5 Minute Read
When you think of Tennessee, you might think of country music, the Memphis blues, the orange-and-white checkered endzone in Neyland Stadium, prestigious Vanderbilt, or quaint Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.
But there’s so much more to Tennessee than those few things. The generations of people who hail from the great Volunteer State are deeply rooted in drive, commitment and creativity. They know how to make their money work for them. They know that it takes a community of hard-working people to turn a small idea into a worldwide business.
We racked our brains to narrow down the list of applicable lessons from Tennesseans, both in the limelight and on the farm. These five characteristics span the state and are what makes Tennessee so financially strong.
1. Tennesseans know how to be strong leaders.
Not only was Andrew Jackson the seventh President of the United States, he also helped found the state of Tennessee. He was a man of action—a trait that’s pretty common in Tennessee. Whether it’s Andrew Jackson, Al Gore or Davey Crockett, Tennesseans know how to get people fired up and support the cause they’re championing.
The Lesson: If you want more of Andrew Jackson in your life (hint: $20 bills), then don’t be a follower when it comes to your money and don’t listen to the crowd. The crowd is broke! Take charge—whether you’re single, married, retired or in any other stage of life—and watch good things start to happen.
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2. Tennesseans know how to be inventive.
When a Gatlinburg ski resort wanted to attract more visitors, they created the world’s largest artificial ski surface covered in fake snow. Tennesseans created Mountain Dew, the tow truck, and miniature golf, and they had a large part in developing the atomic bomb. If you live in the Volunteer State, you’re not afraid to take some chances and try something new.
The Lesson: If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting. That’s especially true if you’ve never focused on budgeting, getting out of debt, and saving for the future. Try something new and see how it positively changes your life.
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3. Tennesseans know how to get things done.
Tennessee is home to FedEx—listed at #12 on Fortune’s list of World’s Most Admired Companies. FedEx only ships nine million packages per day and made nearly $50 billion in revenue in 2014. No big deal, right? Simply put, FedEx knows how to get things done.
The Lesson: You make your own luck. If you want to make a change, you have to stop talking about it and actually do it. And if that means starting your own global company that becomes a $50 billion Fortune 500 company, well, then what are you waiting for?
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4. Tennesseans don’t quit.
The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville has the longest running live radio program in the world. People have followed the lead of Tennesseans to tune in every weekend since 1925. Now that’s what we call commitment and dedication!
Those same qualities have helped Tennessee produce stud athletes and hugely successful entertainers like Peyton Manning, Wilma Rudolph, Aretha Franklin and Justin Timberlake. When Tennesseans start something, they stick with it.
The Lesson: You’ll never win long-term with money if you don’t have endurance. Even when you’re out of debt, you’ve still got to make sure you’re putting money away for college, retirement and paying off the mortgage. That doesn’t happen overnight. Stick with it, even when it’s boring and no one else you know is doing it.
5. Tennesseans value community and teamwork.
After all, the origin of the word “Tennessee” comes from an old Yuchi tribe word (“Tana-see”), which means “The Meeting Place.” Whether it’s supporting their football team in Knoxville or their favorite band in Nashville, Tennesseans love to spend time together working, relaxing or moving toward a common goal.
The Lesson: You need people in your life who will support and teach you things so you’re constantly learning. When it comes to money, you need someone who will hold you accountable for your spending and saving decisions—maybe that’s your spouse or a best friend. Make sure you have a circle of trust you can lean on—both at home and at work.
Not only is this state the home of beautiful rolling hills, hundred-acre horse farms and the Country Music Hall of Fame, but it’s also a great example of money management done right. Take these lessons to heart, and y’all will be on your way to a strong financial future!
Which point noted above will you focus on this year in your life?