You'd Better Bring Your Shovel

There's something about the intensity in Ron Finley's voice, and the look in his eyes that tells me he's no-nonsense about the particular kind of change he's making in his community.

Who is Ron? His bio reads: Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where "the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys."

But to me, Ron represents much more than the "guerilla gardener" in his community - he's an example of the type of entrepreneur we need more of. I don't just mean that he's game-changing, disrupting, and change-making. Those things are true too. I mean, he's a DOER.

At the very end of his TED talk, he says the following:

If you want to meet with me, don’t invite me to come sit in a cushy chair somewhere and TALK about change. Come meet me at the garden. And bring your shovel, so we can plant some shit!
— Ron Finley

Ron's got me very encouraged, because this is what I see missing in so many entrepreneurs, especially in my peers, the under-40's. They talk the talk but they often don't walk the walk. They have ideas, but they don't execute on them. They have opportunities but they don't take them. Why are we all sitting around TALKING about all the great change we can make in our communities, when we need to be spending so much more of our time rolling up our sleeves, and PLANTING CHANGE?