In this freedom and prosperity article, I would like to talk about being a producer, but first I need to define what I mean by a consumer and a producer.
A consumer is someone who uses, or consumes, things. We are born consumers. We come into this world breathing oxygen, eating and drinking. We need some form of shelter from the elements. By design, our bodies are meant to consume.
A producer, on the other hand, is someone who creates value of some sort. I have a friend that can take a knot-riddled piece of wood and turn it into a beautiful cabinet. He is a producer. When a mom takes two pieces of cloth, sandwiches a piece of batting between them, then ties them intermittently with yarn to make a quilt, she is a producer. In both of these examples, the person is consuming something, but the value that is added makes the item have more value than the raw materials. They have created something that wasn’t there before: a cabinet or a warm blanket.
There are multiple types of producers. Employees produce value for their employer and, eventually for consumers. That’s why an employer will pay you to work. He tries to match the value you add to his company with the value of your pay. That’s also why we will work for others. We see the exchange of work for a paycheck as valuable, too.
Did you know a statesman is a producer? First off, a statesman is someone who represents the people in some level of government to help promote freedom. Not to be confused with a politician, the statesman can be a neighbor who attends your town council meeting and speaks up about what is happening in your community. They can also be serving at a higher level of government and refusing perks and praise from others by making hard decisions that need to be made about funding, laws, or other important matters. You can’t tell a statesman by her title but by her efforts to produce and maintain freedom.
An entrepreneur is a producer. We’re hearing that word more than we used to hear it. Loosely translated, it’s French for undertaker. An entrepreneur is someone who “undertakes” an endeavor to build value by serving or producing for others. An entrepreneur can be a cabinet maker like my friend, a mom who quilts for others as a side business, a college kid with a window washing business or just about anything you can imagine. Entrepreneurs have started schools like Williamsburg Academy and colleges like Monticello College, as well as online communities founded around their educational ideals. Bees Brothers is an entrepreneurial adventure that became a profitable business and was started by family with youth selling fresh, raw honey they collected from bees they chose to raise. And of course the biggest firms like Microsoft and Apple were formed by entrepreneurs who turned their passion into a profit by producing something others found useful.
In order to have a healthy society, not to mention a healthy economy, we need to produce more than we consume. What does that look like? Well, on a very basic level, we don’t go into debt. At the next level, we give our best effort at what we do. On a higher level, we continue to improve ourselves. In a way, we are our own creators. We take what we’re born with and add to that our experience, knowledge and skills that we acquire along the way and we make something of our life. A quote I love is, “If you could see the woman (or man) God intended you to be, you would rise up and never be the same again.” There is so much that each of us can do to make this world a better place and it makes us a better person along the way.
We all have so much potential! I believe very strongly that becoming an entrepreneur, finding your very own personal way to create value for others and be a producer, is a sure path to freedom and prosperity. As always with anything good, there will be work and struggle involved, but that work and struggle provide much needed growth and will help you become your best.
the Challenge: What are you producing
right now? List what you produce at
work, at home, even in your leisure time.
(Hint: the time you have off to do with as you please, your leisure
time, is where most businesses are built by entrepreneurs.)
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