Job Creators

“We must become job creators, not job seekers.” ~Marisa Cleveland

On Tuesday, March 6th, Marisa and Simon presented their research at the 6th International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship co-hosted by The University of the District of Columbia, Georgetown University, and George Washington University. Their academic paper, Toward Understanding the Impact of Entrepreneurial Leadership Skills on Community Engagement, addresses leadership competencies and community leadership development programs. The study provides a causal model to explain the role of leadership development programs and their indirect effect on building engaged communities. This first academic paper for Marisa sets the stage for her future research, particularly defining engaged communities.

At the conference, Marisa said, “As educators, we teach and we learn. We must also adapt. Today’s digital world allows for global opportunities, and it is our privilege as entrepreneurs to seek new possibilities and educate our workforce in a similar mindset of becoming job creators rather than job seekers.”

But what does that mean?

When entrepreneurs create jobs—when experiences are shared in how to create jobs—others are empowered to explore different levels of life. When students learn how to think critically, how to immerse themselves in their lives, how to wake up and create and risk-take, and that’s when progress is made.

But becoming a job creator is not just for the stereotypical entrepreneur. That rookie analyst recently hired to recover a troubled project at the telecommunications company—that person could be a job creator with the ability to hire a team of experts to tackle the organization’s problems. 

The consultant working for the large corporation must bring in business to increase the portfolio that will be the basis for a promotion to manager or partner. The more contracts signed, the more work, the better justification to hire more team members… that consultant is a job creator.

For every author who writes a novel, a team of people are hired to put that book on the market. So, one author has the potential to create jobs for the cover artist, the developmental editor, the content editor, the copy editor, the line editor…

These entrepreneurs, creating jobs every day, move the economy forward and promote growth and positive thinking. It’s about getting this done right. Taking ownership of the limited and ridiculously unpredictable time on earth. 

“We weren’t born to die of boredom. At least I hope I wasn’t,” Marisa said.

But if the past decade has taught her anything, it is this:

Some people will take the path of least resistance.

They will seek jobs that are safe. They will not challenge themselves to really figure out what motivates them. They will complain about why their situation in life is not their fault. 

She challenges those frictionless individuals to rub up against something other than the smooth lane of life. Pursue a resistance that sparks and ignites into a passionate life. 

She may promote community engagement, but she’s also interested in defining what it means to have an engaged community. One where everyone contributes toward a common pursuit of growth and sustainability.

For her first academic conference, she faced other educators questioning the validity of her study, the purpose of the research, and the achievability of creating lasting solutions. But as she gestured toward her husband, she maintained, “If you spend enough time with him, you will believe your dreams are achievable and you will plan the implementation of an entirely purposeful journey during your one, precious lifetime on this planet.”