I am not an employee and I can't be.
Entrepreneurism is a state of mind, a way of looking out at the world and constantly watching for opportunities. You attune your mind so you look at every situation and evaluate for its business potential. It is not something you do for eight hours a day but all the time you are awake.
“In the real world of work, purpose finding is what leaders do.”
Robert E. Quinn
While waiting for my purpose to come into focus, there were many experiences of success and failure, I was lost in the forest with no tree in sight.
Then came that “ah ha” moment. I was working with an independent stock broker and market maker, an absolutely ruthless man. He was truly remarkable, he was the one that was busted for a multi-billion dollar scam in the Hong Kong banks in the early 90's.
Anyway, one day we got into a heated discussion about business, he got pissed and threw a one liner at me that I have never forgotten, “Are you an employee or are you an entrepreneur?”
I am an Entrepreneur.
I am a person who organizes and manages an enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
Working toward being a successful entrepreneur is a drag; you get a good idea but nobody likes it. Then you have a good idea, start the business and it fails. Now repeat after me. “Good Idea, failed.”
That changed Jan 15, 2015, when Tom had the first public meeting of Markethive. On Jan 18th I published my first article on Markethive.
Beginning to understand, I again searched for an entrepreneurial pursuit. “Follow your passion”, “do what you like to do”…
What? … What? What is my passion? Its complicated.
Then there was a sign (you always get one if you listen). I read an article about Zhang Yin.
Zhang Yin, the low-profile mother of two, went from humble beginnings in China to a top ranking position on the list of the world's richest people. In fact, Forbes ranked the owner and founder of Nine Dragons Paper as the wealthiest self-made woman in the world.
She did it with waste, our waste.
In 1985, Zhang moved to Hong Kong and started her first waste paper trading company with just a few thousand dollars. Despite financial difficulties and unscrupulous business partners, Zhang managed to build her wealth. Five years later, she and her husband left for the United States.
In America, the enterprise that would become Nine Dragons was born. Because there was a shortage of paper materials in China and her paper trading business was not doing as well as Zhang would have liked, she left for America. In the U.S., however, she had no such problem. There was plenty of waste paper everywhere she and her husband looked.
Zhang set up a system to collect and bundle the paper in America, then send it to China to be processed into usable paper products. American raw “waste” materials were shipped across the Pacific for processing. Our paper waste was converted into boxes, cardboard, and other paper products, then sold to Chinese manufacturers as packaging and containers and then sold back to us full of Chinese products.
With an estimated net worth of more than $3.4 billion, Zhang Yin has more money than both Oprah Winfrey and "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling. In schools, Zhang is lauded as an example to young Chinese girls of their unlimited potential and ability.
She did it with waste.
Waste has value.
From a certain point of view, it is the very bottom of the material wealth of society. What society wastes and considers unusable and worthless.
Well its not worthless and I claim it!
Here is the deal,we have 7 billion people in the world and each of them wastes an average of 100 tons in a lifetime. 40% of all waste goes into open landfills. These landfills directly affect half of the world's population.
Is there an opportunity here?
Green Fire is the only company in the world that can do what is needed for this situation.
We have a simple model, we call it the Triangle of Waste; raw materials into commodities, commodities into Waste, Waste into raw materials. Green Fire turns waste into raw reusable materials.
I found an entrepreneurial opportunity in waste and a purpose that inspired the business of landfill mining and what we are able to give back to society in the process.
There are several global organizations that focus on this opportunity. Let me introduce you.
WIEGO is a global network focused on securing livelihoods for the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy.
Informal workers need voice, visibility and validity. WIEGO creates change by building capacity among informal worker organizations, expanding the knowledge base, and influencing local, national and international policies.
Today WIEGO is a thriving network of 176 Individual and Institutional Members in 40 countries who share this concern.
The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers is a networking process supported by WIEGO, among thousands of waste picker organizations with groups in more than 28 countries covering mainly Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Waste pickers are workers in the informal economy who represent, according to several institutions (ILO, World Bank, and others), 1% of the urban population. They total approximately 15 million landfill pickers in 96 regional organizations.
The National Members are non-profit, waste management associations representing the waste management industry in a particular country. Generally, these associations have memberships from both the private and public sector. Based on ISWA regulations, the National Members are the only memberships allowed to vote at the General Assembly and thus, they constitute the governing body of ISWA. ISWA's global waste management network adds up to over 100,000 waste management professionals associated with ISWA National Member organizations alone.
Membership in ISWA is paid, not so in the other two
Inspiration after inspiration.
We are Landfill Miners and more.
GF re-purposes the reclaimed raw materials into usable material then uses that to create small autonomous villages for the workers (Pickers) that live and work on these landfills.
My business is waste and I am a founding member of Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, the only company in the world that can reclaim and reuse 99% of all landfill wastes.
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation is an Engineering company, not environmental, not mining and not geological but a combined association of those professionals with an intent toward landfill mining.
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
Green Fire is going to change the world.
Note: Just in case you may have missed any of my previous blog posts, here is one of my active projects. It is a new social network for entrepreneurs, completely free, and very unique. It could be a great thing for your business. It is called MarketHive. Just click —-> HERE <—- to find out more.