July 3, 2024

Seventy-Five Summers

4th of July Fireworks
By: Rob Herndon


Talk to anyone in my family, and they’ll tell you that I’m wild about the 4th of July. Not in a decorate the house in bunting kind of way, but in being part of the quintessential American Independence Day celebration. I have lots of options in my hometown since both Williamsburg and Yorktown, Virginia, hold huge fireworks displays attended by tens of thousands each year. One in the colonial capital and one on the battlefield where we won the Revolutionary War. My kids all remember being dragged to one event or the other over the years, sweating like a pig, eating ice cream and hot dogs, and seeing their dad tear up when the fireworks started. 

The Power of Community

In our world today, where the best parts of being in a community seem so elusive, the 4th brings an opportunity for people from all walks of life to join together to celebrate the ideals upon which our nation was founded. Despite the flaws evident at our founding, the idea that individuals could choose their leaders and other concepts from The Enlightenment that became part of the great American experiment was earth-shattering at the time. The world has never been the same since. We’ve had to continue to progress towards fulfillment of these ideals as a people over the last 248 years, and most of the time, that progress has come through individuals joining a community of like-minded people to bring about needed change.

To start to bring about this progress, as the old saying goes, “If you want to change the world, you first have to change yourself.” And we know that one of the most difficult things to change about ourselves is our mindset. This is why the seventh chapter of Who Owns the Ice House? is such a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to developing a more entrepreneurial mindset. As Gary laid out in this piece, the development of a positive and supportive community to assist people on their entrepreneurial journey greatly increases the chance of success. 

Global Impact of Entrepreneurial Mindset Education

Numerous ELI clients all around the world are doing this to bring a more entrepreneurial mindset to people across their communities. NC IDEA is on its way to impacting over 100,000 individuals across North Carolina. NetWork Kansas has made an impressive impact right in the heart of the Midwest through its E-Community programs. And, Allan Gray Makers are using ELI programs to begin to inspire change across South Africa by beginning to expose 300,000 trades students to entrepreneurial mindset education. Despite their disparate geographies, they each bring the power of community to bear as they seek to create thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems. 

Get Involved This Summer

During this sweet, sweet summertime here in the US, I hope that you will find a way to get more involved in impacting your community of choice. If that means helping someone or a group of people develop an entrepreneurial mindset, our team at ELI will be here to help.

And if you need more inspiration to do so, as Eddie Murphy laid out in the movie “Holy Man” from 1998…

Seventy-five years. That’s how much time you get if you’re lucky. Seventy-five years. Seventy-five Winters. Seventy-five Springtimes. Seventy-five Summers. And Seventy-five Autumns. When you look at it like that, it’s not a lot of time, is it? Don’t waste them. Get your head out of the rat race and forget about the superficial things that preoccupy your existence and get back to what’s important now. Right Now. This very second. And I’m not saying drop everything and let the world come to a grinding halt. I’m saying that you could become a seeker. You could be loving more. You could be taking some chances. You could be living more. You could be spending more time with your family. You could be getting in touch with the part of you that lives instead of fears; the part of you that loves instead of hates; the part of you that recognizes the humanity in all of us.

Happy 4th of July, everyone! I’ll see you at the fireworks!