We’ve written about Ashton Kutcher’s strong business acumen here at Capitalist Creations in the past. He is an extremely successful venture capitalist and started A-Grade Investments, with Ron Burkle and Guy Oseary. The fund was an early investor in many companies we’ve featured here at CC. A-Grade Investments helped fund Uber, AirBnb, Spotify, Dwolla and more.
Kutcher is one of the few Hollywood stars who proved his salt in the business world outside of the usual endorsement scene. He’s a natural entrepreneur and after his recent off-the-cuff speech at the Teen Choice Awards, is now one of the greatest Hollywood role models for our kids in decades.
Our Youth Lack Real Role Models
I’m going to sound like my grandfather here, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there is something wrong with our youth. They are missing in action, deafened by social media sound bites and have short attention spans thanks to the world we live in, which is all about instant gratification.
Many so called role models for our kids are nothing but attention whores. Our youth see Myley Cyrus, a one-time child Nickelodeon star, ‘twerk’ on stage – which in some circles would pass for softcore porn.
Kids are watching the Kardashians burst into tears over first world problems such as gaining an extra ten pounds. Our youth are constantly being let down by some of the world’s greatest athletes who have been caught (in some cases multiple times) cheating by using drugs to win. Outside of their homes – and hopefully schools – our youth have very few good role models to look up to these days.
So when Ashton Kutcher made his acceptance speech (for winning the ‘Ultimate Choice Award’) at the Teen Choice Awards earlier this month, I was impressed. It was refreshing.
Right when Kutcher got up to the stage he told the audience of pubescent admirers that he felt like a fraud because he hadn’t disclosed his real name (Chris) throughout his career; and that Ashton was really his middle name (changed it when he was 19 and started acting). The premise of his speech to America’s youth was to stay humble, persevere, work hard and be proud to be employed, be generous and build your own life. It was an amazing speech because it was obvious that Kutcher was passionate about what he was saying. It also stood for everything that makes America the great, free market country that it is.
The 3 Points of Kutcher’s Speech
- Find opportunity: Kutcher explained to his faithful followers that he believed opportunity looked a lot like hard work. He talked about his first job roofing with his father, sweeping Cheerio dust in a factory, washing dishes and working at a deli. He told the audience that he was never better than his job and that he felt lucky to have one. He explained how every job is a stepping stone to advance and that he never quit a job until he had another one to go to.
- Being sexy: Kutcher explained to the audience that the sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, thoughtful and generous. Everything else that the media portrays as sexy “is crap” according to Kutcher.
- Build a Life: Kutcher told the crowd that everything around us, the thing we call life, is for us to build upon. Don’t fall into the mold and don’t just live life; build a life.
As a father, entrepreneur and free market supporter, I’m thankful our youth still have a Hollywood role model like Ashton Kutcher to look up to. Despite all his accolades in film, he hasn’t rested on his laurels. Kutcher has managed to break into the venture capital world and find great success. After listening to his speech at the Teen Choice Awards, it’s obvious that his business success is clearly a result of his upbringing, work ethic and steadfast optimism.
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