I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. –Philippians 4:13
No matter how hard some try to take away America’s brand, it can’t be done—not easily anyway. It’s too ingrained, and everyone in the world knows it, friend and enemy alike.
Belief is What Counts
America’s brand is the belief that all have opportunity to better their lives. In many ways, that isn’t true, never has been. It doesn’t matter. Everyone believes it. That’s why people keep streaming over the borders, legally and illegally. That’s why the French gave America the Statue of Liberty.
When I was doing research for my historical novel set on the plains, I read a book giving firsthand accounts of settlers. This was after the Land Grant Act where a man (and sometimes a woman) could claim 160 acres and if he farmed it for five years, it was his. In the agricultural society of that day, it was a dream come true to be a land owner. This dream kept them coming. They all thought they’d get rich. Not many actually got rich, but most did make a living. As did workers who trudged to factories everyday. The work ethic took over America
Have we lost it?
In the late 1800s, John Pemberton experimented with a medicinal drink. He didn’t imagine it would turn into the drink of choice for people all over the world so he sold it to Asa Griggs Candler. Anyone who has the entrepreneurial spirit can change the world.
Do we still have it?
Yes, yes, yes. If the income side of your budget isn’t as much as you’d like it to be, take a tip from the settlers and look for opportunities, work at it, hold on. Even when the jobs are scarce, don’t give up. If you can’t find someone else to work for, be your own boss. Fill a need. Even if you don’t change the world, you can make enough to live richly.
It takes work and time to succeed in anything. I’m working on my second career as a novelist. It’s taking time, and I work on it more than I did when employed as an accountant, but I will succeed if I live long enough. The work ethic lives on after retirement.
Writing is my choice, but there are other opportunities. I see needs everywhere. There are a lot of elderly in my city. They have a need for a transportation service. Or to run errands. Many people who aren’t so elderly need help catching up with the computer age. There’s a need for personal technical assistance—not over the phone, but over-the-shoulder assistance. I could use some assistance myself. Even if these services are already available, someone else might provide them at a better price. The services don’t have to be done personally. They could be hired out. Sometimes, you don’t have to provide the product or service but connect people to those who can provide it. Many people need help connecting to good health care. I have a friend who started a successful nurse referral business. Opportunities abound for anyone with the entrepreneurial spirit.
I’m interested in providing a product—books, but that’s not the only thing I could sell. I make some of the best home-made fudge on the planet. At least that’s what my family says, and they’re the only ones who eat it. I can tell they’re truthful by how fast it disappears. I could set up a business making fudge in my own kitchen and sell it over the internet. I have a lifetime of experience crocheting and design my own items. I used to make a fair amount of change selling my crochet at craft fairs, but I could sell on the internet. I wouldn’t get rich selling fudge or crochet, but I could add to my income.
Does the idea of starting your own business appeal to you? You’ll need a budget for that. We’ll look at things to consider in setting up a budget for the sole proprietorship next week.