Investors See Nonmaterial Goals as Key to American Dream

Story Highlights

  • Seventy-four percent say equality of opportunity is an essential part
  • Majorities say five of 10 possible aspects of American dream are essential
  • Least essential: having a better lifestyle than parents

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Almost three-fourths of U.S. investors (74%) say equality of opportunity is an “essential” part of the American dream — the highest percentage among 10 tested aspects of the dream. Overall, investors consider nonmaterial goals such as having a good education (63%) or achieving one’s full potential (58%) as more essential to the American dream than material goals such as having a better standard of living than one’s parents (26%) or achieving financial success (46%).

Defining What Is Essential to the American Dream

“How important is each of the following to your idea of the American dream? Is it essential, important but not essential, or not important?”

Essential Important, but not essential Not important
% % %
Having equality of opportunity 74 23 3
Having a good education 63 33 4
Achieving your full potential 58 40 2
Making a positive difference in the world 57 37 6
Owning your own home 55 38 7
Having a job you love 47 48 5
Achieving financial success 46 49 5
Raising children 42 37 21
Getting married 30 44 26
Having a better standard of living than your parents 26 56 18
WELLS FARGO/GALLUP, AUG. 13-20, 2018

The third-quarter Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index survey, conducted Aug. 13-20, measured the importance investors place on 10 aspects of the American dream, drawn from a broad spectrum of perspectives. Gallup and Wells Fargo define U.S. investors as adults with $10,000 or more invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds, either within or outside of a retirement savings account.

All 10 goals measured are deemed by most investors as either essential or important to their idea of the American dream, but majorities value just five at the highest level — as essential. The 10 possible dream components fall into four types of goals:

  • Nonmaterial personal goals: Three nonmaterial goals tested in the survey are among the most likely to be considered essential: “having a good education,” “achieving your full potential” and “making a positive difference in the world.” The other nonmaterial goal — “having a job you love” — is essential to slightly less than a majority (47%).

  • Material goals: Among three material personal goals measured — “owning your own home,” “achieving financial success” and “having a better standard of living than your parents” — only homeownership is deemed essential by a majority (55%).

  • Lifestyle arrangements: The two lifestyle choices included on the list — getting married and raising children — do not receive majority “essential” mentions, and they are the two components most often listed as “not important” — 26% for getting married and 21% for raising children.

  • Societal value: The component most often mentioned as essential is the only one that is an aspiration for American society rather than the individual — “having equality of opportunity.” That goal, which echoes the Declaration of Independence’s “all men are created equal” and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, has resonated with Americans across decades of polls testing it as both a national and a personal moral code.

Young Investors More Likely to List American Dream Possibilities as Essential

Investors under the age of 50 are more likely than those 65 and older, by a margin of at least 10 percentage points, to list four personal goals as essential to their concept of the American dream. Two of these are nonmaterial (achieving your full potential and making a positive difference in the world) and two are material (achieving financial success and owning your own home).

Younger Investors Lead the Way in Labeling Dream Goals Essential

Percentage of U.S. investors, by age, who consider each of the following “essential” to their idea of the American dream

18-49 50-64 65+ Difference between 18-49 and 65+
% % % pct. pts.
Achieving financial success 50 44 38 +12
Achieving your full potential 62 56 51 +11
Making a positive difference in the world 61 54 51 +10
Owning your own home 56 60 46 +10
Having a better standard of living than your parents 28 25 22 +6
Having equality of opportunity 75 72 74 +1
Raising children 42 42 41 +1
Getting married 29 33 28 +1
Having a good education 64 57 67 -3
Having a job you love 45 48 50 -5
WELLS FARGO/GALLUP, AUG. 13-20, 2018

Investors aged 50-64 are slightly more likely than the other two age groups to list owning a home (60%) and getting married (33%) as essential.

Over Half of Investors Have Achieved American Dream Themselves

More than half (55%) of investors believe they have achieved what they consider to be the American dream. Over a third (36%) expect to achieve it someday, and 10% don’t expect to achieve it.

For investors 65 and older, more than six out of seven (87%) believe they have achieved their version of the American dream — significantly more than for investors 50-64 (59%) or younger than 50 (39%). But the vast majority in each of these last two age groups say they have achieved it or expect to do so someday — 91% of those 50-64 and 89% of those younger than 50.

Bottom Line

When James Truslow Adams first coined the phrase “The American dream” in his 1931 book “The Epic of America,” he downplayed the material aspects, instead describing it as “a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

Almost 90 years later, American investors seem to agree with those priorities for what constitutes the American dream, tending to find nonmaterial goals more essential than material ones to their personal vision of achieving the dream.

Learn more about how the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index works.

