Entrepreneurs don’t have a special gene for risk—they come from families with money
After I cleaned up the vomit and passionately debated the article with friends, I concluded:
I am passionate about this topic because I feel that entrepreneurship (can we shorten this word?!) is one of the keys for a society, for a world, to advance technologically, and more importantly--spiritually.
Now, let me introduce myself so my passion and perspective makes more sense:
1) My ancestors pioneered Minnesota during the Civil War. They were PRIVILEGED enough to fight off the Sioux, the cold, the hunger, and the South. Many of them died horrible deaths, many of them complained--but the survivors thanked God that they weren't dying in Norway, but had the FREEDOM to TRY to survive and create a family and a farm and a future.
2) My grandmother was an entrepreneur; she was a divorced, abused single mom with 3 kids and no education, back in an era and a town where divorced women were shunned. She grew up in the Depression, raised by her 11 siblings, her parents died when she was just a kid. They had nothing. But boy did she feel PRIVILEGED to run a truck stop and put her 3 kids to work, and put food on the table. Food stamps? Yes, she used them sparingly for a season, but mostly relied on the garden full of tomatoes (my dad still struggles with tomatoes).
3) You guessed it--my dad is an entrepreneur and looks at every problem as a possibility for a solution. He has a degree in diesel mechanics; he is qualified to work on your TRUCK. He has worked his way through life, solving problems and building careers--and now is the President of a BANK. No MBA, no Harvard. Just a belief that anything is possible and a dedication to solving problems.
4) The apples don't fall far from the tree, it's true. I was PRIVILEGED enough to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 11th grade. I lost the use of my HANDS for a semester. This was a big deal for a 4.0 GPA kid. I dropped out of high school. Years later I had a kid with a guy who was very ill. His illness escalated and I had to flee with my daughter. I had relied on him financially and had nothing. I was PRIVILEGED to raise a toddler by myself and build a business. My parents didn't have anything to give me, my credit had been destroyed by the 2008 crash. I was alone. I didn't even know how bad I had it, because I had grown up eating the marrow of chicken bones and the rinds of watermelon--because that was all that was left in the fridge. My daughter is 6 now and I have a 6 figure web design business. I built that in less than 4 years. Because I'm special? Because I'm PRIVILEGED? Because I'm one of a kind? No. ENTRP is accessible to EVERYONE--especially the struggling.
5) My daughter is ever so PRIVILEGED to lose her dad at age 5. She rents her computer to my team at a $1/day because I don't believe in handing out allowances, and I didn't have an extra $500 for a new laptop (6 figure companies actually have expenses! Weird!). If she wants to buy something; she has to make the money to do it. SHE had a dream of selling smoothies this summer; and she's doing it--without debt, without favors. Is she PRIVILEGED? Oh God yes, I think so--she is damn lucky to have a mom and grandparents who believe that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE and don't allow a culture of excuses. We recognize the power of BELIEF.
Suicide and depression run in the family genes--it is a DAILY effort to BELIEVE and PUT A FOOT FORWARD toward something bigger than me. I beg everyone to just rethink that word PRIVILEGED. We have all been given a unique set of talents, skills and setbacks. I would not be where I am today if my parents were wealthy when I was a kid, and if my health didn't get hit hard. These were all pieces to my personal innovation, and I am thankful for them. Thank you for giving me this chance to introduce myself more thoroughly. Nice meeting you!
Now your turn!