What Biz Kids can learn from MLK, Jr.

As the world pauses to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, we’re revisiting a few of the timeless lessons found in his life and words – lessons fit for any world-changing, odds-defying, idea-pursuing dreamer. In other words, a Biz Kid.

Have a clear vision.

A far cry from the status quo of the day, King had a vision so clear, many of us can repeat it word-for-word decades later: “I have a dream today.”

Whatever your goals in life, create an image of that future and run toward it with all of your strength.

Take small steps toward your goal every day.

King said, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Just because you don’t know where your idea will be in a year doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the next step today. Perhaps that’s writing your idea down on paper, getting serious about profit margins, or educating yourself of on the pitfallsyou could experience. Whatever it is, a small step is typically a wise step.

Rethink “influence.”

The world’s most influential people have one thing in common: serving people. The inventor you admire? Her idea is serving your needs. The student leaders taking on a cause bigger than any one of them? They’re serving the greater good. So what doesn’t typically result in long-term influence? The pursuit of fame or wealth for one’s own good. As King said, “Not Everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”  

Be the best YOU you can be.

We’re saturated by comparison. Social media, television, and hearsay can rob our self-esteem and prevent us from pursuing our dreams. The key, says King, is not to focus on what others are capable of, but maximizing your own potential: “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”