In our dysfunctional economy, “success” often comes at great personal cost . . . we’re tired, we’re stressed out, and we have no time for family and friends. It’s time to redefine “rich.”
From a third-generation farmer and successful entrepreneur, Redefining Rich is an entrepreneur’s guide to balancing work and family with the pleasures of the good life, with simple exercises and important lessons to serve everyone from the new sole proprietor to a seasoned CEO.
Shannon Hayes was in the final months of her PhD program, recently engaged, and beginning to plan her future. Having grown up on a northern Appalachian sheep farm, she had two advantages: a hard-won education and hillbilly pragmatism. But when it came time to enter the job market, Hayes made a tough discovery: the economy just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for women, for free thinkers, for the working class, or for white-collar professionals. It doesn’t work in rural America, much less in the cities and the suburbs. It forces us to choose between career and family, profit and creativity.
So, Hayes and her husband walked away from their career paths and chose to forge a life on her family’s frost-plagued mountain farm, starting up a small café in town. Together, they found their sweet spot: a place where the Appalachian farm culture and sensibilities she and her community have lived by helped them thrive, even in a tough economic environment. Against the odds, the Hayes family built a business that lets them live abundantly, spend time with family, and enjoy the gifts of nature. And the business even helped reinvigorate their chronically economically depressed town.
But the journey to this point was rife with challenges, tumbles, and mistakes. With humor, lively stories, and assurance, Hayes reveals the best lessons she’s learned for taking an alternate path, whether it lies in rural America, in the ‘burbs, or the heart of the city. She outlines the fundamentals of sustainable wealth, how to develop income streams, get organized, bring family into the business, ask for fair prices and market efficiently, and—the most important lesson of all—set personal boundaries and say “no” even while sustaining relationships. Hayes shows entrepreneurship is the means to build sustainable communities, keep families together, and foster great creative fulfillment.
Redefining Rich will comfort, instruct, amuse, and inspire those of us who are trying to make our lives work in untraditional ways.
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