Monday, May 21, 2007

Combining Ben Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt because I can

Hey, it’s the internet. If I want to string together a couple of quotes from guys I admire, who’s to say I can’t.

I’ve been thinking about the process of entrepreneurship lately and all that it implies for people who haven’t participated in it. The media make it out to be this do or die glory run toward an IPO.

Frankly, that’s idiotic. That’s like telling every kid on the schoolyard that they can play in the NBA or the NFL. That’s a cruel injustice to the kid and not a good way to approach life, or entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship in this society is flourishing at micro levels that have nothing to do with IPOs or mega-deals.

Entrepreneurship is much better represented by small scale, appropriately executed adventures that give the participants a chance to grow into their passions, meet new friends worldwide, pay their bills and fix some problems along the way.

The business media focuses on winners and losers, when in fact the entire process – if viewed with the right perspective – is highly beneficial for the participants and for society.

I like Theodore Roosevelt, and I really like Ben Franklin. I got two emails this week, both from overseas, with quotes from each of these gentlemen in their signatures.

They seem to me to represent a short, clear call to take the appropriate risks of entrepreneurship for your own benefit as well as helping the planet.

You learn something no one can ever take away and you prove to yourself that your life and your dreams are worth the effort.

I’ve switched the order of the quotes a number of times, but I’ve settled on Franklin to close because that’s the bottom line of any entrepreneurial effort.

So... Ben Franklin and TR, whose births are separated by more than 150 years, knitted together in an entrepreneurship rallying call, inspired by eMails from other continents a century later. Is this a great time and place to tackle opportunity or what?

"The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who strives valiantly... who at best knows the high achievement of triumph... who at worst, fails while daring greatly for he knows his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." --Theodore Roosevelt

"If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." -- Benjamin Franklin

Follow your heart – and your head – into your hopes for self enterprise. These guys are right.

I wish you well, friend.

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