Written by Allison Way, writer and videographer for Think Big Partners.
It's hard to belive that nine years ago our nation suffered the tragedy of 9/11--a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11, 2001. Every year on September 11th, Americans commemorate this day by celebrating Patriot Day in memory of the 2,993 killed in the attacks. Rather than spending the day in tears and grief, Americans have produced a positive spin on Patriot Day by displaying the American flag at half-mast outside of their homes as well as participating in a national moment of silence at 8:46AM, the exact moment that the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center nine years ago.
On this Patriot Day, Think Big Partners would like to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses to do more than put their flags at half-mast and participate in the moment of silence. Below are 5 ways that entrepreneurs can not only celebrate Patriot Day and promote the American Dream, but can also allow their small business to grow as a patriotic and sustainable company.
1. Educate: Education does not only mean teaching others the importance of entrepreneurship and small business, but also educating yourself on the many aspects of being an entrepreneur. It is important that entrepreneurs never stop teaching and never stop learning. In order to participate in both on Patriot Day, attend or book a local entrepreneurial seminar or lecture for your startup or read up on entrepreneurial blogs online. Entrepreneurial resources such as bizperc and the Kauffman Foundation provide educational events to promote learning in today's small business world. Keep in mind, it's never too late to continue your learning process and help others learn as well.
2. Create the Right Jobs: The fundamental trend that the United States has undergone was the switch from an industrial-based to a service-based country. The reality is that if entrepreneurs create the right jobs (i.e., jobs in the manufacturing industry), with a focus on important technical skills, a large abundance of jobs will spring up across the nation and promote the newfound American Dream and an increase in opportunities. In addition, the notion of self-reliance can improve economic sustainability. We, as Americans, enjoy many freedoms including the availability of extremely low prices (from companies such as Wal-Mart). The economic reality of this is that it is not sustainable. By providing more jobs and paying more for everyday goods, we can create a much more sustainable economy.
3. Promote Health: In order to promote a healthy America, entrepreneurs and small business owners must keep their physical health in mind on a day-to-day basis and also make it an important matter in the workplace. Eating right, exercising, and getting an adequate amount of sleep benefit the body as well as the mind, allowing entrepreneurs and small business owners more creativity and energy while at work. It's a win-win situation all around.
4. Volunteer: Whether you're a large business or a small startup, all companies should be interested in becoming good corporate citizens. When entrepreneurs and their companies volunteer, they can achieve an enhanced public image, with a cohesive and motivated workforce. Volunteer programs also help employees strengthen their leadership and interpersonal skills and increases interaction among different departments. Not only will you be benfitting the community through volunteer work, but you will also be benefitting your new small business.
5. Think Beyond Borders: The essence of being a patriotic entrepreneur is to look past the artificial borders of nationality, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and politics in order to address the most critical problems that we face as a global society. When entrepreneurs think beyond these artificial borders, we can promote a positive change in the workforce and in the world. Thinking beyond borders allows more people to achieve their own American Dream.
So what will you do this Patriot Day? Will you do more than put your flag at half-mast? We encourage all entrepreneurs to Think Big this Patriot Day by educating, creating more jobs, promoting health, volunteering, and thinking beyond artificial borders.