By Emmanuel Smart
There are over thirty- three million small businesses in the United States, and they employ nearly half of the US workforce. Small and big business owners in the United States inherited a very important destiny; the responsibility to protect the American Dream. The American Dream is a very important part of the American life. Investopedia describes The American Dream as the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society in which upward mobility is possible for everyone. The idea that this is possible is what gives every American hope and the belief that the pursuit of happiness is possible.
The reason anyone, regardless of their background, can prosper in the United States is because a group of people have dedicated their lives to creating entities committed to solving human problems with the hope of profit. Entrepreneurs are committed to solving everyday problems with their business, and they attract the most gifted and hard-working Americans regardless of their background to achieve this. Business owners have a duty to create a workplace that rewards gifted and hard-working people. The rewards are based on merit. It doesn’t matter if you were homeless five months ago, if you work hard and deliver great value at work, growth to the very top is possible.
Entrepreneurs have no choice, really. If they do not reward the American workforce based on merit, business success will be impossible. Many successful Americans started off selling burgers at McDonalds and as they got better educated and improved their skill, American businesses rewarded their skills, grit, hard work and persistence with better wages, promotions, paid holidays and the promise of a great retirement. For the young American, this is a great motivation to work hard and believe that success is an ever green possibility in the United States regardless of your background.
Parents can go to bed knowing that because entrepreneurs have accepted the responsibility to run businesses, their kids’ hard work will always be rewarded regardless of their background.
Beyond the possibility of growth in the workplace, businesses in a bid to prosper constantly think of how to make the American live a life filled with great possibilities. Democratizing great products and services that only the super rich would have enjoyed is another way businesses protect the American dream. Without Henry Ford deciding that every American should be able to own an automobile, the automobile may have remained a luxury item. Elon Musk recently cut the cost of owning electric cars, making them far cheaper than even petrol cars, giving hardworking Americans of any background the opportunity to drive a car that runs on electric.
Beyond profit, entrepreneurs in the United States must remain aware of the responsibility they have inherited by being business owners. They are the protectors of hope. They are even protectors of fellow entrepreneurs. Without venture capitalists like Peter Thiel who took a calculated bet to invest in US$500,000 in Facebook when it didn’t even have any revenue yet, the millions of Americans that prospered because of that business may not have enjoyed so much prosperity. The new Facebook billionaires and millionaires from very humble American backgrounds may not have emerged. As American entrepreneurs succeed, the American dream is even more protected. This is why it’s important for entrepreneurs doing business in the United States to always remember the responsibility they have inherited and think beyond just profit.
The decisions made in the board room impact how well the American dream is protected. We can’t imagine an America where hard working people aren’t rewarded in the workplace or businesses only create great products for just wealthy Americans.
The beauty of this inherited destiny is that as entrepreneurs focus on protecting the American dream, they actualize their own dream. As the wise saying goes, to succeed helps others succeed.
(Emmanuel Smart is an accomplished entrepreneur, bestselling author of Make What Customers Want (Create Global Brands), A Sales Man’s Story (Tales Of Sales Success), Letters To My Daughter (A Fathers View On Gender Equality) and EFETURI (There Are Many Paths To Wealth) and arguably Africa’s leading Sales and Brand Growth Strategist and Product Development Expert. Mr. Smart has spent the last fifteen (15) years helping to transform individuals and businesses, teaching strategic selling and brand building, designing and implementing sales systems and led the creation, design and launch of one of the fastest selling cookie brand in Africa – Nibit Mini Snacks. Personal website is smartemmanuel.com).
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