Michael Robinson: This Fourth, we celebrate the spirit of business
Vail Valley Partnership
On this eve of our celebration the “Spirit of 1776,” I thought it appropriate to reflect on the independent nature of business and how we have good cause to celebrate the unique role played by entrepreneurs throughout the Vail Valley.
When our founding fathers put pen to paper in Philadelphia 231 years ago tomorrow, business found its way into what is arguably one of the most famous documents in the world. In listing a series of grievances against Great Britain and King George III, the Declaration of Independence includes “For cutting off our trade will all parts of the world” and “For imposing taxes on us without our consent.” And when getting to the actual declaration, Thomas Jefferson included “establish commerce” as one of the powers of the new, independent nation.
Understanding the personalities at play also lends itself to a business spin. Benjamin Franklin ” while not a member of the Continental Congress but a strong influence on the philosophy of the time ” was one of our nation’s first entrepreneurs. Jefferson, with his intelligence, and John Adams, with his passion, are representative of the remaining pieces of what I believe are the three necessary components of a successful business venture ” guts, brains and love.
As business struggles in the day-to-day process of making ends meet, it is often taken for granted that when a business is born ” much like a country ” there is a sense of daring and risk (guts);,a need to be deliberate and smart (brains); and an underlying devotion and belief in the cause or task at hand (love). This is as true today as it was 231 years ago, only the tools at the hands of business today have changed, thanks to science, technology and the benefits of trial and error.
As we consider the spirit of business in the Vail Valley, these independent cornerstones are everywhere you turn, from coffee and tea manufacturing to real estate development, from innovations in lodging to celebrity chefs, from construction powerhouses to community banks. Our collection of businesses has much to celebrate this Fourth of July ” as the advantages and opportunities presented by entrepreneurs continue to challenge the status quo and redefine how to succeed.
Like our Founding Fathers, and the drive and determination that motivated them to create a new model for government, the Vail Valley Partnership draws on a sense of spirit and passion to create a new model for business support in our county.
Are we breaking down established business practices for the sake of change? No. We, along with our partnership of leaders, entrepreneurs and business professionals, are challenging ourselves to find a better way ” to create efficiencies and economies of scale that will allow us to do more and make more. Not just for us, but for our community.
It is not coincidental that the notion of business is found in our nation’s most cherished document. I believe Jefferson and company were well aware of the connection between business and quality of life. The main thrust of the Declaration is to “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that are among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In other words, to ensure a respectable quality of life for Americans.
In the 21st century, the connection between quality of life and the success of business could not be more evident. When business is robust and the economy is operating on all cylinders, there is financial support through taxes, fees and the like for governments to provide the services that are key to ensuring a quality lifestyle. So, too, is the personal pocketbook able to provide for residents what governments cannot when business is booming and jobs are safe and secure.
So as you set out to celebrate the red, white and blue with friends and family while grilling hot dogs and hamburgers before the sky is lit with fireworks, let’s also take a moment to reflect on how the spirit of business has played a key role in securing our liberties and plays an even more important role in ensuring them in the years to come.
Happy Fourth of July from all of us at the Vail Valley Partnership.