3 Lessons from the Founding Fathers
KARL R. LAPAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE NIIC
The 4th of July represents the birth of our nation. And in a way, the founding fathers were among the nation’s first innovators, and they offer valuable lessons still relevant today, such as:
- Don’t be afraid to take prudent risks and disrupt the market. Breaking away from Mother England was bold and risky. However, the Founders believed it was in the best interest of the people, and they went ahead with issuing the Declaration of Independence. Just think how different life in what we now know as America might be, had they taken the path of least resistance or settled for mediocrity. What risk(s) have you avoided taking that might change your business’ trajectory for the better?
- Think without a box. These men weren’t afraid of new ideas. When it came time to form their own government, they didn’t co-opt Britain’s constitution—they came together to draft something that met their needs and sensibilities at the time. You, too, as an entrepreneur can benefit from thinking more about what could be and less about the limitations. Are you a glass half full or half empty type of person? What “shots on goal” have you deferred that you should strongly consider to move things forward?
- Don’t forsake the importance of autonomy and freedom. When they declared independence from England, they were sending a message loud and clear that the colonies would no longer be under the thumb of the king. This presented a great opportunity in the form of lawmaking and a say in the structure of their government, among other things. The lesson here? As an entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to put your foot down or to push to rewrite the operating rules if you feel restricted by a customer, vendor, partner, etc. Who is negatively influencing your business model? Ands more importantly, what are you doing about it?
As Clate Mask wrote for Inc.com:
“True freedom in America today is the ability to spend your time and money as you see fit,” Mask explains. “Creating financial freedom for yourself means that you can not only grow your business and pay your employees, but to also give your family the quality of life you want for them. Just as importantly, freedom enables you to invest time and money in causes that matter to you, whether that is with your family, friends or hobbies.”
Happy 4th, and may you be inspired by the spirit of these visionaries, and thank our military and veterans for all they have done to protect our freedom.