A Lessen From a Flower

“As for the winter, when the freezing rains confine the farmer, he may employ himself in preparations for serener seasons.” - Virgil’s First Georgic by Robert Fitzgerald

Every year I plant my gardens and start new plants in my greenhouse.  Every year I complain that despite my efforts nothing happens the way I think it should.  And every year I learn valuable lessons not just about agriculture but life.

Gardening enhances our quality of life in numerous ways: providing fresh food, exercise and health benefits, and opportunities for life-long learning. A garden experience fosters ecological literacy and stewardship skills, enhancing an awareness of the link between plants and cycles of life.  

This is the spirit of Georgics.  Man’s struggle against the hostile natural world that can be overcome through hard work.  Taking the time alone, turning off the myriad of electronic devices, and listening to what nature has to say.   

By Dawn We Will Be Free

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on Aug 25, 2015

About a year and 1/2 ago, I was teaching in Southern California. I always try to bring a lot of stories and historical relevance to my classes and in this particular class, I had related the events surrounding the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
One of my students, a quiet but attentive older lady approached me after the class and with a bit of an accent, thanked me for sharing the Hungarian history and quietly shared that she had lived through that revolution. This lead to a formal interview, which then lead to her writing this book.
At the end of WWII, the Soviet Army pushed the Nazi’s out of East Europe and began to occupy it. It was 1945 when they invaded Hungary and made it a communist state, one of the most repressed in the world.
Georgette and her family quickly went from a comfortable middle class life in Budapest, Hungary to being prisoners of one of the most horrific political systems in modern times.
Thousands of Hungarians were arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. Many died of starvation, and of foul conditions after being forced from their homes and made to live in camps.
Some were executed. Georgette and her family knew they had to escape or they faced the same fate as their unfortunate neighbors.

What Are The Georgics

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on Aug 24, 2015

What are the Georgics?,”  is a really good question.  Let me qualify myself before I attempt to answer this.

I grew up on a 40-acre farm with 1,000 chickens, 30 head of cattle, 10 pigs and an assortment of ducks, geese, cats, and dogs etc.

So I understand farm life and nature’s birth, growth and death cycle, puny man’s dependence on Providence for hay crops, 3:00am calving emergencies, the untimely death of a beloved animal, the threat of coyotes–you see where I am going with this.

I am also a self-styled entrepreneur.  I have not worked anywhere for the last 20 years that I did not take a hand in creating the company or institution of my employ. So when I was introduced to the concept of Georgics, it made sense to me right away. But as our culture has moved away from the concept of the Georgics, fewer and fewer people understand what this is and why it is important.

Stop Stealing Dreams

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on July 27, 2015

Stop-Stealing-Dreams-SethI have been promoting these ideas for the last 20 years. I hated school and was very much against all “education” until Oliver DeMille first introduced me to these concepts in the early 1990’s.
But these aren’t new ideas, they had been talked about for a long time since the 1940’s and 50’s.  Great minds such as Mortimer Adler, Jacque Barzun, Robert Hutchins, Louise Cowan, Neal Flinders, and countless other have been sounding the warning for decades.
So while I strongly encourage you to read the full text of Seth Godin’s STOP STEALING DREAMS, I am giving you a few excerpts here.
This is the best introduction to POST INDUSTRIAL AMERICA AND EDUCATION I have seen so far.  Enjoy!
By the way…this post is 5,000 words. That does not mean you have to read it all.  It means that out of a 40,000 word e-book I am suggesting you read 11% to try it out. It means that if you read this and like it, you should go toSeth’s site and read the rest of his revolutionary book. The future depends on you.
Back to (the wrong) school
A hundred and fifty years ago, adults were incensed about child labor. Low-wage kids were taking jobs away from hard-working adults.

