When I first started thinking about how to inspire people about entrepreneurship via social enterprise, I was lucky enough to be at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, where the Social Enterprise Alliance was headquartered. It was 2015, and that January, the Social Enterprise Alliance had named its new CEO, Jim Schorr.

Jim had previously been a professor at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management, my wife was lucky enough to have taken a class with him. Jim and I started talking regularly about the power of entrepreneurship to change the socio-economic outlook of many Americans, and he was a big emotional support to me in getting Create and Orchestrate going.

Jim invited me to speak at the Social Enterprise Summit that year, which was a great experience. I met incredible people, got to share my story, but one of the most important memories for me was watching Jim kick off the event. It was one of the few times in my life where I saw someone who’s work truly came off as their purpose for living. Jim shared there that he took the position of CEO at the Social Enterprise Alliance, because it was the opportunity of a lifetime to work everyday to realize “an idea he was in love with”.

That idea was that business could be a force for good in the world.

For the entirety of my time there, I couldn’t help but think about how happy I was for Jim, that he had arrived in that position.

Jim inspired and taught many people. His work had meaning. He became one of the world’s foremost experts on Social Enterprise.

Last Monday, Jim passed away after a valiant battle with cancer. He was 51.

Jim was a friend of mine. When I thought about him over the last week, I just thought about the impact of his work, that he did great work, and that he did it before he died.

I also thought about the fact that one way or another, I’m going to die too.

And that thought reinforced my resolve to do my work.

Everyday that we wake up is a gift, truly. It’s an opportunity to make something great happen. An opportunity to learn. An opportunity to love. An opportunity to feel. An opportunity to fail. Everyday is a gift.

It doesn’t always feel that way, I know. But I think it helps if you can fall in love with an idea. I’m in love with the idea that we all have a creative power within us, and a purpose for which we are here. When we can find our passion, have the courage to pursue it with that universally human creative power, we light up. Time slows down, and simultaneously flies away. We are in our zone, and we feel really, really good.

My wish for you this week is that you get in that zone. That you can feel true gratitude for your life, and show it by being a complete badass. That’s what I plan on doing.


Thanks for the passion, Jim.

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