Across the Pond (and Treadmill)
I recently joined another gym-goer in deep conversation on a treadmill while watching CNN. As we witnessed the world’s news for the day, our discussion quickly turned personal. We started to chat about the recession, its recovery, job trends, the Buffet Rule of taxes, bailouts, stimulus, foreclosure and the weight and personalities that will make up the impending election year including potential outcomes; A lot on the line for our country and our own futures, we agreed.
My colleague, an immigrant of a few years from the United Kingdom, and someone who will not be allowed to vote next year, adamantly shared his overriding world-views with unbridled optimism. You see, he moved to the US to create a better life for himself and his family. With various jobs in consulting, technology sales and now as a small business owner/entrepreneur, he has experienced, first hand, the independent engineering of a career, and a future. Some call it the American Dream. He chose to call it “American Excellence,” a more definitive and tangible phrase. American Excellence, to him, could easily be defined as innovation, competition and opportunity. American Excellence included the thought that hard work can propel someone, heck, anyone, in this country, to establish themselves, get ahead, and ultimately achieve financial reward, success and happiness. He went on to say that that concept is not as prevalent in Europe, especially these past few years. Specifically, American Excellence is what attracted him to the United States. It is the same thing that attracted my parents and grandparents from Italy, as well as many of Americans’ not-so-distant family members. The more I thought about American Excellence, the more I understood that it also means sacrifice and risk, then but that seems somewhat secondary, considering the essence of the term. Perhaps me being first-generation, I am a bit removed from the true meaning of the phrase, (I mean, I have not walked even 50 feet in those shoes) but how and why he explained it, this gym-going morning was nothing short of moving.
The concept of American Excellence got me pumped. What’s my definition of American Excellence I thought… As a son of immigrant parents who clearly lived and benefited from the American dream? As a small business owner? As a father? As an entrepreneur? And, the next catalyst to help rebuild America to being great (again)?
American Excellence, Further Explained
No matter what political affiliation one subscribes too, the concept of American Excellence, as defined above, is easily understood and agreed upon. It’s not something that requires a college degree, years of sage wisdom or a secret blueprint. Instead, it encompasses all that is independent, entrepreneurial and professional. And, to reiterate my colleague, American Excellence can best be explained or described as “innovation, competition and opportunity.” It’s the thought of thinking big and building big. It’s implementation and execution without limits. It’s taking risks yet understanding the rewards. It’s “If you can dream it, you can do it!” And, “if you work hard enough at it, you too can achieve.”
American Excellence has a special meaning to entrepreneurs than any other segment, today. It’s this group that can single-handedly help ratchet the economy up, in my opinion, most capable of taking advantage of innovation, competition and opportunity. According to Kauffman, the Foundation for Entrepreneurship, new firms, on average, create over 3 million new jobs a year. The logic goes something like this: Without new firms who need people (without people new firms have nothing, essentially), we would not have job creation and growth to a certain degree. Let’s face it, this kind of job growth is not coming from large companies whose goal is, in most cases, to increase productivity, or more product, for less expense. It’s what stockholders demand and a metric for success. One way these larger companies accomplish that goal is by lessoning the quantity of employees relative to product output. Therefore, the importance on entrepreneurs to create new products and services, including new companies, is critical to the future of creating more new jobs. Furthermore, Kauffman goes on to say that successful entrepreneurs, or the people that start these firms (take Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, for example), take only a fraction of the net wealth their companies generate for society. The IPO of Facebook, as another example, will make everyone richer to some extent—whether it’s the many who owned stock or simply by using the service to improve their own business and efficient communications.
So, it’s safe to say, America needs new entrepreneurs. It needs to encourage innovation, competition and opportunity for these entrepreneurs. And, to foster this audience we need American Excellence! Are you up for the challenge yet?
(check out this video for enhanced illustration of this: http://bit.ly/xevtaZ )
Your Own Definition of American Excellence
What’s your definition of American Excellence? What will be your role in American Excellence in the coming months and years ahead? Will you be a leader or a follower? Will you start something new and create jobs? How will you promote American Excellence to your customers, among your peers and to your community? Remember, if you can dream it, you still can do it. Think big and build big and you will contribute to the new American Excellence!
About the Author
Angelo Biasi is General Manager of SMART Marketing Solutions, LLC, a leading full-service integrated marketing company in Florida and New York since 2001. He has helped create and execute marketing plans and integrated marketing solutions for companies such as Playtex, Bic, Rogaine, Tauck, and over 35 colleges and universities, to name a few. Angelo has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and teaches Marketing at New York University where he has for over six years. He has been quoted and/or featured in USA Today, Mobile Marketer magazine, Mobile Commerce Daily, Luxury Marketing magazine, BNET TV and Business Currents magazine, to name a few. For more information or to learn more, email him at abiasismartmarketingllccom (abiasismartmarketingllccom) , visit www.smartmarketingllc.com, call him at 239.963.9396 and follow him on Twitter @angbiasi.