What does the American Dream mean today for your BIGG Success

Is the American Dream Un-American?

What does the American Dream mean today for your BIGG SuccessWhat is the definition of the American Dream? We went to the original source to find out.

James Truslow Adams coined this phrase in 1931 in his book, The Epic of America. Here’s how he defined it:

The American Dream is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.

It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it.

It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

The optimal divider

Marketers divide people into niches. Politicians divide people into voting blocks. Society divides people into classes.

Adams says the American Dream is “a difficult dream for the European upper class to interpret adequately.” We would add that the ruling class in the U.S. increasingly seems to have the same difficulty.

The American Dream is the optimal divider:

  • It gives no credence the family we were born into
  • It couldn’t care less where we went to school
  • It pays no attention to our current title or position
  • It doesn’t really care what you’ve done in the past
  • Its only concern is your potential and the actions you take to live up to it

The American Dream is about the future – your future.

You can realize the American Dream by “doing your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming,” as John Wooden said.

Nothing can stop you from living the American Dream except you!

The American Dream is and isn’t American

So now we come to the question posed in the title: Is the American Dream Un-American?

Absolutely not! Although, sadly, there seems to be an increasing tide of sentiment against:

  • climbing your way up
  • working hard to reach BIGG success
  • making the American Dream come true for you

No, the American Dream is not Un-American. It is uniquely American – for a simple reason.

America was founded on ideals. One of those principles was that government should serve the people and not the other way around.

The Founders designed a government to stay out of the way of its citizens. If you were one of them, they wanted to insure that you could live your life on your own terms.

The promise of the American Dream has brought people to the United States for centuries. It’s the diversity of those people – the melting pot – which has given America its edge. So we see that…

The American Dream isn’t the American Dream at all.

It’s the People’s Dream.

It’s the dream of every human being – no matter where they happen to call home. We all want:

  • to be judged on our own merit
  • the opportunity to create a better life for ourselves and our loved ones
  • to see if we can capitalize on that opportunity

Historically, America has been the place where BIGG goal-getters could realize those dreams. But the People’s Dream has no borders.

So the Dream is not just American. It spans the entire globe.

It’s open to any citizenry of any country that creates an environment where entrepreneurship can thrive. When that happens:

Now that’s BIGG success!

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Why Social Entrepreneurship is a Waste of Time

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Today we want to tackle a very controversial subject. More specifically, we want to take a position which may be controversial.

BIGG success is life on your own terms. So we pay a great deal of attention to terms.

The term we want to talk about today is “social entrepreneurship”.

It’s a popular term, a buzz word even. People say with pride, “I’m a social entrepreneur” or “I want to be a social entrepreneur.”

Wikipedia defines a “social entrepreneur” as “someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change.”

Let’s deconstruct just one part of that definition – the term “social” as an adjective.

Among other definitions, Merriam-Webster defines “social” as “tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others.”

The problem with social entrepreneurship

So here’s the problem – here’s why we say social entrepreneurship is a waste of time: It’s redundant.

  • ALL entrepreneurs are social entrepreneurs.
  • ALL entrepreneurs exist to serve society.
  • ALL entrepreneurs must recognize a social problem – a problem affecting the welfare of a group of human
  • ALL entrepreneurs must use entrepreneurial principles to solve that problem.
  • ALL Entrepreneurs add value in the lives of others to create value for themselves.

All entrepreneurs need money

Now, some entrepreneurs have a profit motive while others don’t. But they all have to find funding somehow.

Some entrepreneurs raise capital to get a venture going and then repay it from profits. Other entrepreneurs rely on donations of time and/or money to get a venture going. But they must find a steady flow of cash from somewhere.

But to describe one activity as social and the other as not is a mislabeling.

ALL entrepreneurs are social because ALL entrepreneurs try to help a group of people.

Profit is not a dirty word

Entrepreneurs who forget this basic tenet of entrepreneurship are the ones who fail. Novices often go into ventures only thinking about how they will make money. You have to think about the people and their problem.

Of course, you have to think about the money too – whether you’re starting up a for-profit venture or not. And don’t ever forget:

Profit is not a dirty word. Every entrepreneur – for profit or non-profit – has to find a money trail to sustain their operation.

But focus on the problem first. Then figure out your funding and your cash flows.

Once you know how to create value for yourself by adding value for others, you’re ready for BIGG success!

Do you think “social entrepreneurship” is redundant?

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Rules for Successful Entrepreneurship: Lessons from 5 Leaders

5 lessons from leaders for BIGG SuccessBillionaire entrepreneurs are a breed apart. They got to where they are today through hard work, quick thinking, good instincts, and trial and error decision-making. But in their journey, they made a right decision along the way, or met a crucial mentor or pursued a certain vision. By doing this, they turned a business idea from a gut feeling into a billion dollar company.

GoDaddy, Go!

Bob Parsons is the founder of GoDaddy, one of the country’s largest web registrars. In a summer 2012 article, Parsons listed his 16 tips for survival. Two of the most memorable of them are closely related and serve well to list both here:

  • “Almost nothing works the first time it’s attempted. Just because what you’re doing does not seem to be working, doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just means that it might not work the way you’re doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn’t have an opportunity.”
  • “There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”

Keep It Simple

A new book on the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, describes his tenacity to trim back and keep things simple. In Insanely Simple: The Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success, author and Jobs’ former creative partner Ken Segall wrote that Jobs used simplicity as his secret weapon.

“Simplicity means products (Apple II, the Macintosh, iPod) that consumers not only understand, but bond with right out of the box,” wrote Segall. “Throughout Jobs’ career, it meant “insanely great” innovations such as human-oriented design, graphical computer interface vs. the dark mysteries of MSDOS, one button instead of two. He elevated usability to an art, and elegant design to a competitive advantage.”

