The name “American”

The date was September 19, 1796. In his farewell address to the people, in which he declined to serve a third term as president, George Washington gave us a name, a distinction, and a bond.

“The name American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism… You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint councils and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.”

Sounds like us, doesn’t it? Small business owners are like America’s Founders: We fight for our independence every day. Our common cause is self-determination, and our joint councils are the relationships and communities we build.

The dangers we face are not usually as life threatening as those of the American revolutionaries, but other than our lives, we put everything else on the line.

Washington said the name “American” should exalt the pride of patriotism. For American entrepreneurs, that name exalts the spirit of pride, independence and excellence.

In America this week, we celebrate our independence. If you are an entrepreneur, wherever you are, you celebrate independence every day of the year. I know President Washington would be proud of you.

Happy Independence Day, America.

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