So, as I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve got a little project going here where I’ve been interviewing Social Entrepreneurs in my hometown of Kansas City – folks who go above and beyond to innovate and bring radical change into their communities.
The dude I interviewed yesterday floored me with his story (We’ll call him Dave): father of two, follower of Jesus, works a 9-5 in IT – but the most unique thing about this guy was the amount of care and concern you could tell he had for community. See, he’s just your everyday guy, but I’m in the Kansas City area, and Kansas City has a unique opportunity that developed last year: Google Fiber. At first glance, it’s just wicked fast internet, and only available in a few neighborhoods, so exciting idea, but not really a huge deal, right? Wrong. You see guys like Dave who are entrepreneurial, in the tech world, and/or, just want to see Kansas City become a better place see it for the opportunity it is: infrastructure that can transform a community. You see, Google Fiber isn’t just fast, it’s insanely fast. Like 1GB per second!! Basically what that means is that the tech to make full use of that hasn’t even been invented yet. Think about that – YouTube, Udemy, Facebook, Internet Radio – all of these things weren’t just made possible by the internet, they were made possible by high speed internet. So, these guys realize that we’re at the cusp of a revolution here in Kansas City, and have worked hard to create a ‘startup community’ around Google Fiber. The idea is to take neighborhoods that get Fiber, and transform them into incubators for entrepreneurial activity.
So, how does the retirement fund fit in? Get this – Dave was so committed, so sold out on changing his community, that he actually liquidated a part of his retirement to by a house in a ‘google fiberhood’ so that startups would have a place to work, live, collaborate and innovate.
Now, don’t worry too much – Dave said the retirement account wasn’t a huge part of his overall picture, he didn’t pay penalties, and it had just lost money anyway (I’m also not saying I recommend his specific action) – but think about that for a second – this guy’s not getting any sort of economic return on this (startups work there for free), he’s doing this because he is that sold out on change.
I’m not saying everyone needs to liquidate a retirement account, but I am saying that true change, be it in our communities, our lives, or our businesses only comes about when we demonstrate extreme dedication.
As for me, I’m going to be a Dave, and let nothing stand in the way of the change that I believe needs to occur.