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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

http://www.foxsports.com/video?vid=396080195760

 

 This past week I have been assigned to work at Chesterfield Swimming Pool. The demographics of the Chesterfield Swimming Pool patrons is 97 percent African American youth and adults, ages from 6 to 30 years of age, and 60 percent male 40 percent female.  Listening to the young people got me thinking. The kids at that pool want what most other people want in life, the good life. Now you can define the good life by material possessions in this case. However, from listening to their discussions I have started to wonder how many of those kids know how to succeed economically and earn. It is not enough to work hard. We must work hard and smart. Sometimes that means creating something new, an invention, a brand, etc. However, it can also mean creating a new organization and structure. How do you get from step A to B to C to D if they’re linear going toward success?  It’s not necessarily a question of who are Bill Gates and Paul Allen working in the garage while the rest watches John Carpenters “The Thing” on television across the country. Though it could be. It is not necessarily the rap star who just opened the restaurant or clothing with their name on it, but funded by a slim break through of entertainment success. Though it could be. More likely the majority of us will have to recognize subtle opportunities and apply ourselves. Then carefully invest for our future retirement. We are talking about the kid who starts with one lawn mower and builds it into a landscaping business one piece of equipment at a time. We are talking about the person who buys a second hand truck and starts moving people around town. 20 years later they become UHAUL.

While having money, starting with money, can increase the speed of your success, it can also encourage stupid mistakes. Whole families losing wealth in a generation. Whole families can become wealthy in a generation. So the question is can you think reasonably, clearly, and with enough self discipline to make those careful steps while working your ass off? You better like what you’re doing because you will be doing it a lot. If you don’t have much what corners can you cut and what “sweat equity” can you invest? For example, A few years ago I read an article in a entrepreneur magazine about two girls who just came to American from Vietnam, worked as waitresses, lived in a small room together to buy an old sandwich truck, picked up a vendors license, and sold only two types of sandwiches (Chicken or beef) from 11’o’clock until 3 am outside of Pittsburgh’s 3 biggest night clubs every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday until they got through college and could start a nice sit down restaurant. Imagine all those late nights serving rude drunks and still smiling. The two girls could only afford a few pairs of jeans and a few t-shirts. They worked so hard they were skinny, but smart 

 

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