On the Fourth of July, we celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The ideals and the spirit of the Founding Fathers are very much alive in the 21st Century - in the lives, and the struggles, of the small business person. In fact, many entrepreneurial dreams begin with the declaration of independence from the tyranny of working for someone else, cutting loose from the unfairness and inequity of the rigid corporate structure.
The truths the entrepreneur holds self-evident include Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and happiness involves much more than accumulating wealth. It most often means something much deeper - an act of creation, seeing an idea for a new product take shape, seeing your name on a brand. For most small business people, there is no great financial reward at the end - the happiness is in the pursuit itself.
The framers of the Constitution had the daunting task of creating a new set of rules by which people agreed to govern themselves. These new rules would include much more respect for individual liberty. The entrepreneur has to do much the same thing when starting a business. There are no “Procedure Manuals, " no long-winded “Personnel Guidebooks. " The small business person is guided solely by his own wisdom and experience, and more often than not, a sincere desire to treat his employees better than he was treated when he worked for “someone else. "
When the Constitution was adopted, leaders like Washington and Jefferson knew that the job of building a nation had just begun - much of what would become the United States was still a wilderness. When you are a tiny, start-up company in an enormous economy, often facing larger competitors, you travel through a perpetual wilderness.
But somewhere, in the wilderness lies opportunity.
Brian Hill is the author of several nonfiction business books. Find out more about him He has written “Inside Secrets to Venture Capital, " and “Attracting Capital from Angels, " as well as Business Plan Basics