Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Caught in the Middle: NJ is #25 on List of Best Places to Live... in 2032

The Garden State is where my family calls home -- although I  must admit, if it weren't for a recent and local job offer that I could not refuse, our tentative vision had set our focus elsewhere... out-of-state, wherever that may have been in our brief fantasy world of living somewhere that didn't cost so damn much to survive. Still, there are worse places to live -- and according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, in the year 2032 there will be an equal amount of better to places to live as well.

According to U.S. News & World Report via Yahoo! Finance, Gallup-Healthways came up with its ranking based on "a series of 13 measures of personal well-being... [that] reflect, to a large degree, how people in the area feel about themselves and their communities. They were selected because they also have value in predicting the future appeal and quality of life in an area."

The fact that New Jersey came in at #25 out of 50 (right behind Montana, Arizona, and Connecticut, but steps ahead of Oregon, North Carolina, and Illinois), causes me to wonder... why? Why right in the middle? (I did not, however, put too much effort into pondering why the index placed the Middle Atlantic Region of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania at #8 out of 9 best/worst regions to live, as the three are so simultaneously similar and diverse from one end of each respective state to other as to render such ranking meaningless).

Here's is what really caught my attention: The spirit of entrepreneurship plays a huge part in assessing and predicting state/regional "happiness," according to Dan Witters, research director of Gallup-Healthways.

As U.S. News & World Report pointed out:
"The most critical element of any community's future livability might be a culture of successful entrepreneurship," Witters wrote in a commentary on the rankings. "Successful entrepreneurs consistently demonstrate a willingness to take risks, but they also have the resolve to start and manage a business."

"Above all, entrepreneurs create jobs," he added. "The relationships among an entrepreneurial culture, job creation, and well-being have never been clearer."
The notion of a connection between entrepreneurship and happiness (however one may define happiness) is worth pursuing. Despite the acceptance of my recent job offer, I had actually given up -- however temporarily and out of sheer frustration with getting long-term employment with any school district -- on pursuing that path any longer. Becoming an entrepreneur -- or, in my case, an "infopreneur" -- called out to me like beacon luring in a lost ship adrift on the ocean.

While I do not put all my hope in  polls or articles or predictions, the piece did remind me how critical it could be to teach my daughters about entrepreneurship. They do not have to be wage slaves if they choose not to.

The term "infopreneur" is not my idea. Indeed, I just got done reading From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, E-Books, and Information Products by Stephanie Chandler -- and I highly recommend it to anyone who may have ever had an inkling for such ventures.And although I have not read it yet, I also got my hands on The Young Entrepreneur's Edge: Using Your Ambition, Independence, and Youth to Launch a Business by Jennifer Kushell. 

Teach Your Children well, to borrow a line from an old Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tune.