The American Dream is an Entrepreneur’s Dream

Written by Andres Garzon

Why The American Dream Is Still Alive—and How It’s An Entrepreneur’s Dream

In order to be an entrepreneur, you need a few essential things: You need to incorporate, open a bank account, you need to be able to find and invoice clients, and then you need to do the work.

It sounds simple. And in the US, it is.

That’s what makes this country unique. And that’s what makes it a powerful place to be an entrepreneur. And every year, on the 4th of July, I like to honor and remember this fact.

There’s no other country in the world that honors and encourages entrepreneurship—that enshrines this “Dream” in the core of its culture, to create and support yourself and your family through your own endeavors—like the US.

I learned this first-hand. 

I came to the US in my twenties to earn an MBA. In Ecuador, my wife and I sold our car, our TV, and everything else we owned so we could come. We got to New York with ~$10,000 cash. That’s it. 

Then, because we didn’t have a credit history, we had to pay 6 months rent up front: $7,000.

We had $3,000 to last us six months, and the school year hadn’t even started yet. 

You could say I had no choice but to become an entrepreneur. But that push was a gift. 

Long story short: I started Jobsity.

The Story of Three Wows

In South America and many countries in the world, in order to create a company you have to hire a lawyer and spend time and money to get situated. Typically, the minimum amount of time it takes to go from an idea to a functioning business is six months. With a really good (read: expensive) lawyer, it could be 2-3 months, no less.

In South America, there are myriad tax rules that require you to physically go to the local IRS and get a permit to make valid invoices in order to get paid. Without that, you can’t invoice someone. So you can’t get paid.

In South America, you needed complex compliance documentation in order to open a bank account. You have to prove who you are, where your money comes from (even small amounts), and everything has to be notarized. And it takes 15 days to set up the account. Minimum.

Needless to say, with my wife at my side and $3,000 between us, I was worried. My experiences at home had prepared me for a long and arduous process to start up a business based on my ideas and fueled by my wits. I thought I was in for a grueling months-long battle.

But then I went on LegalZoom, and in a day I had the paperwork necessary to start a company. That was my first wow moment.

Then I talked to an accountant, and he told me that in the US you can invoice on a napkin, as long as you keep the record. I was wowed again.

Later, I went to Citibank and in an hour I opened a checking account, received a checkbook, and was issued a debit card. I had the ability to invoice.

That was my third wow.

In the matter of one week I had a business.

Then all I had to do was work.

It’s Not Random--It’s The Dream

Why does this matter? 

Because as an entrepreneur, you likely don’t have money, time, or the capital to start paying yourself--but you do have an idea and you want to execute it right away. 

You can’t afford to wait two months for an IRS number, two more for a bank account, or six months for credit. You want—and need—to get to your craft as quickly as possible. You need to take that idea and act on it.

Only in the US, is the default working culture meant to facilitate business, and not get in its way.

Only in the US, is the working culture based on the American Dream, which means it’s set up to help facilitate entrepreneurial urges becoming reality as quickly as possible.

Only in the US, does even the IRS offer leeway in the first year, to make sure that your business can focus on starting up, and not on navigating complex rules.

When I became an accidental entrepreneur in New York all those years ago, the whole system gave me options so I could start doing business right away.

It’s quite different from being an entrepreneur in other countries; here, the default is to let people work first—and this culture allows entrepreneurs to flourish.

The reality is, the American Dream is in every country—it’s the dream of succeeding, of being free to define your future and that of your family. 

But In the US, everything is set up to help this dream come true.

American culture itself has an entrepreneurial mindset. And this mindset is built into the business culture, which translates into a collective work ethic; people work hard and they take it upon themselves to tackle problems, to improve, to grow, and to treat your business like their own. 

If you are willing to work hard, be honest, and do things right, the whole system will conspire to help you succeed. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what your background is, or where you were raised. 

The system supports it. The culture supports it. The economy supports it.

And this is something we—as entrepreneurs, and as Americans—ought to celebrate and be proud of.

I know I am.

linkedIn icon
Written by Andres Garzon

Andres was born in Quito, Ecuador, where he was raised with an appreciation for cultural exchange. After graduating from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, he worked for a number of companies in the US, before earning his MBA from Fordham University in New York City. While a student, he noticed there was a shortage of good programmers in the United States and an abundance of talented programmers in South America. So he bet everything on South American talent and founded Jobsity -- an innovative company that helps US companies hire and retain Latin American programmers.