Mr. Trump

Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump has been well-quoted on his ideas of leadership success. His is a story of American success via hard work and a dose of celebrity and New York braggadocio, not a bad combination when you think about it. Some of his key success tenets include:

If you love what you do, you will work harder. You will enjoy your business and your life. You will spend the time to know your business inside out. You can brag about what you are going to do but if you do not bring the goods to the table, you will be knocked down.

High Fliers

One of the modern era’s most driven entrepreneurs must be Sir Richard Branson, who has charged his business ideals with personal adventure habits that have included skydiving, ballooning and sailing adventures. Richard Branson outlined his top five business principles in a BBC radio interview:

  1. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. You must love what you do.
  2. Create something different that will stand out.
  3. Your employees are your best asset. Happy employees make for happy customers.
  4. Lead by listening: Get feedback from your staff and customers on a regular basis.
  5. Market the company and its offers by putting yourself or a senior person in front of the cameras.

And lastly, one of the greatest investors of our time Warren Buffet once compiled his list of ten winning rules. They are all worth reading, but the first rule is valuable to all of us. “Reinvest Your Profits – When you first make money, you may be tempted to spend it. Don’t.  Instead, reinvest the profits.” Buffett started reinvesting profits early on from a pinball business, and soon enough, was able to reinvest in stocks and start other businesses, eventually running the massive Berkshire Hathaway.

Author Bio
Jennifer Lewis writes about social networking and business, especially as they relate to education. She lives in the New England area and loves all snow-related sports.

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How to Create Your Future in 2 Questions


“…long before the year a.d. 2000, and very probably before 1950, a successful aeroplane will have soared and come home safe and sound.” ~ H.G. Wells, Anticipations: Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life

October 9, 1903:

“The flying machine which will really fly might be evolved by the combined and continuous efforts of mathematicians and mechanicians in from one million to ten million years…” ~ New York Times, Flying Machines Which Do Not Fly.

On that same day, Orville Wright wrote in his diary, “We started assembly today.”

December 17, 1903:

The Wright Brothers successfully completed their first flight.

The great science fiction writer missed the mark by nearly half a century. The great newspaper missed it by one to 10,000 millennia. But two lowly entrepreneurs didn’t care about the predictions.

Entrepreneurs know you can’t predict the future. So change your focus.

Think like an entrepreneur. Don’t try to predict your future. Create it.

So let’s talk about how to create your future. You do it by answering two questions:

What resources are readily available now?

Get out a pen and paper. Write down your thoughts as you consider the following.

How much time can you dedicate to building something for your future? Can you commit any money? If so, how much?

And by money, we don’t just mean the paper stuff. Think about all the physical assets you already own which may be useful to create your future. For example, your computer is money.

You have also invested time building relationships. And time is money! This social capital is a valuable resource in creating your future.

Don’t forget your intangible assets. What knowledge and know-how have you gained from your education and experience? What is easy for you that others find difficult? What do you love to do that other people hate?

What can you do with them?

Now you’re ready to review your list of resources. As you do, look for patterns.

As an example, you may be really handy. You love to tinker. You have the tools to prove it! You have a number of people in your network who aren’t so inclined. Why not start a home repair business?

Another example would be that you’ve “collected” a whole lot of “stuff.” Put your computer to work and sell your wares on eBay or Craigslist.

We met a man who became a billionaire in a similar way. He didn’t have visions of being an entrepreneur. But he ended up building a Fortune 500 company.

Now do it.

All the thinking in the world will be a waste of time if you don’t act upon it. So get started.

Once you start operations, the learning really begins. You’re in the marketplace. You’re gaining insights.

You learn and adapt to create your future. Like many entrepreneurs, you may end doing something completely different. But one way or another, you’ll reach BIGG success!

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The Key to Success in Just One Step

just one step leads to BIGG SuccessWe recently talked about how to conquer a paralyzing pair of fears. We closed by implicitly sharing the key to success. Today, we want to make it explicit.

We constantly see overnight successes. Yesterday, they were just part of the crowd. Now, they are the new sensation.

From the outside looking in, it appears as if they had a meteoric rise to the top. But as we know, perceptions can be deceiving.

Look closer and you’ll see a lot of hard work. Is that the key to success?

It’s certainly part of the recipe. But it’s too complicated for our purposes here.

Upon deeper inspection, you realize that these overnight stars have usually been honing their craft for years. Is time the key to success?

Once again, it’s almost always part of the mix. It takes more than 10,000 hours as we’ve learned. But even this goes beyond the real key to success as we want to explain it today.

Is it vision or goal-setting? These are certainly important, but once again it goes beyond what we want to talk about today.

We want to keep it simple. What is the simple key to success in just one step?

That’s it! One step.

You can be a BIGG success if you just take one small step. That’s it!

Most people never really do. Or they do but then they don’t follow up with another one.

But you’re not most people. You’re a winner.

So like other people who reach BIGG success, you will take one small step, then another, and another.

You will take thousands upon thousands of step in pursuit of your dream life. But you’re not worried about how many steps it takes. You focus all of your attention on the next one.

One step at a time. One after another. Step after step, you will inch closer to the success you dreamed of.

You will face obstacles along the way. You may step over them, through them, or around them. It doesn’t matter. The results will be the same. You will get by them one step at a time.

You will get frustrated and even fearful at times. Don’t worry. Just take one small step.

You will grow tired. Take a break, relax, and refresh yourself. Then take one small step.

What one small step will you take today?

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