Celebrating America’s Work Ethic

Thanksgiving is a celebration, but sometimes we forget that the first Thanksgiving was the result of overcoming hardship and collaborating with others toward a similar goal.

The reason the Pilgrims and Native Americans had such a large feast was due to the celebration of the end of preparation for the harsh New England winter to come. Similar for companies, celebration comes AFTER the hard work. Successful businesses combine grit and preparation in order to survive, the same qualities the Pilgrims needed to prepare for winter.

Celebration of Ants

Preparing for winter is a fitting metaphor for growing companies. You may remember an old Aesop’s tale called The Ant and the Grasshopper. While the grasshopper spent the entire summer singing and frolicking about, the ants worked hard to prepare for the bitter winter to come. Much like the Thanksgiving originators, the ants were able to celebrate before winter began as it meant survival. Meanwhile, the end of November meant death for the once happy grasshopper. A outcome sure to meet young companies who fail to put in the hard work.

Collaborating with Native Americans

The Pilgrims could not survive without the help of Native Americans. Being survival experts who knew the scope of the land, the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims everything they knew and provided them with invaluable capital. Today, companies need leadership experts, technology whizzes, sales savants, operations gurus and marketing specialists in order to survive. With a solid team in place, young companies have a shot at survival as they weather through the bounty of obstacles ahead.

I share these two anecdotes to stress the timing of celebration. Celebration should be saved for the success and success takes perseverance and determination. More and more, we see companies celebrating at the deposit of the first investor, but the true celebration shouldn’t come until profit is made. Like the Pilgrims and the ants, it is wise to work hard now to reap the benefits later.

-Steve Hogan, Managing Partner, Tech-Rx