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Entrepreneurs in our school system

I have heard from several reliable coffee shop chair weights that there is a new program at Peabody-Burns High School this year that centers on entrepreneurship. I think that could be an exciting new avenue for some of our students. In my most humble opinion, to be an entrepreneur is to come up with a new idea for a business that the world will need and use, figure out a way to make it work, and set the business in motion.

If we really are offering study and guidance in this direction, I think we might be sponsoring some real hands-on instruction and experience for thinking outside the box. And just to let everyone know that I am on board with this, I have a suggestion for an entrepreneurial venture for Small Town, America.

You knew I was headed in this direction, right? Now I am telling the school district how the cow might just eat this cabbage!

Usually I am the head cheerleader for shopping at home. I can figure out 82 ways NOT to shop at Wal-Mart for any given event. I know how to give anyone a birthday, wedding, retirement, baby, or graduation gift from Peabody that they really will use and enjoy! Trust me.

But there simply are times when we need to go elsewhere to shop if we are going to survive. (Whew, I just about choked as I typed that.) Here is my suggestion for a high school business anywhere in the country — but most especially in the rural communities — that most of us need and that the kids can provide.

The scene today at my house: the Internet at the newspaper office was down … on a Monday, the day I absolutely HAVE to produce news and get it to the Marion office. I came home to work on my personal computer. I created an advertisement and wanted to actually print it to see how it would look. I selected “print” from the menu. Nothing. Flashing lights on the front of the printer. No ink. What?

So in the middle of the busiest day of my week, with no time to spare, I had to drive to Wal-Mart in Newton, park 17,000 feet from the front door, find the computer section (which has moved, along with every other department, since I was there last) and then, Post-It-Note in hand, try to find the correct ink cartridge.

I returned home with my new cartridge and presto, the ad was done in no time. Of course, by now it was the middle of the afternoon and I had done just about nothing more for this week’s newspaper.

You entrepreneurs in rural America who want to start a school-based business that can utilize school vendors and supplies to make money and fill a community need, get me some computer stuff! Fill a shelf at the drug store or open a room at the high school where I can go get what I need without losing half a day.

I would hire a member of your Geek Squad to get rid of that dang message on Facebook that tells me Windows cannot open that page and my “action will be aborted.” Wear a PBHS Geek Squad lanyard and I will be happy to let you in. I will pay for your service. I live in rural America and I need you.

I would bring you my empty cartridges so you could recycle them and refill them for me. I bet local businesses and individuals would do the same.

I have three older cell phones. I am loath to throw them out and have them contaminate a landfill. Someone said I could send them to soldiers, but that person didn’t have an address. Can you tell me where I might take care of this issue? Where can I leave my old phones and chargers?

I have older videos of my children, vacations, ball games, and other events. But my tape player got struck by lightning several years ago and I can’t seem to buy a new one. So I can’t see any of those old tapes. Can anyone in your entrepreneurial circle put them on a DVD for me? And about those old home movies of my brother, sister, and me back in the 1950s — too far out of the box, huh? Well, I tried.

So there you have it — my suggestion for a local business or a school-based entrepreneurial effort that just might make one of you wealthy. You do not need to be Wal-Mart, you just need to meet my needs better than Wal-Mart … at home, from people I trust, providing a service I need and will use. And that is how I think the cow will eat that cabbage!

— Susan Marshall

Last modified Sept. 14, 2011

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