Freedom Isn’t Free, The Parallels Between Entrepreneurs and Our Country’s Forefathers
I love the 4th of July! I love the time with family, the sights, the sounds, and the food. Through all of the celebration, I enjoy the deep sense of patriotism I feel. Despite any political turmoil or division in our nation, I have a deep sense of reverence for the liberties this country enjoys and the role the United States plays in preserving those freedoms here and abroad.
Celebrating the 4th of July this year caused me to reflect on the price of freedom our country’s forefathers paid and the similarities to entrepreneurship.
Dictionary.com definition of entrepreneur – a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
Our country was founded by people who were willing to risk it all (health/life, personal wealth and family) to secure the freedoms they sought. They were entrepreneurs through and through. For some it ended badly. For others, a terrible price was paid but then a successful outcome.
Entrepreneurs Seek Freedom
If you ask any entrepreneur why s/he started a business, you will likely hear a unique answer. They may say something like, “I saw a need for… “ or “I thought there had to be a better way to… “
Regardless of the description they use to tell others why they started a business, I believe every entrepreneur is looking for one of the following freedoms (or a combination of them):
- Freedom from the tyranny of the current reality/the existing solution (freedom to create a better way or something of meaning/impact)
- Freedom to spend their time doing what they want to do
- Freedom from concerns about money; often entrepreneurs want to create wealth/financial independence for themselves and others
The Price of Freedom is High
- Mentally and emotionally taxing – the pressures of owning and running a business are always on, especially in the early stages of the business
- Money – bankruptcy; great financial loss to investors
- Relationships suffer – time spent on the business and the thought cycles take away from precious family and friends
- Physical health challenges – lack of sleep, poor eating and little exercise
… not for the faint of heart
Like any successful entrepreneurial venture, all of us who came after benefit from what was built by others.
Freedom isn’t free. I honor our country’s forefathers who were willing to pay a terrible price that they and we might enjoy tremendous freedoms and opportunity. I also honor the millions of people who risk so much to create and grow a business.
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