Entrepreneurs, by necessity, need to have an enlightened vision, no matter what the business or project. I’ve spent most of my adult life eyeing entrepreneurs with a jealous eye, because I always thought they had some special gift that I did not. Then when my business took a nosedive a couple of years ago, I thought that I’d never come close to the success that my favorite entrepreneurs enjoy. I convinced myself that I just didn’t have what it takes.

Entrepreneurs make mistakes too

The big secret in plain sight that I kept missing is that everyone is human. Failure is the norm, not the other way around. The Internet did not become mature overnight. It’s taken years of growth, trial and error, and the acceptance of failure as a means towards success. True entrepreneurs will laugh and tell you they’ve got a slew of failures under their belt.

A visionary age whose time has come

Thomas L. Friedman published his bestselling book, The World is Flatback in 2005. His visionary insights revealed how many opportunities the Internet has brought to all walks of life, not just big business. The proof has continued to follow, with more millionaires emerging than ever. Recently Bloomberg reported on the trend:

The U.S. is home to a working class suffering from stagnant incomes and declining job prospects—widespread struggles that helped elect Republican Donald Trump. The relative wealth of Americans in all age groups keeps falling, compared with previous decades.

At the same time, the country is also home to an unprecedented amount of wealth, a divergence that has made income inequality a household phrase. America has $55.6 trillion in private financial assets and more millionaires than any other nation in the world by far. Today, more than 8 million households have financial assets of $1 million or more, not including homes or luxury goods, according to Boston Consulting Group. From 2010 to 2015, the number of millionaires jumped by 2.4 million. Another 3.1 million will be created by 2020, BCG estimates, at the pace of 1,700 new American millionaires every day.

Read the whole story at Bloomberg

AOL Co-Founder Steve Chase continues the mantra of the changing world, pointing out that it’s time to focus on purpose to succeed. Now that the online infrastructure and technology is in place, we need to think more about getting our stories out to the world.  The following is an on-stage interview where he urges venture capitalists to look beyond geography, to “level the playing field.” Chase’s optimism about the future was contagious at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference:

Steve Case, co-founder and former CEO of AOL, is feeling pretty optimistic about the state of entrepreneurship in the United States.

Case, who is now the CEO and chairman of investment firm Revolution, is gearing up to go on his sixth Rise of the Rest tour this fall—a nationwide tour to 26 emerging tech hubs between the coasts. “Venture capital should be flowing to companies from all over the country,” he said Monday at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in New York City. “We need to level the playing field.”

In an on-stage interview, Case urged investors to look beyond Silicon Valley and New York for innovation. He has invested in companies such as Washington D.C.-based SweetGreen and Chicago-based predictive analytics SaaS company Uptake. “If VCs are only focused on places they can drive to, they’re missing out on a lot of companies,” he says.

Whether we work in education, the corporate world or in small business, the entrepreneurial spirit is what keeps us moving forward and uncovering new opportunities for growth.

 

 

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