Gallup

Sharjah International Book Fair 2018 Celebrates Reading and Culture with 2.23 Million Visitors

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov 13, 2018–The world’s third largest celebration of the written word, the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), has put up yet another record performance in its 37th annual edition. Themed ‘A Tale of Letters’, the event was a dream come true occasion for book lovers, who had access to 20 million books, all under one roof.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181113006044/en/

Sharjah International Book Fair 2018 – Provided by Sharjah Book Authority (Photo: Business Wire)

Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in the emirate of Sharjah, cultural capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), SIBF 2018 witnessed a footfall of 2.23 million visitors in 11 days, including 230,000 school students who poured in from around the country.

The Sharjah International Book Fair hosted 1,874 publishers from 77 countries who brought in 1.6 million titles, 80,000 of which were seen at the fair for the first time. It also offered its stage to 1,800 events spanning celebrity author talks, seminars, book signings, poetry and storytelling, theatre, arts, entertainment and much more.

These activities generated unrivalled social media traction, receiving a whopping 2.7 billion impressions. The SIBF hashtag #SIBF18 reached 300 million users via 70,000 posts on its official social media accounts.

The SIBF Guest of Honour programme, which seeks to build cultural bridges between the UAE and the world, had Japan under the spotlight this year.

This year, the fair saw the fifth edition of the annual SIBF/ALA Library Conference organised in partnership between the Sharjah Book Authority and the American Library Association (ALA). The conference was attended by over 400 librarians and academics from the region and the world, who partook in over 25 panel discussions and networking events, to discuss the changing role of libraries in the era of digitisation.

The three-day SIBF Publishers Conference, which is held as a precursor to the 11-day event, engaged 486 publishers with panel discussions, and 3,000 “Matchmaking Meetings”. These meetings resulted in the signing of 2,884 translation rights agreements.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181113006044/en/

CONTACT: National Network Communications (NNC)

Fadia Daouk, +971 52 617 2111

KEYWORD: UNITED ARAB EMIRATES MIDDLE EAST

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: WOMEN EDUCATION UNIVERSITY ENTERTAINMENT PHILANTHROPY TEENS BOOKS OTHER PHILANTHROPY CONSUMER MEN

SOURCE: Sharjah

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 11/13/2018 01:17 PM/DISC: 11/13/2018 01:17 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181113006044/en

New reads for fall (New books for fall reading) — High Country News

Enjoy a sampling of the season’s best new books.

 

Here at High Country News, we’ve combed through hundreds of titles relevant to the West, mostly from indie presses and other small publishers, to bring you a sampling of the season’s best new reads. Listings appear alphabetically by author; if a book is already available, no publication month is given. —Jodi Peterson

FICTION

Buddhism for Western Children Kirstin Allio, University of Iowa Press

Chupacabra Meets Billy the Kid Rudolfo Anaya, University of Oklahoma Press

Nevada Days Bernardo Atxaga, Graywolf

Evening in Paradise: More Stories Lucia Berlin, Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Ruby Dreams of Janis Joplin: A Novel Mary Clearman Blew, University of Nebraska Press

The Best Bad Things: A Novel Katrina Carrasco, MCD

Perpetua’s Kin: A Novel M. Allen Cunningham, Atelier26

Rough Animals Rae DelBianco, Arcade

Heartbreaker: A Novel Claudia Dey, Random House

The Sea of Grass Walter Echo-Hawk, Fulcrum Publishing

Crossing Vines: A Novel Rigoberto González, University of Oklahoma Press

Trinity Louisa Hall, Ecco

Mostly White: A Novel Alison Hart,
Torrey House Press

Trouble No Man Brian Hart, HarperPerennial, January 2019

A River of Stars Vanessa Hua, Ballantine

The Golden State Lydia Kiesling, MCD

Immigrant, Montana Amitava Kumar, Knopf

Driving to Geronimo’s Grave and Other Stories Joe R. Lansdale, Subterranean

The Feral Detective: A Novel Jonathan Lethem, Ecco

Lost Children Archive: A Novel Valeria Luiselli, Random House, February 2019

Son of Amity Peter Nathaniel Malae, Oregon State University

Wolves of Eden Kevin McCarthy, Norton

The Frame-Up Meghan Scott Molin, 47North

Gateway to the Moon Mary Morris, Doubleday/Talese

The Caregiver Samuel Park, Simon & Schuster

The Shortest Way Home Miriam Parker, Dutton

Hearts of the Missing Carol Potenza, Minotaur, December

Magdalena Mountain Robert Michael Pyle, Counterpoint

The Silence is the Noise Bart Schaneman, Trident Press

All That Is Left Is All That Matters Mark Slouka, W.W. Norton & Company

Don’t Send Flowers Martín Solares, Black Cat

The Removes Tatjana Soli, FSG/Crichton

The Electric State Simon Stålenhag, Skybound

Every Other Weekend Zulema Renee Summerfield, Little, Brown

Static Flux Natasha Young, Metatron Press

Family Trust: A Novel Kathy Wang, William Morrow

Whiskey When We’re Dry John Larison, Viking

NONFICTION, BIOGRAPHY, MEMOIR, ESSAYS

One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture Stephanie Anderson, University of Nebraska Press

