Starting and running your own business requires a lot of time, tenacity and the ability to wear multiple hats. It can be easy for entrepreneurs to become engulfed in the whirlwind of their business, while also trying to balance a family life and other commitments. Where does volunteering fit in?
For business owner and realtor Michael Taylor, volunteering with Junior Achievement (JA) is a regular part of his schedule, in addition to being ranked one of the top five percent of Realtors nationwide by sales volume and running his own successful real estate firm, Taylor Realty Group. Since 2005, Taylor has mentored more than 750 students in 36 classrooms in the north Denver metro area.
A former high school JA Business Week participant himself, Taylor recognizes the power of being mentored at such a critical time in someone’s life, and makes it his personal mission to support as many students as he can.
“There are a couple of what I call pinball moments in your life that kind of change your trajectory,” Taylor says. “Truth be told, Business Week was one of those pinball moments for me. It was huge, my mentor was an entrepreneur, and he inspired me personally to be who I feel called to be. I was blown away that he took a week off from work to come be with us. That’s why I do it, because people were doing it for me.”
A resident of Broomfield, Colorado, Taylor received a “Good Neighbor” Award from the Colorado Association of Realtors, given to individuals who show “incomparable dedication to improving the lives of people in their communities and beyond, stepping in to provide aid in desperate situations when no one else could or would.” In addition to JA, Taylor volunteers with Livingstone Church in Broomfield and the Broomfield Community Foundation. He was also featured on HGTV on the show “My House is Worth What” and for nine years in a row he was named a Five-Star Realtor by 5280 Magazine. In the classroom, Taylor is down-to-earth and relatable to students, and is interested in what they have to say.
“Just because we’re older and we have more experience, that doesn’t mean what we know is more important,” he says. “I never call them kids and I never make it awkward from an age standpoint. We learn as much from them as much as they learn from us. They have a lot of wisdom and a really cool perspective.”