A personal story of the blessing of independence — for me and the USA’s birthday ~
The USA’s birthday is happening, this 4th of July weekend, and I recall why I returned home to start my first (and current) consultancy so many years ago.
Finishing my first college degrees, and filled with youthful wanderlust, I set off to travel the world — my own private Walkabout. I disposed of everything I owned (to avoid its pulling me back if things got tough), set off with a (very) little money and a lot of adventure-seeking spirit, and I wandered, lived, worked and explored in Europe, Asia and Australia for 6 years.
Then came that ennui, that strange feeling of being out of place and out of time, that signals you are done with the Road — the sudden yearning for a place, for something to call home, for your feet in the earth of your own kind.
This restlessness included wanting to settle in and contribute something sustainable, which for me would be the beginning of my consultancy. Where to do that? I could only begin such a venture in the U.S. I had seen enough of the economies of other countries (and the gender biases) to know that, at that time, only the U.S. had enough economic infrastructure to allow the entrepreneuring I was envisioning.
Lucky me — I got to ride the emerging personal computer market from its formation through all its iterations to our current explosion of the Internet and all its culture of collaboration.
And it was true then and it is true today — the U.S. supports entrepreneuring better than anywhere else. It is not just rhetoric, the “land of the free.” And it is more than our culture of independence. Our culture supports our economic structure, which supports the creation of wealth across many class lines, and the empire builders (particularly of current generations) give back by supporting the next new thing and the next generation of entrepreneurs. Even in hard economic times, sometimes because of hard economic times, the American entrepreneurial spirit thrives.
Happy birthday, America. Glad to be home.