How the West Was Drawn: Mapping, Indians and the Construction of the Trans-Mississippi West David Bernstein, University of Nebraska Press

Vaquita: Science, Politics and Crime in the Sea of Cortez Brooke Bessesen, Island Press

The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West John Branch,
W.W. Norton & Company

Polly Pry: The Woman Who Wrote the West Julia Bricklin, Globe Pequot Press/ TwoDot

Utah Politics and Government Adam R. Brown, University of Nebraska Press

Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture Gabe Brown with Courtney White, Chelsea Green

Confessions of an Iyeska Viola Burnette, University of Utah Press

Outside Ourselves: Landscape and Meaning in the Greater Yellowstone Todd Burritt, Outside Ourselves

All You Can Ever Know Nicole Chung, Catapult

In Defense of Loose Translations: An Indian Life in an Academic World Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, University of Nebraska Press

Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration Alfredo Corchado, Bloomsbury

Across the Continent: The Union Pacific Photographs of Andrew J. Russell Daniel Davis, University of Utah Press

In Defense of Public Lands: The Case Against Privatization and Transfer Steven Davis, Temple University Press

Stigma Cities: The Reputation and History of Birmingham, San Francisco and Las Vegas Jonathan Foster, University of Oklahoma Press

Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America’s Forgotten Border Porter Fox, W.W. Norton & Company

A Dream Called Home Reyna Grande, Atria

The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes Andrew Gulliford, Texas A&M University Press

Border Walk Mark J. Hainds, Sweetbill’s Enterprises

Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country Pam Houston, Norton, January 2019

Being and Becoming Ute: The Story of an American Indian People Sondra G. Jones, University of Utah Press, January

Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming’s Ungulates Matthew J. Kauffman et al., foreword by Annie Proulx, Oregon State University

Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018 David Kipen, Modern Library, December

Campfire Stories: Tales from America’s National Parks ed. Dave and Ilyssa Kyu, Mountaineers

The Oasis This Time: Living and Dying with Water in the West Rebecca Lawton, Torrey House Press, March 2019

A Study of Southwestern Archaeology Stephen H. Lekson, University of Utah Press

Debunking Creation Myths about America’s Public Lands John D. Leshy, University of Utah Press

It Happened Like This: A Life in Alaska Adrienne Lindholm, Mountaineers

The Salt Lake Papers: From the Years in the Earthscapes of Utah Edward Lueders, University of Utah Press

Stray: A Memoir of a Runaway Tanya Marquardt, Little A

Reimaging a Place for the Wild edited by Leslie Miller and Louise Excell, University of Utah Press, December

Caribou Rainforest: From Heartbreak to Hope David Moskowitz, Braided River

Food from the Radical Center: Healing our Land and Communities Gary Nabhan, Island Press

The Dreamer and the Doctor Jack Nisbet, Sasquatch Books

The Library Book Susan Orlean, Simon & Schuster

The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty That Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation Miriam Pawel, Bloomsbury

Impossible Owls: Essays Brian Phillips, FSG Originals

Gay Rights and the Mormon Church: Intended Actions, Unintended Consequences Gregory A. Prince, University of Utah Press, February

Here and There: A Fire Survey Stephen J. Pyne, University of Arizona Press

The Spoils of Dust: Reinventing the Lake that Made Los Angeles Alexander Robinson, Applied Research + Design Publishing

Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore Elizabeth Rush, Milkweed

On Call in the Arctic: A Doctor’s Pursuit of Life, Love and Miracles in the Alaskan Frontier Thomas J. Sims, Pegasus

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth Sarah Smarsh, Scribner

Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border Octavio Solis, City Lights

Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776 Patrick Spero, W.W. Norton & Company

The Sun is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds Caroline Van Hemert, Little, Brown Spark

Sagebrush Collaboration: How Harney County Defeated the Takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Peter Walker, Oregon State University Press

Raw Material: Working Wool in the West Stephany Wilkes, Oregon State University

Path of the Puma: The Remarkable Resilience of the Mountain Lion Jim Williams, Patagonia

The Three-Minute Outdoorsman Returns: From Mammoth on the Menu to the Benefits of Moose Drool Robert M. Zink, University of Nebraska Press  


15-year-old Dubai student authors ‘inspiring’ book

Aryan launched his second book ‘Tales of Realisation’ at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) 2018 on Friday, November 9.

Everyone has a novelist inside them, but it’s only a few gifted ones who realise and bring it out – this is what Aryan Muralidharan, a fifteen-year-old author from The Millennium School, Dubai, said about how he feels being a teen author.

