When you think about it, the world is crammed with great products that most people tend to take for granted now, but that were once non-existent. That is, until they were somehow dreamed up by a budding and creative entrepreneur. Or, perhaps, the inventions somehow existed, but they did not take off until they were marketed by a clever business person.
From the postage stamp to the jet engine, from the cheeseburger to the microchip, radical inventions by brilliant minds have changed the way we live our lives and the way our futures are shaped.
In recognition of these people, it is now possible to celebrate Entrepreneurs’ Day. Since its inauguration in 2010, Entrepreneurs’ Day is an annual event that honors those men and women who have very often created an empire from absolutely nothing, most of them making themselves rather wealthy in the process as well.
The United States is a country that tends to be made up of entrepreneurs and people who think ‘outside the box’. Always looking to live the ‘American Dream’, men and women seek to build something from nothing. Creating jobs. Making products. And generally making America what it is today.
In many ways, the present was built by this type of entrepreneurial person in the past. And National Entrepreneurs’ Day is the time to pay them some honor.
With this in mind, it is wise to genuinely hope that the next generation of potential Walt Disneys, Bill Gateses, Mark Zuckerbergs, and Coco Chanels might be inspired to launch their business models and take the world by storm. And this is the hope that they’ll be inspired by the stories of some of the greatest businessmen and women of our time: Entrepreneurs!
History of Entrepreneurs’ Day
Entrepreneurs’ Day, which is mostly celebrated as an American day, was started in 2010 by David Hauser and Siamak Taghaddos. These two guys are co-founders of Grasshopper, the entrepreneur’s phone system, and they were joined in the venture by Amir Tehrani, entrepreneur and co-founder of The Legacy Foundation. When it comes to entrepreneurs, these guys know what it’s all about!
Entrepreneurs’ Day falls on the last day of Global Entrepreneurship Week, during November, which is also Entrepreneurship Month. The day is meant to be a way of showing gratitude and respect to the people who have achieved success, sometimes against all odds, and who have been able to help a lot of people in the process by creating jobs for them along the way.
In 2012, President Barack Obama declared November of that year as Entrepreneurship Month and to celebrate November 6, 2012, as Entrepreneurs’ Day. Supporters of Entrepreneurs’ Day are trying to make it an actual official US holiday that would fall on the third Tuesday of every November. As of yet the day is still unofficial as far as the US government is concerned, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable when it comes to celebrating!
Entrepreneurs’ Day Timeline
Bill Gates starts his first business
At the young age of 15, Gates and a friend start “Traf-o-Data”, a computer program that was designed to monitor traffic patterns.
Steve Jobs founds Apple
Along with Steve Wozniak, college dropout and entrepreneur Steve Jobs starts Apple Computers, Inc.
Oprah Winfrey launches Harpo Productions
Actress, TV personality and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey turns a flailing Chicago talkshow into a success the previous year and then launches her own entertainment company, with her own film company just four years later.
Jeff Bezos starts Amazon
Passionate about electronic retailing, entrepreneur Jeff Bezos started his business as a virtual bookstore and then took it far beyond his wildest dreams.
Elon Musk starts his first business
Zip2, founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk, is a company that provides business directories and maps to web newspapers. The company will sell four years later for over $300 million.
How to Celebrate Entrepreneurs’ Day
On this day, entrepreneurs are encouraged to perform a variety of activities that will promote the day. For instance, they might want to thank their mentors, give funding, offer some advice, and spread the word about how to achieve success in business.
Consider trying out some of the following ideas for celebrating the day. Or, don’t be afraid to come up with some new ideas – after all, that’s what entrepreneurship is all about!
Read an Entrepreneurial Biography or Book
People, whether they are already successful entrepreneurs or they are looking to hone their skills so they might become one someday, might want to consider reading the biography of a particularly successful businessman or woman in order to inspire themselves.
Get inspired and motivated by reading one of these interesting books:
- Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson (2011). Responsible for revolutionizing and breaking the barriers in the technology industry, this biography about Steve Jobs offers important insight to his significant contributions to business and industry all over the world.
- Losing My Virginity: The Autobiography by Richard Branson (1998). This autobiography by Sir Richard now has an updated version that was released in 2005. The book basically recounts the first 43 years of the author’s life and explains how Branson is committed to building a better world through the Virgin brand, not just a business empire.
- Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder by Ariana Huffington (2015). The founder of Huffington Post Media Group and Thrive Global challenges the very meaning of “success”. It was inspired by an incident where she passed out from exhaustion at her desk, breaking her cheekbone, when she realized she wanted to live her life a different way.
- The Snowball: Warren Buffett and The Business of Life by Alice Schroeder (2008). An amazing investor and entrepreneur, Warren Buffett is one of the richest people in the world. In this book, the author goes into great detail about not only his millionaire successes, but also the man’s struggles, thoughts, work and wisdom.
Host a National Entrepreneurs’ Day Gathering
Groups of like-minded people, be they friends, college students, coworkers or business people just getting their start might want to meet up to celebrate the day. Perhaps some conversation would revolve around the lives of some of these people, and the steps they took in their lives to become as successful as they did. Perhaps conduct a sort of analysis of the person’s life and achievements ahead of time and then have a conversation about it.
This would also be a great time to brainstorm about new ideas or present their own ideas and theories to the group in order to get feedback and constructive criticism.
Promote Entrepreneurs’ Day
Last but by no means least, people who feel the need to show entrepreneurs thanks and respect for their achievements can take to social media to spread awareness about Entrepreneurs’ Day, so it can one day become a real holiday.
Everyone knows the power of the internet, so even sharing a simple photo and message from Entrepreneurs’ Day’s website can help the target of 50,000 votes needed to ask congress to pass the creation of an official Entrepreneurs’ Day to be hit.