/reaction of our own choices/deeds, and its impact on our Story. That's why it's so crucial for female entrepreneurs to seek mentorship that has reverse mentorship opportunities. That's why we all need to collaborate on doing work that matters.
A call to arms has been sounded, and is growing in volume. We need to heed it, so that we can positively impact on future generations, and leave the world a better place than how we found it. Women have been attempting to do this for decades. More women need to embrace entrepreneurship, so that we embed altruism and reform into its DNA. Economics, after all, is the study of human behavior, and its impact on human rights, commerce, and geopolitical trends.
"It's profound, however, when an entrepreneur changes the arc of history by improving the way we educate our children." -Evan Burfield, cofounder of 1776, May 2013
Time magazine just published an article by Michele Norris, special correspondent to NPR and director of The Race Card Project entitled "One Dream." In it, Norris writes about the 1963 speeches Dr. King gave, which targeted a variety of listeners, live or via TV and radio, who were "more devoted to 'order' than to justice." She also writes a profound statement that really resonates with me, as an educator, an entrepreneur, and woman.
"The geography of the mind requires that we challenge our assumptions and see past differences to place all kinds of people in a category marked bound for success."
Attention female entrepreneurs: Are you ready?