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Best Ways to Give Back

I grew up in the rural outskirts of St. Louis. My home town had more churches than people. I had six brothers and sisters spanning from 5’8” all the way up to 6’6”! Even the girls were tall. That’s seven kids and my mom and dad all living in a 1,000 square foot home in the sticks. I still remember how blessed / cursed we were with our single bathroom. Needless to say, with that many people living on top of each, peace at home was at a premium. The economists classified us as “working poor.” I agreed with them. Dad worked three jobs. Mom worked part-time at the local Wal-Mart when it opened. Us kids worked the fireworks stand in the summer and fast food at night after school when we got old enough. We did what we had to to get by as most people did. I always told myself that those jobs were simply a means to an end. I had bigger dreams pulling on me night and day, and I knew that entrepreneurship was one of the ways to realize them.

I began my path following the normal steps the “experts” gave us all to get ahead. You know: graduate high school, go to college, get a good job, and climb the corporate ladder to some kind of financial success and stability. OK, college was fun, I’ll give ya that. But the corporate life didn’t really appeal to me. So, I constantly kept my eyes open for any needs in the community that weren’t being satisfied by the market.

I first thought, “there’s no good deals left to be had. Smart people have already solved all the obvious problems out there. I’ll be lucky to find anything that really stands out.” Depressing? You betcha. But once I fought past my mental block, I tried something that helped me find the so-called “pain” out there in the market. It opened my eyes to possibilities I had no concept of previously. (Take note! This next thing may actually change your life.)

I started my first “Idea Notebook.” Everyday I pushed myself to:

Find one product or service currently available in the market that I thought needed to be improved in some way. Create one new product or service that didn’t exist to my knowledge, but that I wanted to see offered. All day long, I’d pay attention to anything I was buying, driving, eating, or using in any way to see if I could find some masterful improvement just on the precipice of being developed. At the same time, I’d think about what products or services weren’t out there in the world that people needed. The secret to creating new business solutions or product lines that people will love is discovering what people are doing inefficiently; the “pain” of wasted time, money, and manpower. If you keep your eyes open, think outside of your own experience, and question the logistics of the workings around you, you’ll be surprised how many improvements and new creations come into your vision.

You want to know how to “Give Back?” You want to broadly serve your fellow man? Solve the world’s problems one entrepreneurial endeavor at a time. Bring desirable product improvements to market, hire people, expand your operations, and increase economic growth throughout the community.

Charities In St Louis Missouri

Sponsors of the Duree Center for Entrepreneurship

 

Mission Statement: Inspire and grow the entrepreneurial spirit at LU by creating, nurturing, and advancing entrepreneurial endeavors through long-term mentorship, partnership, and internship.

* Awarded "St. Louis' Winning Workplaces" for 2010 by St. Louis Small Business Monthly Magazine.
* BXC sponsors the LU dance team, LU Legacy newspaper, and LU Athletics department.
* BXC will be the official bookstore for LU as of July 1, 2011.
* Rick Duree mentors small businesses in the area including "Woo Hoo Fitness", "Joe's Mobile Detailing", "Elle by Design"
* Volunteer on the LU Business Advisory Board and the LU Entrepreneurship Committee.
* Rick Duree teaches at LU in the Entrepreneurship Department.