Entrepreneurism is in my blood. My parents both came from Kenya, where they were children of retailers and industrialites. In fact, I come from from a long line of entrepreneurs escaping poverty in India. They worked hard, starting by laying the ties of the Kenyan railway at the turn of the 20th century to becoming one of the core commercial classes at the turn of the 21st. What was their motivation? Getting others like themselves out of poverty in India on towards a better life. Now, my generation is leaving Kenya for England, Australia, and in my case North America to start the cycle once again.
Me? I’ve worked at a fair share of start ups. Many of my friends are entrepreneurs themselves. In all that experience, one thing struck me time and time again. Every great entrepreneur takes this crazy plunge because they have some dream, some passion they can only satisfy by breaking new ground.
Motivation is about giving
Business isn’t easy. What keeps folks motivated to slog through all the everyday non-sense? I found the most passionate, most focused, entrepreneurs at their core want to contribute to something wider than themselves, like my relatives raising others out of poverty. I actually liked how Tony Robbins put it during his energetic talk at TED: you only grow to acquire more resources that you can use to help others.
My own passion is helping good folks follow through successfully on their dreams. Last month, I enthusiastically joined FreshBooks because they help the little guy start their dreams by starting a business. For my first task, I was thrown at Mesh 2007, a conference swimming in tech startups where I interviewed all the entrepreneurs that I could find. I was struck once again by how many entrepreneurs get in business to make the world a better place.
Entrepreneurs are superheroes
I think entrepreneurs are modern day superheroes. They are taking great personal risk, at great personal costs, because they just want to make your life better. They are people to emulate.
As my introduction to the FreshBooks community, I’m posting a series of Super Entrepreneur trading cards. I encourage you to copy the cards that most inspire you, post them on your blogs, and explain to others why you did this crazy thing in the first place. Show that you aren’t alone. You belong to a League of Business Heroes making the 21st century better through your hard work and love.