LIke most Americans, I grew up with frequent reminders that I was living in the land of opportunity. Sometimes my elders even mentioned that the free enterprise system was what set us apart from struggling parts of the world.
Ironically, nobody ever suggested that I could personally take advantage of all this opportunity by engaging in entreprise myself. Instead I was groomed to be a servant to someone else’s dream.
Since becoming entrepreneurial, I’ve learned that while we might still be spreading the Land of Opportunity Story, the enterprising spirit is not limited to any geographic locale.I see evidence of that every day. For instance, this morning I had a delightful Skype chat with a budding entrepreneur from Geneva, Switzerland. A few years ago, I taught a Making a Living Without a Job seminar in London that had participants from France, Sweden, Scotland, India and Germany.
Of course, succeeding at business isn’t limited to those countries, either, as Kiva.org has shown us. This impressive micro-lending program has connected us with businessowners in places most of us have never heard of, much less visited.
It appears that geography has almost nothing to do with success, but other factors such as desire, willingness and innovation do need to be present if we’re to build something of our own.
Yesterday I received an e-mail that reminded me of how universal the entrepreneurial spirit is. I was so thrilled by her story that I shared part of it on Facebook. Here’s the message in its entirety.
I have read your fantastic book Making a Living Without a Job and I would like to thank you so much for your help! It was one of the best books I have ever read on the subject of being my own boss.
I come from Slovakia, a post communist country where I was brought up believing the state will take care of me. Going from one corporate job to another I was coming home late in the evening everyday not having time for anything else. In first ten years after school I believed this is the way how it should be, working for somebody else, building a career. Only after some time I have realised I have destiny in my own hands and I don’t have to sit in front of the computer all day long in a job I hate.
I have moved to the Netherlands with my partner and I was struggling to find a job. Now I have ended up in a job which I truly hate from all before. This job made me realise its time to finally do it, and after I have read your book I made a business plan and next month I am going to start my own portable career.
I bought some other books but they were most like dry manuals probably written by some bankers ;~ They did not have that soul searching bit I was looking for. You have become my friend, my guide, my inspiration through your words, quotes, advices and exercises. You have made a difference in my thinking and my future path.
I probably don’t have to tell you that this was my favorite message of the day.