As the Education Director of Praxis, my mission is to help our participants develop a sense of agency and autonomy in their professional lives. I’m not just involved in helping people acquire jobs. I’m involved in helping them develop a mindset that’s conducive to creating value in any context. At Praxis we believe that the best opportunities are created, not discovered. And as software continues to eat the world, as Marc Andreessen observed, this will only become more and more true.
The kind of thinking it will take to thrive in this world is what I refer to as “entrepreneurial thinking.” And it’s no longer a sustainable strategy for people to treat entrepreneurial thinking as if it’s the unique province of start-up founders. It is now becoming a necessary condition for creating and experiencing freedom at any level.
The Foundation for Economic Education made an announcement today that I’m being designated as the Director of Entrepreneurial Education. In plain terms, that means I will be drawing from my experience as an entrepreneur and an educator to help FEE popularize the entrepreneurial way of thinking.
The ongoing daily work that I do with Praxis is critical to the contributions I will be making at FEE. Praxis is not a hobby for me. It’s my very life. It’s my calling. It’s my daily way of living out a philosophy I’ve always espoused: “criticize by creating.” When I give talks about the power of entrepreneurship, the value of free markets, and the role of personal creativity in the making of a freer society, I am able to speak with such unapologetic conviction precisely because I know that I am eating, drinking, and sleeping this stuff every single day as I grind it out in the marketplace solving very hard problems and serving a wide range of customers with diverse needs.
The things I talk about are not a game for me. It’s literally my business. I’m not here to sell the dream. I’m here to be an example of what it means to get out there on the front lines and fight for the dream at an individual level. That is a work I will continue doing and that is an attitude that I fully intend to represent at FEE.
Praxis has been a business partner with FEE for the past five years and I’ve worked closely with FEE at it’s seminars and workshops for just as long. So I see this collaboration as the logical outworking and natural extension of a work that’s already been in progress for quite some time. I will continue to grow my business as a lifelong “Praxian” (that’s a fun term one of our participants made up to give Praxis participants/alumns a team name) and I will combine my talents, my experiences, and my voice with the resources and team at FEE to help bring the entrepreneurial mindset and the philosophy of freedom to a wider audience.
My agenda hasn’t changed: I’m still on a mission to convince as many people as I can that they have the permission and the power to be the predominant creative force in their own lives. And my specific focus of helping people adopt this mindset in their professional lives through Praxis is more intense than it’s ever been. And herein lies the true power of the work I do with FEE:
I am a speaker second, entrepreneur first. I am a talker second, doer first. I don’t merely preach about the free market, I practice the free market. I’m not here to ask anyone to take a chance on something that I am not willing to stake my life and reputation on every single day. I’m not merely interested in arguing for the theoretical beauty of profits. I’m committed to keeping my feet firmly grounded in the unsafe space of earning my paycheck in the for-profit realm. I have skin in the game. I’m playing for fun AND profit. And my goal is to continue infecting the freedom movement with the virus of that very mindset.