On this Fourth of July, I’m finally letting what little hair I have down just to reflect what this holiday represents to me. I’ve actually been mulling about it here and there when my mind goes idle but I feel the very same spirit of grit and determination, to make an entrepreneurial endeavor a success and the internal fight to overcome the fear of success, during such uncertain times, is the same as the on-going endeavors to make this country so great.

I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for the U.S. forefathers to overcome the daunting task to declare their 13 colonies to be independent from Great Britain and the challenges they faced in creating a new world – a new country – but that’s how I feel about our company (on a smaller scale, of course). Not to undermine the Herculean tasks the forefathers undertook to make this country what it is today but for many of our customers and partners, I feel we share a certain kinship of being direct contributors to the new economies of tomorrow.

The way I see it, it really takes a special kind of person to step foot in the realm of entrepreneurship – someone who has overcome certain milestones in their respective fears of success for what they can visualize as their ideal event of success. In its most generic sense, it’s about having what you want and wanting what you have upon that success event and to consistently see it in your mind while doggedly working towards it. From my non-empirical, general observations, I see many people to be less fearful of failure than those fearful of success. Whether others agree with my interpretation, I feel that fear of failure is borne from someone being afraid of failing once, while fear of success is borne from someone being afraid of failing multiple times, in different ways and potentially in front of everyone for one common/consistent goal.

Although I don’t profess to being an expert in identifying others who are fearful of failure or success, I believe I can pick up certain characteristics that would give way to such behavior being brought up as a first generation Korean-American and in a world of family-owned businesses – observing how my parents handled risk and stress in pursuit of the “American Dream” and raising their children in a country that would offer greater opportunities they never had during their youth. For times when my parents express their desire for me to take a less risky approach to my professional pursuits, I constantly have to remind them of the risks they took in bringing the family into a country they knew very little of except for the dream they had in-mind for the family.

So to all my fellow entrepreneurs, customers and partners, I tip my hat to you. Creating something bigger than yourself is not a task for the faint of heart and I feel honored to be surrounded by my peers of the same ilk.

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt, Paris in 1910