“You can’t out-give your community.” That’s what Dr. Tim Stafford ingrained in Jason Ansley, founder and vice president of ansleyRDgroup, as his long-time mentor. That is the heart of anselyRDgroup’s sponsorship of the ” Enter the Shark Tank” Youth Business Plan Competition in Marion County.
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“Publicity, especially positive publicity, is nice,” Ansley says. “Inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs is worth so much more in our hearts and toward the accomplishment of our spiritual mission as a company.”
What is entrepreneurship exactly?
Just because someone owns a business or has an equity stake doesn’t necessarily make them an entrepreneur. Ansley defines entrepreneurship as “a spirit” inside a person. Entrepreneurs organize, operate and assume the risk for venture. They are thinkers, and they find solutions at nearly any intersection. Most often they have many of these qualities:
Ansley himself is an entrepreneur and always has been. His life shows very clear paths where the “spirit” he defined was growing within him.
Since his teenage years, Ansley has always had multiple jobs, multiple projects, multiple streams of income. When the time came to start his own business, it was nine months earlier than he planned. But Scott Alexander says, “Don’t be a cow…be a rhinoceros. Put your head up and charge after what you want in life.” Ansley, led by his go-getter entrepreneurial spirit, charged. Now, he and his wife, Stacey, own and run four successful businesses including his primary company, ansleyRDgroup.
“The vision I have for entrepreneurship,” Ansley says, “is for business owners to grab a hold of this spirit, internalize it, and in the process of leading a venture to grow and prosper, they will also change the lives of those around them and leave a positive impact on the world.”
Ansley hopes that this vision will be shared by the youth in the Enter the Shark Tank competition. He wants them to know two things:
- Success is a mindset followed by action, and the progressive realization of worthwhile goals. A Harvard Business School study classified just 3 percent of the people in the United States as “successful.” Ironically, other studies have shown that in the United States just 3 percent of the people set goals…yet 100 percent of “successful” people set goals.
- Have a positive mindset. Fill your mind with good stuff, wholesome stuff, and get rid of the garbage. As entrepreneurs you must have the courage to take risks and make bold decisions. Only a positive mindset will support these actions.
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Ansley and his team at ansleyRDgroup hope that the competition will inspire the youth to pursue their dreams, whether that is to go to college or study abroad, continue a family business or start their own business. The competition is not an easy one, and the students who put time, effort and thought into their plan will get the most out of the experience. “Enter the Shark Tank” has the potential to increase the entrepreneurial spirit among young people and further the business experience and education of high school students in the community.
Are you an entrepreneur? Have anything to add? We’d love to hear your thoughts!