Aryan launched his second book ‘Tales of Realisation’ at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) 2018 on Friday, November 9. The book is a collection of inspiring short stories. “I want this book to serve as an inspiration for my friends so they can reach greater heights in life and become better human beings. My first book aimed to instill values such as honesty, integrity etc. among children,” he said.

The teenager debuted as an author during the last year’s SIBF with his book ‘A Tryst with Life’ – a compilation of inspiring short stories, mostly real-life incidents.

“I believe that life itself is a great inspiration. Every incident which I come across or experience has proved to be an inspiration for me as I learned various important lessons. I would like to thank my parents, grandparents and teachers for setting a great example and inspiring me at every stage of my life.”

Aryan writes non-fictional stories which are based on real-life incidents. “I believe that a good story should not be monotonous but inspire the readers to reach greater heights in life. Therefore, my stories are based on incidents which can serve as an eye-opener to the reader. I have also inscribed my musings in the form of stories as I believe that books can create a positive impact in the society.”

His second book ‘Tales of Realisation’ was launched at the Writer’s Forum at SIBF and was attended by over 60 guests and dignitaries. The chief guests were his school principal Ambika Gulati and Mohan Kumar, foreign sections and external affairs coordinator at the Sharjah Book Authority.

“Writing is my greatest passion and I want to use the power of my pen to create a positive impact in the society and change the world for better. I want to write more of inspirational stories in the future to inspire my friends to burn the midnight oil in pursuit of success and happiness.”

Lover of letters

Aryan started writing from the age of seven when he was studying in Grade 1. “I was presented with my first book by my then class teacher, and I fell in love with the amazing world of letters. I started writing stories whenever I got an idea or found an interesting topic. Soon, I had a large collection of short stories and had participated in various creative writing contests.”

There was some sort of fascination that Aryan found with seeing his name printed on a book as an author and this led him to nurture a dream to author his own book.

As time passed, Aryan gradually developed a passion to share his ideas with the world. “It was while idling away during my summer holidays, that my parents suggested the idea of compiling the stories. And soon I saw my dream convert into a reality last year.”

Apart from being an author, the Grade 9 student is also a recipient of Sheikh Hamdan Award for Distinguished Academic Performance that is given to students who excel in both academics and co-curricular activities. He has also received the International Diana Award, given to students for their extraordinary contribution towards the society.

[email protected]

 

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‘Fixer Upper’ Star Joanna Gaines’s ‘Homebody’ Design Book Is A Dream Turned Reality

For four years, fans watched as Joanna Gaines brought homeowners’ interior imaginations come true with her exquisite designs on the HGTV series Fixer Upper, which she starred on along with her husband, home renovation expert Chip Gaines. Long before that, Joanna Gaines helped people fill the spaces of their dreams with the home goods sold in her store, Little Shop on Bosque, in Waco, Texas, which essentially served as the brainchild of the couple’s business, Magnolia Homes.

Although the Gaines role on Fixer Upper officially came to an end with the series finale in April, the sad ending of one chapter became the exciting beginning of a new for Joanna Gaines, including a manifestation of her own goals—finally publishing a home design book.

Joanna Gaines' 'HOMEBODY' Design Book Is a Dream Turned Reality Joanna Gaines appears on the cover of her new home design book, “HOMEBODY: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave. Courtesy of Magnolia/Harper Design

HOMEBODY: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Gaines’ first home design book apart from her husband, is more than just a testament of the wealth of knowledge she’s gained in the many years she’s served as an interior designer. It’s her very own dream turned reality.

“When I first opened my shop in 2003, I told Chip I wanted to write a design book one day,” Joanna Gaines told Newsweek during her book launch on Tuesday. “I had a little red journal and he said, ‘Take that out and write down every time you learn a lesson from one of your customers as you’re helping them in their homes, and one day write it all out.’ So I feel like this is something I’ve been writing for a long time.”

Joanna Gaines' 'HOMEBODY' Design Book Is a Dream Turned Reality This grand entrance, designed by Joanna Gaines, reflects a traditional style with modern and rustic accents. Lisa Petrole

Through the book, self-proclaimed homebody Joanna Gaines is doing much of what she does best— helping folks bring beauty and comfort to their homes, except this time around she’s lending her expertise to encourage homeowners to identify and develop their own unique and personal design style.

“I wanted to help people articulate the story they’re trying to tell with their homes and show them they don’t have to be intimidated by the idea of design. [They can] actually have fun with it. Home is the most important place on Earth. It’s important that we invest in our spaces,” she said.

HOMEBODY offers Joanna Gaines’ insight for turning any area into one worth living in, from the standard bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens to kid’s spaces, entryways and retreat rooms. The book is also sprinkled with stories of Joanna Gaines’ own personal experiences with home design, like how an “unrelenting sweet tooth” and a cake stand wedding gift not only sparked a deeper appreciation for cooking within her but also inspired her to turn her average first-home kitchen into a space that made visitors feel welcome.

