I’d like to take pause and reflect upon America, the land of opportunity. As we have celebrated our Independence Day these past few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about how grateful I am to be a citizen of the United States of America. Here, people can define who they are. Here, people can determine their own destiny. Here, people can fulfill that great American Dream.
Lately I’ve been reading the book “John Adams” by David McCullough. After the Revolutionary War, Adams lived in London for a time in an attempt to build a relationship with Britain and get trade going between the two nations. One thing that struck me about this time in history was that it was widely believed that America as an independent nation wouldn’t last, that it was only a short matter of time before America’s government would fold and it would come crawling back to the king. Obviously, we know that didn’t happen, and that America quickly rose to great power on the international stage.
It’s no wonder that the spirit of entrepreneurship is so great in the United States of America. It’s that same spirit of taking a risk, of determination and perseverance through the bleakest of moments, of putting our faith in something higher, of yearning for something greater than we are. It’s in integral part of this nation’s birth; it’s dominant in our history; it’s part of who we are.
For the 4th of July, I hiked the tallest peak in New Mexico with a friend of mine. Coming from near sea-level in Dallas, hiking to a 13,100 foot peak was not an easy task. The altitude wiped us out, and the climb during the last half of the hike was steep. Yet we persisted. That drive of reaching the top, that want to own that mountain was greater than the desire to stop. Not once did we have the thought that we wouldn’t make it. Reaching the top brought us that sweet feeling of personal satisfaction, that sense of accomplishment that only comes when you’ve put forth your best effort and can now take in the reward. And our reward was breathtaking!
At the end of the day, that’s what entrepreneurship is to me. It’s not about the money; money is simply a measure of our success. It’s about taking the challenge, being part of something greater. It’s about pushing through the failures and reaching for success. It’s about breaking through your perceived limitations and rising higher. If there’s anything that’s truly American, it’s being an entrepreneur.
Happy Independence Day!