Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Modern American Dream - Debuts on HBO with a dose of reality

The American Dream is alive and.....well, just ok.

This Sunday, February 14th, HBO debuts its newest series "How to Make It in America." This TV series brings to life a modern story of the American Dream of entrepreneurship and owner your own business. But instead of continuing the shockingly predictable story of instant fame and fortune with a startup company and idea, these New York slackers are struggling to just pay their next rent bill.

According to a NY Times article about the show "The Dream Without The Drive", "Failure isn’t as much fun as success, probably because there is so much more of it. Dreams aren't the same as drive, and self-pity is less attractive than hard work."

Too often, many early stage or wannabe entrepreneurs confuse their business idea and passion for a business plan and a “sure thing” lottery ticket that the world is just waiting to cash. Unless you are willing to do the work that others often are unwilling to do, then your entrepreneurial dream is in danger of failure before you have even started.

Being an entrepreneur certainly puts you in a position to achieve whatever your version of the American Dream might be. Perhaps it is being your own boss. Maybe it is fame and fortune if you make it big. Or sometimes it is simply the ability to work on your terms, doing something you love.

But the secret that many people don’t discover until they become an entrepreneur is that it can be lonely, frustrating and fraught with the danger of underachievement. If you think that working half days is an added perk to being your own boss, this illusion will become a reality when you discover that “half days” can mean 12 hour ones.

“Everybody has ideas, but nobody wants to put in the work.” These are the words from the rich father of a friend, when he tells Cam (one of the characters in this new series) his thoughts to a business venture that is pitched to him.

Oh so true. But if you are willing work like no one else is willing to work for a few years and then some, you may be able to live like few others for the rest of your life.

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