Joanna Gaines 'HOMEBODY' Design Book Is a Dream Turned Reality An updated take on a vintage kitchen, designed by Joanna Gaines. (Photo: Lisa Petrole

“This has been such a journey of learning for myself, all the trails and errors and moments of not letting some failures be the very thing that made me not want to design again. I think it was important that people saw how I did it in my own life and why I’m so passionate about it. Hopefully, other people can resonate with that and be encouraged to try it themselves in their own home,” the mother-of-four said. “Designer or not designer, that’s not the point”

Ani DiFranco Details New Memoir ‘No Walls And The Recurring Dream’

In January 2017, Ani DiFranco announced that she would be penning her memoir. Nearly two years later, the singer-songwriter has revealed the book will be titled No Walls And The Recurring Dream and is set for release via Viking Books on May 7.

DiFranco’s memoir details her early life and nearly 30-year career in music, which includes her championing of both feminism and political activism. “Ani’s coming of age story is defined by her ethos of fierce independence — from being an emancipated minor sleeping in a Buffalo bus station, to unwaveringly building a career through appearances at small clubs and festivals, to releasing her first album at the age of 18, to consciously rejecting the mainstream recording industry and creating her own label, Righteous Babe Records,” her publisher shared about the tome.

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Ani DiFranco Details Memoir, ‘No Walls and the Recurring Dream’ – Rolling Stone

Ani DiFranco, the proudly independent folk-rock artist who self-released her first LP in 1990, will release a memoir next spring. No Walls and the Recurring Dream will come out via Viking on May 7th.

The book will chronicle her early life, her music, feminism and political activism, as well as her endeavors into philanthropy and entrepreneurship. “Ani’s coming of age story is defined by her ethos of fierce independence — from being an emancipated minor sleeping in a Buffalo bus station, to unwaveringly building a career through appearances at small clubs and festivals, to releasing her first album at the age of 18, to consciously rejecting the mainstream recording industry and creating her own label, Righteous Babe Records,” her publisher writes. “In these pages, as in life, she never hesitates to challenge established rules and expectations, maintaining a level of artistic integrity that has impressed many and antagonized more than a few.”

Since putting out her self-titled debut, DiFranco has issued 18 records via Righteous Babe; her most recent, Binary, came out last summer. She achieved a commercial breakthrough in the mid-Nineties, when her albums Little Plastic Castle and Up Up Up Up Up Up made it into the Top 30 of Billboard’s album chart. She’s maintained a steady touring schedule since then, playing several dozen gigs each year. She’s also stood up for LGBTQ, gender equality and environmental causes.

When she first announced the book last year, she expounded on the difference between writing music and prose, such as in the memoir. “Writing songs is not really about discipline,” she said. “There’s work, yes, but also to really get it right the clouds must part and a shaft of light come down, in a living moment things must align. Writing prose has already presented itself differently to me. It feels like sitting in front of a huge slab of timeless stone and staring unfocused until a figure appears, and then chipping … and chipping, and then again un-focusing the eyes. A much more Zen exercise in its ritual and manual labor. I am very excited about exploring this new kind of writing and making a book.”

What Do Our Oldest Books Say About Us?

Our concept of authenticity is derived from the “presence of the original,” he writes, such as “proof that a given manuscript of the Middle Ages stems from an archive of the fifteenth century.” Without such proof, an original becomes a forgery. But when we reproduce a work (via a photocopy or an ebook, say), we create not a forgery but something new. We can “put the copy of the original into situations which would be out of reach for the original itself”—the manuscript can leave the cathedral and enter our own homes.

Benjamin argued that this process of reproduction inevitably diminishes the artwork’s presence. He calls that quality an aura: “that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art.” That withering kills our connection to tradition, to the ineffable magic of the original, and—in short—to the entire history of how humans once related to art.

In 2018, we are in a much more elaborate and abstracted phase of Benjamin’s reproduction theory. We are accustomed to reading without reference to any physical object specific to the act of reading. We might have a romantic association with libraries, or prefer to turn real pages rather than electronic ones, but those are tastes borne of nostalgia. They have no real meaning for our experience of literature’s power.

This is why the reunion of the Old English poetic codices is so overwhelming. We have no mental equipment—or, at best, a very rusty apparatus—to process the existence of a physical original. Even our encounters with paintings in a museum are ultimately filtered through mass media and the devices with which we read the written word. It is difficult even to summon in our minds the circumstances of Benjamin’s 1936 essay; the technology has simply moved too quickly.

