What set of beliefs do you have as an entrepreneur? You know, the ideas or convictions you wholeheartedly believe in, that keep you focused on your dream – a sort of entrepreneur’s creed.
When I was a teacher back in the 80s and 90s, my classes always performed for Black History month. The assemblies were always beautifully and skillfully done. Costumes were made by my mother, stage backdrops by my son and of course, I was the brains behind the operation. 🙂
One of the performances always included a featured poem that was also the theme of the assembly. Because of its powerful message, Dreams by Langston Hughes was always a favorite. Not only did the children know the poem verbatim, they also knew the timeless message it delivered.
If you’ve never heard the poem, here it is:
An Entrepreneur’s Creed
For the children, the message was simply to hold onto your dreams. During those early years, it was important to instill this ideal in the children. They had to believe that their dream could come true as long as they didn’t give up.
The message in the poem is a powerful one for entrepreneurs as well. I like to think of it as an entrepreneur’s creed. Sometimes entrepreneurs face adversity that could have an adverse effect on their belief system. It could be financial strains, lack of time, fear of failure or fear of success, a lack of confidence, lack of support or a difficult past.
If you have a dream, you have a chance to soar. Without one, you are crippled and sentenced to a life of mediocrity.
Hold Onto Your Dreams
So often, the children didn’t believe in themselves and thought their dream was impossible to come true. Many came from broken homes and carried the weight of witnessing domestic violence, drug abuse in the home, incarcerated fathers and even mothers. Some came to school without having had breakfast and would return home uncertain about dinner. It was difficult for them to see a bright future.
But the task was to help them believe in themselves enough to know that armed with a dream and determination, their futures were indeed bright. The poem was a great instructional tool to help them see and believe. The metaphor of a broken-winged bird denotes that without the dream, you can’t go anywhere, you can’t fly, you can’t soar. The barren field frozen with snow tells us that without a dream, there is only cold emptiness and a bleak future.
So, there is no other option but to dream and hold onto your dreams.
Entrepreneurs face many obstacles as well. While they want to be successful entrepreneurs, in many cases, they see these obstacles as reasons to quit, to let go of their dream. But Hughes’s message paints a gloomy picture for those who let go of their dreams. It’s a reminder of what lies ahead without one.
Why Dreams By Langston Hughes Is An Entrepreneur’s Creed
An entrepreneur’s creed, to me Dreams by Langston Hughes, is the hope of the entrepreneur. It’s a constant reminder of what the entrepreneur has and what he could have, though not specifically stated. It also illustrates, using those metaphors, what he can lose if he chooses to let go. Usually a person has a dream that’s something other than what he currently has. A better life, more finances, the ultimate residence, the ability to travel the world for example. Letting go of a dream means letting go of one of those. What is the alternative?
So the next time you feel like giving up on your dream, read Dreams by Langston Hughes and decide whether you want to soar and experience all of what life has to offer or if you want to stay in the shadows watching everyone else soar. Think about that barren field frozen with snow. Is that where you want to call home?
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