Students in Mr. Matt Elder’s Problems of Democracy (POD) classes have been focusing on the study of economics since January, learning about many different economic topics including scarcity, production possibilities, economic systems, supply and demand, and the different types of businesses.
In order to pull all of these concepts together, students are currently working on creating their own business plans, in which the end goal is to get approval for a loan from the banker, or in this case, Mr. Elder himself. The plans will include details such as what the businesses will provide customers with, purchases the businesses will need to make, what prices the businesses will charge, and how they will run their businesses overall.
The business plans, while completely effective in tying together everything the students have learned since January, still leave students wondering what the overall point is. Not everyone is interested in running their own business one day. Those students who know exactly what they want to do in life, which for most has nothing to do with running a business, are confused on what learning how to write a business plan has to do with their future.
That’s where Tyler Hunter comes in.
Mr. Hunter, who graduated from Bellwood-Antis in 2009, came in to speak to Mr. Elder’s POD students on Tuesday, May 1, about the real life-applications that come from writing a business plan.
Mr. Hunter started his own business, Revival Fitness and Rehab, from the ground up. While he originally was renting a space, he wanted a space of his own. He therefore wrote up a business plan and obtained a $40,000 loan, with which he bought a new space, remolded it using the loan, and eventually expanded his clientele base. His business today is exceeding the expectations that he originally had for it, and he has become very successful.
Admittedly, Mr. Hunter had to start somewhere. It all started with a business plan, very similar to the plans students are making in class. By looking at Mr. Hunter’s business plan, the students were able to get a real-world picture of the various economics concepts they had talked about and are currently working with.
Mr. Elder thinks that having Mr/. Hunter come and talk to the students was a huge success, and thinks that they were able to take away some valuable life lessons.
“Having Mr. Hunter come in and talk to the POD classes was excellent. He was able to give a real world context to what each student is working on. He was also able to answer questions the students had and explain intricacies with the business world that he’s discovered through trial and error. The information he was able to give was great, not just from a school aspect, but from a life aspect,” said Mr. Elder.
Mr. Hunter said that while he really enjoyed teaching the students about the business-world, it was so much more than that. It was about remembering where he came from, and wanting to encourage the students who are sitting where he sat.
“It’s my hope and prayer that I was able to bring an ounce of inspiration into the classroom. I saw myself sitting there in those seats; a student filled with potential, just unsure about life and what comes next, or even what capabilities are hidden inside. I never imagined I’d be running my own business at 26, especially a successful one that I love going to every day,” said Mr. Hunter.
If Mr. Hunter could leave one piece of advice pertaining to both business and real-life, it would be to work hard and do something that makes you genuinely happy.
“Each student in there deserves to know that success and happiness are completely relative. You don’t have to be old or rich to be successful. Their future possibilities are absolutely endless. Dream big, work your butt off, and do something that makes you genuinely happy,” said Mr. Hunter.