If we are that disconnected from 1936, but the Old English poetic codices predate Benjamin by an entire millennium, then it is no wonder that being confronted by these manuscripts leads to a feeling of numbed, startled astonishment. I’ve spent years dreaming of these books, but when all five of us finally met I couldn’t do anything but cry. I thought I knew them, through digital replicas. These books should have been a mirror, some kind of catalyst to self-recognition. But when I looked at them I saw nothing. I only saw the yawning void of everything in human history that I cannot understand, everything that has been taken from our culture by the incredible acceleration of technology over the course of my lifetime.


Codex Amiatinus.British Library Board

There are too many miracles to count inside the British Library’s exhibition. You can see the Codex Amiatinus, the earliest surviving complete Christian Bible in Latin. It’s enormous, weighing over 75 pounds. Here you will see the Domesday Book, the earliest public record in existence. Here is the River Erne horn, an eighth-century trumpet found in the waters of its name in the 1950s. Here is gold from the sixth century.

But as I walked out of this dazzling exhibition, I also realized the miracle that is the survival of Old English itself. If all we share with the Anglo-Saxon literature is language, then that is a remarkable consolation. The words are difficult to understand, but—miracle of miracles—we can translate them all.

Historians might care more about the singeing of the Beowulf Manuscript, the unknown pilgrim who walked through Italy. For the student of literature, however, Beowulf’s existence on the internet is as startling as the single book sitting by its sisters in a London library. If the book burned today, then the poem would still survive. The new permanence that reproduction gives us is the hope contained in Benjamin’s dirge. But it might be worth putting a replica in a bunker, just in case.

American Dream Leadership Series #6: Doug Robinson, LGCY Power

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Growing up playing sports, many of the influencers in my life were coaches. Today I still draw inspiration from successful coaches, including legendary pros like LaVell Edwards and Dabo Swinney, as well as those who dedicate their time to coaching my own kids’ teams.

This week I got to interview Doug Robinson, who is the co-founder and CEO of LGCY Power. Doug and I have become good friends over the years, spending our fall nights together coaching our sons in youth tackle football. Doug also grew up playing sports and studying successful coaches. I have been very impressed with the culture he has built at his company and think other entrepreneurs will find his experiences inspiring.

As a CEO, Doug still draws upon lessons learned from his childhood coaches as he strives to unite a team, leverage individual strengths and talents and achieve success within his company. Doug has more than 12 years of experience building sales teams and he is remarkably adept at leading, inspiring and motivating teams. Under his leadership, LGCY Power has quickly become one of the largest privately held residential solar sales companies in the U.S. Here’s what he had to say about achieving success, leading a team and life as a founder:

What did you want to be when you were a kid, and how has reality matched your expectations?

I wanted to be a doctor. I changed my mind as I entered college and my brother-in-law, who was in medical school, showed me his textbook on prescriptions. It was the thickest, heaviest book I had ever seen, and when he told me he had to memorize every prescription, what it was used for and its side effects, I quickly decided that medicine wasn’t for me. About that time I had a mentor, a professor in Brigham Young University’s MBA program, who told me I had a real aptitude for business and I should look into a business career. I took his advice seriously and the rest is history.

As a kid, I didn’t see all the schooling and work that goes into becoming a doctor; I simply saw the end result. Becoming a business owner is similar. People tend to envision the end result but don’t consider the blood, sweat and tears that go into building a successful business.

What has been the greatest contributing factor to your success?

A relentless work ethic. Growing up playing sports, I would hear people say, “be the first one on the court and the last one off the court.” The same principle of putting in the hard work in order to achieve the best results applies to business as well. I’ve never been the most talented or the smartest, but I am willing to work the hardest.

In college I sold satellite systems door-to-door in Logan, Utah. Winters in Logan are frigid to say the least, but I had goals I wanted to achieve. One in particular was earning enough money to buy a ring and propose to my high school sweetheart. When classes ended for the day, I would go out selling. Often it would be so cold I would sell at one doorstep, walk back to my car and drive to the next house with the heat on full blast. I quickly earned enough money to buy a wedding ring and propose; I also became the company’s highest performing salesperson and was promoted to leadership positions where I helped other sales reps develop the skills to become high performers.

What leader in business do you most admire and try to emulate?

Most of the leaders I relate to are coaches. I find football coaches particularly inspiring, since I played the sport in college.

One of the things I really like to see and study is coaches who come into an organization and achieve a high level of success quickly. As I think of my favorite coaches like Urban Meyer, John Wooden, Bill Belichick, Nick Saban and Phil Jackson, I see similarities in the ways they capture the attention of their players and get them to buy in to their vision and philosophies. I find it fascinating to study their techniques and then try to implement them or versions of them at LGCY Power.

How would you describe your personal leadership style?

I’m focused on influencing, motivating and trying to help others see their potential. I like to stretch people; encouraging them to be confident about decision-making helps increase their belief in themselves.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career that could apply to folks just getting started?

