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An immigrant’s son with minimal schooling, he was running a business in the absolute poorest part of town at a time when class was everything. His chances of making it big were about as likely as someone naming their child North West. Okay, bad example. But, name aside, make it he did. Today, more than 230 years later, every American child knows the story of Paul Revere.
But this patriot was much more than the guy who warned everyone the British were coming. Revere was a crazy good business man. In fact, one of his companies—Revere Copper Products—still exists today. So how was he able to succeed against all odds?
We decided this Fourth of July holiday week is the perfect time to find out. We’ll also show you how to apply those lessons using the principles Dave teaches at EntreLeadership Master Series. Here are a few takeaways from the man whose midnight ride wasn’t the only thing that made him a legend.
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Do What You Love
Revere’s father unexpectedly died when the young colonist was only 19 years old. As the eldest of seven children, he took over Paul Senior’s silversmith shop—and made a huge success of it. He soon became the darling of high society, who clamored after his fine tea sets and flatware.
With six siblings and a mother to support, Paul could have sold the business. But he truly loved making things and the business, itself, and that passion translated into excellence. It was his passion that allowed him to become a master craftsman. Owning a business is never easy. But if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, there’s no obstacle you can’t overcome. Never go into business just for the payoff. You won’t succeed.
Never Stop Learning
After the Revolutionary War, the tastes of Americans changed, and the well-to-do were definitely out of style—including their expensive tastes in silver. That didn’t stop Revere. He grew with the new market, offering everyday items like cutlery, buckles and teapots. But that was just a start. He also became known for making bells and copper plate engravings, printing this country’s first money, and opening America’s first rolling copper mill.
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In order to grow your business, you have to grow yourself. Never stop learning. Paul was famous for mastering new skills and learning new styles. He continued educating himself and expanding his company until nearly the end of his life. He became one of America’s earliest industrialists.
Be Generous to Your Community
There’s no doubt about it. Paul was a busy man. Aside from his companies and political activities, including that famous Tea Party and even more well-known ride, Paul took time to become involved in his community. He acted as Suffolk County coroner and the first president of the Boston Board of Health. He even helped organize one of Beantown’s first mutual fire insurance companies.
Some of the greatest joys of becoming successful are associated with acts of generosity to your team, your customers and your community. This includes giving your time. Volunteer, serve on a board, mentor a team member or youngster in the community, or simply take a few minutes to brighten someone’s day. The time spent will be one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make.
Although it’s been more than two centuries since Paul Revere took his famous ride, his legacy lives on. This week, as we celebrate Independence Day, keep himin mind. Because he wasn’t just a patriot; he was also a great businessman and servant leader—something we all strive to be. Happy Fourth of July, and thanks, Paul!