I first had the pleasure of being introduced to Jeremy from a close friend of mine, and in that short amount of time I have been so inspired by not only his words, but his actions.
There were facets that I felt were extremely important to cover in this piece about community–things that were of prime importance in setting the tone for building the future that we at ShekinahRagland.com hope to see.
I couldn’t have thought of anyone better to help launch this site into this new community of empowered men and women. And as we shift through this uncertain time, I hope that his words inspire you, just as it has inspired me.
I was sixteen when I opened my first custom longboard business, that also focused on creating a safe space for young people to talk about life. Through the relationships that were created during events hosted by my company, Void Longboards, people had important and real conversations. We could be vulnerable with each-other.
We could share ideas and brainstorm together. We had goals. Sometimes we’d even share books that we read. It was a great community of true human growth that I had not ever experienced previously–high school especially never gave me that experience.
I discovered entrepreneurship and marketing as vehicles for helping others, and building a community while also searching for an escape from depression.
And during that time I came across a quote that sums up entrepreneurship for me personally.
“To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being.” – Biologist, John Lubbock.
Although the business closed with a deficit, I was drawn to entrepreneurship because of how much it impacted my life positively and how much I saw I was able to impact others.
People inspire me, energize me, push me, keep me accountable, teach me, and introduce me to new things. And when I find people who I really relate to, we become a strong tribe together. One unit.
And that’s when things get exciting.
According to an old African Proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together“.
Just as denoted by the root and the suffix of the word (common-unity) community.
Looking into Etymology, you can learn the origins of the word “community” is derived from the Latin “communitas”, fellowship, which in turn is derived from “communis“, or “common”. The prefix “com” signifies “with, together, in conjunction, joint”. Removing the “com” from the latin, leaves you with munis, which derives from munire, meaning “to fortify, strengthen, or defend”.
We’re better off fighting together. A rising tide lifts all ships.
A better way of explaining that proverb is Aristotle’s concept of the “Prime Mover”–or better known as “The Butterfly Effect”.
The concept says in theory, everything that causes something is itself caused by something else, and we can trace the chain of causes as far back as we like. But sooner or later we’ve got to reach a first cause that just was. Causing but itself, un-caused.
In early high school, dad introduced me to a friend of his when I was just kicking off my first business. This business friend of his would later become my first mentor, Kenton Yohey. Kenton has been one of the most impactful catalysts in my life, which in turn, helped me have a positive impact on other lives.
He introduced me to a community of like-minded people who understood me.
And having this community of hard-working, ambitious, caring, and like-minded leaders was so instrumental to the human that I have become today.
Most importantly they were people who understood me and accepted my true self. I had always struggled with feeling alienated in society. I was in search of a tribe that would lift me up to be a better person and help me become someone who can help others.
And it was belonging to this strong community that was my launch pad. I am at this point in my life because of the people that I have been connected to.
My dad is my prime mover. Kenton Yohey is my prime mover.
Today, I am the co-founder of a non-profit called The STARTedUP Foundation, that empowers highschool innovators and entrepreneurs through community programs, content, mentorship, and funding.
I live through my purpose at the highest level when I can help leaders, students, or brands be their absolute best selves for their community.
I believe leaders create leaders. I want to empower young leaders to be passionate about personal development. I want to share my story and help others see how they can discover the joyful and adventurous journey in life of wanting to become the best version of yourself.
It’s important to create the life that you want–but also help others along the way.
Twitter: Jeremy Ross Miller