You can do anything you want in life as long as you have the heart and the passion to do it.
The above quote was my inspiration for the first Turning Points book, a project designed to showcase some of the many success stories that we have here in Rochester. It was successful beyond my wildest dreams.
More than 2,000 kids in the Hillside Work Scholarship Connection (HWSC) program were connected with the book, and through the generosity of Danny Wegman more than 6,000 copies were donated to 19 of the Rochester City High Schools. The city schools created a curriculum out of the text, and the book sparked as essay contest. You can read some of the winning essays and stories at the Turning Points website, www.RandySchuster.com.
Each essay is a testimony to the drive and potential of Rochester's student population, and it is a treasure to me to see how the book resonated with them. Students wrote about their dreams of owning their own clothing stores, restaurants, and service businesses. They talked about how the humble beginnings of many of the individuals featured in the first Turning Points book reflected their own situations, and how they were inspired by those from every background who had overcome illnesses, doubt, poverty, and setbacks to become leaders and winners. Many also marveled that all these successful people were proud to call Rochester home, and seemed intrigued that ties to Rochester may have been a part of what helped each one thrive and succeed.
Along with their marveling and admiring, the students who read the book are very focused on the nuts and bolts of being successful. Their essays reflect a realization that hard work and determination are essential for thriving in a competitive world. They point to the stories and acknowledge that they will face adversity, setback, struggles, and stress in pursuing their dreams. They are not afraid - but they do have more questions.
After the publication of the first book, my publisher and I started to receive questions from students who wanted to hear more about not just the life lessons but also the money lessons. There are many books available talking about money to teens, but most have a technical orientation or a focus on stocks and bonds. They lack the philosophical integration between living life and earning money, and an infusion of the life experiences that make money lessons real to younger readers.
The aim of this book is to again share the life lessons of some of Rochester's most successful business people and community leaders including a focus on money lessons. You will read about people who started with nothing but were inspired and motivated to build their own businesses as well as those who came into family businesses, put their mark on the operations, and took things to a whole new level. Through it all, you will get an insider's view into the defining moments and money lessons of these high achievers, and learn how those lessons have helped them accumulate wealth and build up their businesses.
Like the first book, Turning Points 2 is designed for you to be able to pick it up and read a story or two whenever you have a spare moment. Read it over time, and whenever you need inspiration.
It’s my hope that young adults - or readers of any age - can learn and implement some of the lessons on these pages so that they can go on to become Rochester’s next business leaders.
Confucius said “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” A journey to a lifetime of success can begin with the inspiration of a single page.