Prepping for the Forth of July

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on July 4, 2015

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? Their story. . .
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants.
Nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated.
But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

The Economy Entrepreneurship Part 5

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on May 28, 2015

Read The Economy Entrepreneurship Part 4

[This is the transcript of a lecture Dr. Brooks is preparing to give around the country. Please contact him for more details.]

downloadEric Worre, entrepreneur, researcher, and film maker, related the conclusions of his most recent documentary, Rise of the Entrepreneur, “In our search for a better way to make a living, we’ve come to the conclusion, that becoming an entrepreneur is actually safer than being an employee. And through our look at the entrepreneurial options, one particular path kept coming up from expert after expert.
And I think most people will find it surprising, because it’s certainly a non-traditional business model. That model is for people to start their own business and become an entrepreneur through the creation of a network marketing business.”
Some people call it direct selling because the product is sold directly from the manufacturer to the end consumer, cutting out the middle man. Other people call it multi-level marketing or MLM because there are multiple levels of commissions paid.
The most common term used today is network marketing, because network marketing best describes using a large group of independent distributors, independent entrepreneurs, to distribute a product or service more efficiently.

The Economy Entrepreneurship Part 4

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on May 28, 2015

Read The Economy Entrepreneurship Part 3

[This is the transcript of a lecture Dr. Brooks is preparing to give around the country. Please contact him for more details.]

So let’s move on to question #2: In this new economy, is it better to become an entrepreneur, or is it really safer to work for someone else?
median-household-incomeThe average household income in the United States is approximately $50,000 a year. If you wanted to be part of the top 25% of income earners, you would need to earn at least $90,000.
To reach the top 10% would be a household income of $140,000, the top 5% $190,000, and to be in the top 1% you would need a combined household income of at least $380,000 a year.
So here’s the question–if you wanted to move up to the top 25% or 10% or even the top 5% of income earners (and who wouldn’t want to?), can you see yourself moving up to these levels with your current means of income?

The Economy Entrepreneurship Part 3

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on May 13, 2015

Read The Economy Entrepreneurship Part 2

[This is the transcript of a lecture Dr. Brooks is preparing to give around the country. Please contact him for more details.]

Two years ago, Ted Siedle wrote a piece for Forbes Magazine entitled, “The Greatest Retirement Crisis In American History.” He wrote, “We are on the precipice of the greatest retirement crisis in the history of the world.
‘In the decades to come, we will witness millions of elderly Americans, the Baby Boomers and others, slipping into poverty. Too frail to work, too poor to retire will become the “new normal” for many elderly Americans.”
He says, “That dire prediction, which I wrote two years ago, is already coming true. Our national demographics, coupled with indisputable glaringly insufficient retirement savings and human physiology, suggest that a catastrophic outcome for at least a significant percentage of our elderly population is inevitable.

The Economy Entrepreneurship Part 2

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on May 10, 2015

Read The Economy Entrepreneurship Part 1

[This is the transcript of a lecture Dr. Brooks is preparing to give around the country. Please contact him for more details.]

As an educator, speaker and business owner, I have spent my entire career helping thousands around the U.S. and Canada to change their thinking and to become entrepreneurs. And I strongly believe that there is in fact a better way to succeed in making a living and making a life.
MP900387741The career landscape has changed dramatically, and many are still working in a model that is completely out of date. What worked for previous generations just isn’t working very well for anyone in the workforce whether they are close to retirement or just entering the job market.
Today we will explore three important questions:
  1. What’s really going on in the workplace today?
  2. In this new economy, is it better to become an entrepreneur, or is it really safer to work for someone else?
  3. If a person decides to become an entrepreneur, and start their own business, how can they do it without taking on massive risk?
To answer these questions we have consulted some of the most knowledgeable experts and thought leaders in the field of entrepreneurship such as:

The Economy Entrepreneurship Part 1

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on April 17, 2015

[This is the transcript of a lecture Dr. Brooks is preparing to give around the country. Please contact him for more details.]
The world is changing faster than ever. What used to take decades, is now taking years or months. And indirectly as a result of these changes, we have two looming crises, the elderly retirement crisis and the college-grad employment crisis.
Rumor has it that corporate America is not a safe place to work anymore. We’ve seen our friends get laid off or maybe we’ve been laid off. Some of those who are still working have had their pay cut. So Americans are overworked and underpaid and they seem to have less time and less freedom.
And there’s something wrong with society when we can measure at a national level, a 35% increase in the chance of a heart attack every Monday morning as people rush off to their jobs.