I was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago walking down the aisles of our warehouse when I got swept up with emotion.
Maybe I've been reading too much news, but it seems from the outside looking in, that the economy is beating every entrepreneurial dream into a pocket-sized pulp. But here I was, walking down aisle after aisle flooded with mattresses next to books, fly fishing rods next to hair extensions, and designer jeans next to the latest consumer electronic trends. I was watching the sales happen in real time.
Entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes find someone, somewhere to make hundreds or thousands of their widgets that are then sent to one of our warehouses in the U.S., Canada or Europe. We store them and, as consumers buy them, we ship them all over the world to waiting buyers.
It may seem simple, but isn’t that the dream? Take your idea, create it, market it and sell it. Then do it again.
After talking with many entrepreneurs, I’m confident that these aren't people playing with daddy's money. (Though the young man we met a few years ago that was getting help from dad, but had to split the company 50/50 with him) These are people motivated enough to put their own money into play--and many are also convincing investors to believe enough in their dream. These aspiring entrepreneurs are trying to build better lives for themselves, their employees and their families.
Are they concerned about the economy? Without a doubt. But, it’s not going to stop them from trying. Many see the economy as a doorway to opportunity. Globalization and the Internet have opened up an entire world of buyers for their products. Many sellers are looking at their local market with one eye and not-so-far away overseas or Canadian markets with another eye. They are searching for that spot where the sun is still shining and buyers are very motivated.
And, these entrepreneurs with products stacked to the rafters in our warehouses are not just Americans striving for the American dream. They are entrepreneurs from all over the world (more than 30 countries represented the last time we counted) that share this entrepreneurial dream.
I got swept up with emotion because I could see, from the inside looking out, that the dream is still alive and well. I just walked down Entrepreneurial Dream Way! Don’t let any newspaper or TV segment tell you differently.