Trust your gut. Most people never get started or even take a step to getting started. There are so many entrepreneurs that never get an idea off the ground out of fear. I tell people all the time to just do it. Get started and make it happen.

What’s the most useless talent you have?

Blowing bubbles with Bubblicious bubble gum. I’m talking about the kind of bubbles that get really big and when they pop, splatter all over your face. I’m really good at it, but I’ve got to have the right brand of gum. Bubblicious provides the perfect consistency and volume to produce the biggest bubbles.

When you think about the next two years, what keeps you up at night?

I worry about building and maintaining a positive culture. I know disengaged workers have higher absenteeism, more accidents, more errors, lower productivity, lower profitability and lower job growth. I want to train people to sell and be successful, and I also want to make sure each and every team member is engaged and fulfilled in their roles and responsibilities. I think LGCY has been successful in achieving this to date as we’ve been named one of Utah’s fastest growing companies and a Best Place to Work by Utah Business magazine.

What is the best and worst part about being the founder of LGCY?

For me, the best part is seeing the impact on people’s lives—both our employees and our customers. I’m most excited about the opportunity to impact people, the local community and the world. I believe we are all far more capable than we allow ourselves to believe.

The worst part is the cultural changes that must occur in order for the business to reach its full potential. There are times where skill sets of employees don’t match the needs of the business, and a change has to be made in order for us to continue growing. These changes are the most difficult and gut-wrenching.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?

There are two pieces of advice I consider to be the best I’ve ever received. The first was from Paul Winowski, the president of Sunrun. He said success often comes down to three things: talent, tenacity and timing. I knew when I was evaluating the solar market, the timing couldn’t be better. The market is primed for long-term, sustained success with low market penetration and high consumer demand. The only real question was could we execute well. Thankfully, we have been able to build a team of talented and tenacious professionals ready to take advantage of this burgeoning market.

The second piece of sound advice I received was from Les McGwire. He said, “dollars follow value.” Early in my career when it was all about money, I wasn’t nearly as satisfied. Once I learned to focus on adding value, specifically helping others grow in their careers and achieve greater success, things fell into place, and I was able to experience true success and fulfillment.

How do you see solar energy’s role in the future of humanity?

As I look back over the last 150 years of energy production and consumption in the world, nothing’s changed. The process is the same; burn stuff and then send it more than 1,000 miles away to be consumed. When you think about the sun shining on a solar panel and producing power, it changes all of that. I believe solar technology will continue to improve, drive costs down and make the way we currently consume power a thing of the past.

Which small business do you frequent the most?

Swig, a local drive-by soda shop. I’m particularly fond of their Diet Dr. Pepper Raspberry Boba. It’s the nectar of the Gods.

What activity or activities (outside of work) do you always make time for?

I enjoy sports, the outdoors and spending time with my family and friends. I grew up playing a number of sports including football in college at Brigham Young University – Idaho and Snow College. Now that I have a family, I enjoy working with and coaching my kids, including my son’s baseball team. We recently competed in a tournament in Cooperstown, New York, home of the baseball Hall of Fame. While we competed hard, we only won one game; but we emphasized good sportsmanship and were proud of the way we competed as a team.

Last but not least, pineapple on pizza: yes or no?

Yes.

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Growing up playing sports, many of the influencers in my life were coaches. Today I still draw inspiration from successful coaches, including legendary pros like LaVell Edwards and Dabo Swinney, as well as those who dedicate their time to coaching my own kids’ teams.

This week I got to interview Doug Robinson, who is the co-founder and CEO of LGCY Power. Doug and I have become good friends over the years, spending our fall nights together coaching our sons in youth tackle football. Doug also grew up playing sports and studying successful coaches. I have been very impressed with the culture he has built at his company and think other entrepreneurs will find his experiences inspiring.

As a CEO, Doug still draws upon lessons learned from his childhood coaches as he strives to unite a team, leverage individual strengths and talents and achieve success within his company. Doug has more than 12 years of experience building sales teams and he is remarkably adept at leading, inspiring and motivating teams. Under his leadership, LGCY Power has quickly become one of the largest privately held residential solar sales companies in the U.S. Here’s what he had to say about achieving success, leading a team and life as a founder:

What did you want to be when you were a kid, and how has reality matched your expectations?

I wanted to be a doctor. I changed my mind as I entered college and my brother-in-law, who was in medical school, showed me his textbook on prescriptions. It was the thickest, heaviest book I had ever seen, and when he told me he had to memorize every prescription, what it was used for and its side effects, I quickly decided that medicine wasn’t for me. About that time I had a mentor, a professor in Brigham Young University’s MBA program, who told me I had a real aptitude for business and I should look into a business career. I took his advice seriously and the rest is history.

As a kid, I didn’t see all the schooling and work that goes into becoming a doctor; I simply saw the end result. Becoming a business owner is similar. People tend to envision the end result but don’t consider the blood, sweat and tears that go into building a successful business.

