- THE MAGAZINE
The American dream consists of making a decision to build a career or business that makes your dreams come true and, if you work hard and smart enough, you can have it all.
The American dream consists of making a decision to build a career or business that makes your dreams come true and, if you work hard and smart enough, you can have it all. In one of its highest forms, you can have a business that runs itself without you having to be there. You make a fantastic income but basically don’t have to work. If this scenario is possible, why not go for it?
I used to live next to the Berlin wall and I would walk up and down it every day, so appreciative that I was on the side that I was on. I felt so bad for the folks on the other side of the wall who had very little to hope for, or dream of. A tremendous bible verse says that hope deferred makes the heart sick. In those days the people of Berlin had a saying: “How would you like to wake up one day and there was a wall outside your door and you did not know which side you were on?” Be so very thankful that you are on the right side.
In so many countries, the opportunities are just not there to make a great business or career for yourself. There is extreme poverty and no infrastructure available to build a business. I am not saying it can’t be done, but it is so very much harder than in the States or other western nations.
Bill Gates said that the key to success is to be in the right industry at the right time and take massive action. Ray Croc, the entrepreneur that developed McDonald’s said similarly, be in the right place and take action. Those two men are worthy of our consideration so let’s agree that being in the right place and taking lots of action just might be a simple formula for achieving the American dream. Ask yourself if this thought pattern describes you or if you are moving in that direction.
Most people are content with the security of their present situation. They like the four walls that surround them and three square meals a day. They are willing to give up freedom for the security of the present. Freedom might mean putting themselves in a scary situation where they could lose and so they are unwilling to change. The spirit of the entrepreneur is the spirit of risk taking and placing oneself in difficult situations. In essence, the entrepreneur is a gambler. When you read the biographies of great business successes they always put themselves in uncertain situations but they would have it no other way. For instance when Michael Dell was perfecting the laptop computer, he gambled everything on an unperfected lithium battery. Had it not worked, the company probably would have gone under but if it did work, Dell computers would be a gigantic success. Of course, you know how that came out.
Study the lives of highly successful people and see how they think and how they spend their days. Seek out successful people that you can meet and ask them questions about their way of thinking and how they became such high achievers.
Stretch your ability to think big. Realize that the sky is the limit and therefore don’t put a cap on your abilities or what you can accomplish. Unfortunately, many folks are as afraid of success as they are of failure. Train yourself to think bigger by reading, listening and making bigger goals for yourself and carefully selecting you friends. An interesting fact of life is that you will be like the five people that you spend the most time with. Who are the people you surrounding yourself with?
Another important factor in achieving the American dream is to make sure that you don’t do it at the expense of your family or your health. Too many people have sacrificed everything and when they got to the top of the ladder, they discovered it was leaning along the wrong wall. Keep your priorities in order and give yourself periodic check-ups concerning your life style to insure that you are not ruining your life to get what you want. Remember that a large part of the success story is just getting there. As someone most cleverly said, “The thrill is in the pursuit.”
Whatever you do, don’t give up. A few years back, I was having some difficult times in my business, questioning whether it was worth all the aggravation and I got some great words of advice from Donald Trump. I came home one evening from work and my wife was watching The Apprentice. Just as I entered the living room and having my sour, ready-to-quit-attitude, Donald happened to say, “Quitters are losers.” Well that statement hit me right between the eyes and I realized that I was having some “stinkin’ thinking” and it was time to dump that dangerous attitude. Low and behold, I can almost pinpoint to that exact time when my business turned around and it has been on a fabulous upturn ever since. I shudder to think what my life would be like if I had thrown in the towel, especially since I was so close to a turnaround.
The American dream is as alive today as it has ever been so why don’t you decide to grab your share?