Today is the very first National Entrepreneurs’ Day as declared by President Obama. In his proclamation he makes a powerful statement: “Entrepreneurs embody the promise that lies at the heart of America — that if you have a good idea and work hard enough, the American dream is within your reach.” One of the reasons OnForce is a great place to work is that it is both an entrepreneurial venture itself, and an opportunity to work with, and help thousands of entrepreneurs. Having spent some time working and sometimes living internationally, it seems to me that there is no country that values or even idolizes entrepreneurs the way the United States does. We love the stories of founders whether it’s Ford (“Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”); or Tesla Motors (I want one!); or the story of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard starting HP in a garage.
They are all great stories for a few reasons. One, there is a clear sense of high personal risk for the founders. People around them think they are crazy. They put their financial futures in serious jeopardy. Two, they face huge challenges that on any given day, may seem insurmountable – but they go on. Three, they succeed despite the odds, and although we don’t talk about them nearly as much, we know that most don’t succeed so the scarcity of success makes it all the more noteworthy. For me, these stories of success are essential. They are the fuel that enables entrepreneurs to believe that they can do it and it’s worth the risk. It allows them to imagine the upside and avoid fixating on the problems. They inspire entrepreneurs to quit their safe jobs and take the risks that give their parents heart-burn.
So, happy Entrepreneurs’ Day! We’re glad you had the courage to start your business and we’re glad you chose to work with OnForce. Your family may not understand you, but you’re among friends in the OnForce community. I would love to hear your own story of entrepreneurship or just your favorite business story.