What has been the greatest contributing factor to your success?

A relentless work ethic. Growing up playing sports, I would hear people say, “be the first one on the court and the last one off the court.” The same principle of putting in the hard work in order to achieve the best results applies to business as well. I’ve never been the most talented or the smartest, but I am willing to work the hardest.

In college I sold satellite systems door-to-door in Logan, Utah. Winters in Logan are frigid to say the least, but I had goals I wanted to achieve. One in particular was earning enough money to buy a ring and propose to my high school sweetheart. When classes ended for the day, I would go out selling. Often it would be so cold I would sell at one doorstep, walk back to my car and drive to the next house with the heat on full blast. I quickly earned enough money to buy a wedding ring and propose; I also became the company’s highest performing salesperson and was promoted to leadership positions where I helped other sales reps develop the skills to become high performers.

What leader in business do you most admire and try to emulate?

Most of the leaders I relate to are coaches. I find football coaches particularly inspiring, since I played the sport in college.

One of the things I really like to see and study is coaches who come into an organization and achieve a high level of success quickly. As I think of my favorite coaches like Urban Meyer, John Wooden, Bill Belichick, Nick Saban and Phil Jackson, I see similarities in the ways they capture the attention of their players and get them to buy in to their vision and philosophies. I find it fascinating to study their techniques and then try to implement them or versions of them at LGCY Power.

How would you describe your personal leadership style?

I’m focused on influencing, motivating and trying to help others see their potential. I like to stretch people; encouraging them to be confident about decision-making helps increase their belief in themselves.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career that could apply to folks just getting started?

Trust your gut. Most people never get started or even take a step to getting started. There are so many entrepreneurs that never get an idea off the ground out of fear. I tell people all the time to just do it. Get started and make it happen.

What’s the most useless talent you have?

Blowing bubbles with Bubblicious bubble gum. I’m talking about the kind of bubbles that get really big and when they pop, splatter all over your face. I’m really good at it, but I’ve got to have the right brand of gum. Bubblicious provides the perfect consistency and volume to produce the biggest bubbles.

When you think about the next two years, what keeps you up at night?

I worry about building and maintaining a positive culture. I know disengaged workers have higher absenteeism, more accidents, more errors, lower productivity, lower profitability and lower job growth. I want to train people to sell and be successful, and I also want to make sure each and every team member is engaged and fulfilled in their roles and responsibilities. I think LGCY has been successful in achieving this to date as we’ve been named one of Utah’s fastest growing companies and a Best Place to Work by Utah Business magazine.

What is the best and worst part about being the founder of LGCY?

For me, the best part is seeing the impact on people’s lives—both our employees and our customers. I’m most excited about the opportunity to impact people, the local community and the world. I believe we are all far more capable than we allow ourselves to believe.

The worst part is the cultural changes that must occur in order for the business to reach its full potential. There are times where skill sets of employees don’t match the needs of the business, and a change has to be made in order for us to continue growing. These changes are the most difficult and gut-wrenching.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?

There are two pieces of advice I consider to be the best I’ve ever received. The first was from Paul Winowski, the president of Sunrun. He said success often comes down to three things: talent, tenacity and timing. I knew when I was evaluating the solar market, the timing couldn’t be better. The market is primed for long-term, sustained success with low market penetration and high consumer demand. The only real question was could we execute well. Thankfully, we have been able to build a team of talented and tenacious professionals ready to take advantage of this burgeoning market.

The second piece of sound advice I received was from Les McGwire. He said, “dollars follow value.” Early in my career when it was all about money, I wasn’t nearly as satisfied. Once I learned to focus on adding value, specifically helping others grow in their careers and achieve greater success, things fell into place, and I was able to experience true success and fulfillment.

How do you see solar energy’s role in the future of humanity?

As I look back over the last 150 years of energy production and consumption in the world, nothing’s changed. The process is the same; burn stuff and then send it more than 1,000 miles away to be consumed. When you think about the sun shining on a solar panel and producing power, it changes all of that. I believe solar technology will continue to improve, drive costs down and make the way we currently consume power a thing of the past.

Which small business do you frequent the most?

Swig, a local drive-by soda shop. I’m particularly fond of their Diet Dr. Pepper Raspberry Boba. It’s the nectar of the Gods.

What activity or activities (outside of work) do you always make time for?

I enjoy sports, the outdoors and spending time with my family and friends. I grew up playing a number of sports including football in college at Brigham Young University – Idaho and Snow College. Now that I have a family, I enjoy working with and coaching my kids, including my son’s baseball team. We recently competed in a tournament in Cooperstown, New York, home of the baseball Hall of Fame. While we competed hard, we only won one game; but we emphasized good sportsmanship and were proud of the way we competed as a team.

Last but not least, pineapple on pizza: yes or no?

Yes.