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“Entrepreneurship isn’t a zero-sum game. It’s a community built on shared wisdom and mutual respect. So really, I write the above as a way to say this: We all benefit when we let these entrepreneurs in. Respect them as they respect you. Learn from them as they learn from you. Then you’ll take part in another, grander tradition of paying it forward.
Consider the story of Jeff Lopez. In 2007, when he was 16, he wanted to start a marketing company but was too to legally sign the paperwork. So Sadie Clayton, the coordinator at his after-school program, stepped in filing the articles of incorporation and other documents, and helping him build his company into something real. Then she continued to help him as he wrote for the local paper, which set off a crazy series of events: A fan of rapper Chris Brown read one of Lopez’s stories, then asked if he’d help develop a fan page. The page became so big that Chris Brown himself hired Lopez. (This was before Brown’s legal troubles.) “If it wasn’t for my mentor being by my side,” Jeff tells me, “no one would have taken me seriously.” But today, major Hollywood studios take him plenty seriously. His company GLOOB works with them regularly; recent projects include Wonder Woman and Mad Max. Sadie and Jeff are still in touch. “I have learned more about myself through mentoring Jeff than I could have ever imagined,” says Sadie, now admissions director at Camden Center for Youth Development. “I learned patience, understanding and that everyone has their own path.” That’s it right there! When we recognize talent in whatever form it takes any age, any background everyone benefits.
All we must do is shift perspective. Because, yeah, you could look at our cover and say, “There’s a 13-year-old girl on the cover of Entrepreneur.” Or you could just say, “There’s an entrepreneur on the cover of Entrepreneur.” Both are true. But the second one is more useful for us all. “ - Entrepreneur.com
The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs Are Amazing. Let's Support Them
By Jason Feifer