By Roy Spence
For just a moment, I want to share with you a dream, not mine but the American dream. In America, when we are at our best, it does not matter what your last name is or what situation you were born in to. Here, if you can dream it, then you can build it. This is the Miracle of America. If America is to get moving again—and that includes Texas—we must have a rebirth of that miracle. And there is no place on earth better to re-launch the Miracle of America than in the entrepreneurial heart of America: Austin, TX.
All we hear from most of our elected officials is the political debate about whether to cut and save or spend and stimulate. And the truth is neither road will create the jobs and economic prosperity to move America from status quo to status go. The only path forward is to create our way in to growth, jobs and prosperity. And who are those creators, dreamers, builders and architects of our future? Those people always have been and always will be the young and young at heart: entrepreneurs, the men and women who seek meaning and purpose in their lives through what they build and create from scratch. In the process of creating meaning and purpose for themselves, the good ones (the purpose-inspired entrepreneurs) create good jobs, momentum and meaning for others and for America herself.
Where do entrepreneurs flourish? In communities whose culture is forever young. In communities where the mantra is “You can do it.” In communities that have a spirit that lifts the dreamers up, champions and encourages them. In communities where the society is open and people live by the belief that no one is too good and everyone is good enough. In communities where pride lay not just in what we have done, but rather what we are going to do next. The engine of growth in those communities is fueled by talent, tolerance and technology. And most importantly, it flourishes in communities where the core attitude about life itself is full of optimism and determination, in communities inspired by the ideal that yes, “If you can dream it, you can build it.”
So where is that ideal community for the next generation of entrepreneurs? The ideal place for those who are going to jump off the building and build the wings on the way down so that America can soar again? Yep, it’s right here in the Live Music Capital of the World, the home of the Longhorn Nation and the Idea City of America. The city that is forever young: Austin, TX.
So here is my ask of you. The next time you drive by a mobile vendor who has started his or her business in an Airstream or food trailer, turn around and go buy a taco/pizza/sandwich/juice and thank them for being a part of the Miracle of America. The next time you read about a new start-up, email the hopeful owner and encourage them to never give up on their dreams. The next time you have a visit with your daughter/son/sister/brother/friend and they start to tell you what they would love to do with their life, encourage them to do it. Mostly, if you have a dream of making a living doing what you love to do and if you are like so many of us, that dream is only a whisper, because we tend to drown it out with the stuff of our daily lives, go to a quiet place and listen to that whisper in your heart. For that whisper of, “I don’t want to work for anybody anymore. I want to follow my purpose and passion in life,” is the whisper of America’s calling, the whisper that is the soul of the Miracle of America.
As Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.”
I couldn’t agree more. I, too, am starting a company based on compassion and social services. I’ve spent months reading, researching and asking questions. The most common problem that any one of us entrepreneurs have is the resounding need for start-up funding. There are many, many websites that talk about it, that lead you in a circle, offering you “help” but it seems to fall back on the age-old you have to have money to make money. Banks do not want to offer start-ups loans. The government does not want to offer grants unless our services are useful directly to them. Where do we go?
I love the message of this article. Let’s see more of this attitude and less of the political spin on jobs.
Unfortunatly I am cynical about this. Logically I completely understand where you are coming from. All businesses started as a startup at one time. So it is important to fostor these dreams so that they have a chance to grow. Because this is where future economic growth will be.
Emotionally, I am 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Here is a cautionary tale.
Unfortunatly what people do not understand is the risks associated with starting new businesses. One of the most common statements about creating your startup is to seek money from friends and family. My wife had a dream for a business and quit her day job to pursue it. She had next to no money and looked to me to fund her along the way. “If you love me you will help me achieve my dream” type statements. And she pushed me well past what I could afford to give her. Unfortunatly she had no realistic plans to deal with the ups and downs, just lots of optimism and she has no money skills.
So my hard earned savings that I had been building up for years is now gone, I am deep in debt and living paycheck to paycheck. She has no plans to pay me back and her business is dying. She has had to go back to work to pay the bills.
And she is now my ex-wife.
So be realistic and plan carefully. You can destroy relationships and other people futures by being reckless..