The Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 23

A voice boomed from out of nowhere. “There I was hating my life, because I hated my job,” said Arel Moodie as he began walking down the aisle of the auditorium at the John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica, Calif.

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Moodie was a telemarketer, selling car insurance, he said. Then he had a revelation after speaking electronically over the phone to a deaf customer. There was so much more he could do with his life. He became a motivational speaker, one who teaches young people that anything is possible, that they can become entrepreneurs.

Moodie was speaking on behalf of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, an 18 city blitz of California sponsored by the state’s community college system and small business development center. There are eleven dates left through November 18.

For the hundred or so wanna-be Donald Trumps that turned out on Oct. 22, the tour was an evening of high-fives, hugs, even a dance contest. And prizes like business plan development software.

Moodie pitched a Web site called startabusinespledge.com, which encourages young people to sign up to pledge that they’ll start a new business 2009. It also provides inspiration and tips for entrepreneurs.

Other young entrepreneurs, such as Prashanth Mysoor, founder of environmentally friend e-tail site generationorange.com, spoke.

Why take this tour on the road during the Great Recession? “I want to be my own stimulus package,” Moodie, 25, said while nibbling a tuna sandwich during a break. “When everyone’s seeing no hope, I see opportunity. You have a better chance of making a million in a downturn. You can plant roots, while everyone else is running.” Then it was time for him to run back on stage.

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