What do you want to be when you grow up? Children answer with reflections of fascination imparted by the importance of preserving their culture; parents’ occupations or favorite hobbies; making a lot of money so that they can buy a mansion for mama or maybe even a community center that will bring all the children together; a heroic firefighter who saved a family from blazing flames of a fire gone mad; visits to a doctor or dentist that made the sickness or pain go away, and maybe even saved Grandma’s life; a television show; occupations that might be tech support or a local artist that makes the world go round and a better place; or maybe they simply dream of owning a business so they can bring jobs to a struggling economy; and possibly a visit to the ice cream truck that drives up and down the street with a whimsical sound that creates a sense of happiness as caramel drizzles down their ice cream cone. Do I want to be an artist? Do I want to be a doctor? Or do I want to be an ice cream truck driver? How about an ice cream truck owner?!
As time goes on…dreams change, courage changes, life brings obstacles and children now adults come to a crossroad: Where do I want my journey to continue?
An Entrepreneur is an ordinary person, once a child, who dares to embark on a courageous journey. A journey filled with risk like the soldier that crosses a war’s battlefield with hidden landmines in pursuit of preserving freedom for their country and even themselves. This person wakes up and goes to sleep with an idea, a dream, a passion that can change the lives in the world around them and even their own.
The entrepreneur hero sees risk as an opportunity to achieve something significant. And even in the face of landmines, such as failure, the hero will lift up their cape and see the possibility of an explosion as an opportunity for others and themselves to learn and pave a way to something greater. In a world of endless successes and failures, just maybe, today’s hero will achieve economic freedom for themselves or someone they don’t even know by creating more jobs, opportunity or endless streams of revenue within communities. Just maybe, it will inspire future generations to dream bigger and alleviate this world of even more problems like barriers imposed by the current pandemic.
In 2020, the Covid-19 Pandemic turned the world upside down. Now, many businesses must adhere to government-imposed mandates in order to avoid being shut down; while other businesses have chosen to contribute to the positive story of another human being remaining physically well and even alive by making the decision to put the safety of others above itself. Wear your mask. Stand six feet away. Shutdown your business or eat-in dining. Today and always, entrepreneurs of yesterday and of today rely on each other to think up new ideas, navigate possibilities and to innovate a significant today for a better tomorrow faced with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Who would have ever thought that Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s passion for science would lead to the invention of the World Wide Web in 1989 and become a technological innovation used to save the existence of businesses faced with physical restrictions and shutdowns? And even more so, who would have ever thought that the development of video conferencing via the use of telephones, a century earlier, would be integrated with the world wide web and many more inventions to create platforms where businesses could continue doing business with businesses and consumers at astronomical proportions without ever having to leave their home or physical place of business?
Truth be told, heroes are saving heroes throughout life, throughout history. Just like a soldier or an inventor, an entrepreneur is a hero, an innovator, a game changer, a life changer and at times a history maker of success and even failure. As William A. Ward said, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.”
By Lisa “Sonialisa” Esquibel (Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Business Development Specialist & Tribal Member)