The 4th of July.
Today, we celebrate our nation’s independence and some of the delightful things we’ve picked up since then – namely hot dogs and swimming pools.
We all know the story of the Founding Fathers – visionaries who spearheaded the fight for independence for our blossoming nation. If you’re thinking their story sounds a lot like a modern day startup myth, you’re right.
Today’s entrepreneurs share a lot more with the Founding Fathers than country of origin. Here are 4 similarities that connect the two groups separated by time.
They Built Our Country
It seems obvious to say the Founding Fathers built our country. But the truth is, they built the foundation of our nation. Entrepreneurs took it from there.
The founding fathers may have signed the Declaration of Independence and officially separated the US from Great Britain, but today, small business owners are responsible for 56.8 million jobs – that’s nearly half of the private sector workforce. And in 2013, small businesses created 1.1 million net-new jobs.
They Ask ‘Why’
The catalyst for any kind of change – be a revolution or just a new way of doing things – is the why. To create real change, both entrepreneurs and our nation’s founders asked why things were the way they were.
Why do we accept Great Britain’s rule over the colonies? Why don’t we wear jeans that feel like pajamas? Entrepreneurs and founding fathers alike ask, Why is it like this? Why can’t it be different?
They’re Always Looking Forward
Whether you’re founding a company or a country, the very act of founding something requires a willingness to look forward. Both the Founding Fathers and today’s entrepreneurs imagined the future, not only as it would be, but as it could be.
Not only do these people see the future as it could be, they’re driven by that vision. Driven to work hard, to found companies, to fight wars – whatever it takes to make that vision of the future that could be come true.
They Mostly Were Entrepreneurs
If you’ve studied the lives of the Founding Fathers outside of their greatest achievement, you know this already – many of the Founding Fathers actually were entrepreneurs in their time. Benjamin Franklin was a prolific inventor. With his lack of traditional education, you might think of him as the Zuckerberg of the 1770s.
Those who’ve seen Hamilton know that Alexander Hamilton found himself essentially running a shipping company at the tender age of 13. And Thomas Jefferson, a farmer by trade, received a patent for an invention that made hemp farming easier.
Capable of True Greatness
At the end of the day, there’s a lot alike between entrepreneurs and the Founding Fathers. But the single most notable similarity? Capacity for greatness. Both the Founding Fathers and today’s entrepreneurs have the potential to change the way we view the world, and the drive and tenacity to make it happen.