It takes a village

Over the years, I’ve made it a point to prioritize experiences over income. This isn’t to say that these things are mutually exclusive, but the decision tree is pretty simple when you don’t know what you don’t know.

Looking back, I’m pleased with the results of this focus. Anything I’ve left on the table in terms of financial gain has been more than offset by my social capital. This is because interesting work begets an interesting network—I’ve worked with people from and in every corner of the world who are chipping away at worthwhile problems and making a dent in the universe.

One of the reasons we’ve been able to consistently publish exceptional content here on Abernathy is because of my network. And Ernest’s network. And our network’s network…

Networking for the sake of networking (people who introduce themselves by handing you a business card…) isn’t very interesting to me, but my life has been enriched by maintaining a posture of generosity: introducing people who need to know each other, connecting vendors with customers, and so forth.

A few years ago, I was invited to apply to join a professional organization. It looked interesting, but I never followed through on the invitation. When I looked into it a year later, the organization had grown substantially in both membership and exclusivity. To boot, there were dozens—if not hundreds—of entrepreneurs who had been through many of the challenges I was facing.

I joined the organization—the Young Entrepreneur’s Council—and I’ve happily paid my dues ever since. You know where this is going, don’t you?

YEC Logo

YEC is at the center of your entrepreneurial life. We provide entrepreneurs with the resources and social capital they need to succeed.

We connect the world’s most successful entrepreneurs so they can grow their businesses faster, while giving back to aspiring entrepreneurs through our virtual mentorship program BusinessCollective.

Our membership is comprised of many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs that are 40 and younger. Members generate billions of dollars in revenue and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

One of the reasons I didn’t jump at the opportunity to join the YEC is because I feared it might be like many other professional organizations that over-promise and under-deliver.

[And the irony isn’t lost on me now that I’ve launched Abernathy—there’s no question that some fail to see that what we’re doing represents the future of publishing.]

This wasn’t the case with the YEC.

For me, the YEC has facilitated everything from important introductions (across several companies with which I’ve been involved) to hiring a virtual assistant. This might be the norm for professional organizations, but I’ve seen the YEC grow and augment the careers and businesses of people I know, so I’m happy to put my reputation on the line when recommending them.

Scott and Ryan and the rest of the YEC team are doing good work, and I’m very happy to announce the YEC as the latest Abernathy sponsor.

By willie jackson

willie jackson is an inclusion strategist who empowers thoughtful organizations and the leaders who run them.