Thomas Paine: 18-Century Thoughts on The Entrepreneurial Dream
“I do not choose to be a common person.
It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.
I seek opportunity—not security.
I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk, to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence, the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence or my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself.
I enjoy the benefits of my creations and face the world boldly and say, this I have done.”
All this is what it means to be an entrepreneur.
—Thomas Paine, Common Sense
Overheard: “We won’t last forever. That’s why we should build something that will.”