SUCCESS SECRETS – A humble and astute English farmer has a vision of entrepreneurial success across the ocean in Virginia, embarks on an epic adventure, tastes entrepreneurial success, saves Virginia financially, marries a Princess, saves Virginia politically, and changes the world in seven years.
In December 1607, on his fourth trip up the Chickahominy River, John Smith goes past the Chickahominy territory and into joint hunting territory shared with the Powhatan and is captured by Opechancanough, werowance or chief of the Pamunkey tribe and brother to the paramount chief of the Powhatan Empire, Wahunsenaca, known as Chief Powhatan. Two of Smith’s men are killed.
Some weeks later, Smith is taken to Werowocomoco on the York River and received by the paramount Chief Powhatan. Pocahontas had just turned 10 years old on September 17, 1607, and was not present. Indian sources are adamant and historians agree, that John Smith was not about to be beaten to death by the Powhatan and was not saved by Pocahontas. As a child, even the child of the chief, she would not have been at the audience of the prisoner. A popular animated film with a disclaimer at the end of the credits (that very few people see) says it is not historically accurate but for entertainment, has given many people a quite different impression of the facts.
John Rolfe and a twin brother Eustacius were born and baptized in the parish church in the village of Heacham, county of Norfolk, England, about 110 miles north of London, on May 6, 1585, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. This was three years before the English navy under Sir Francis Drake defeated the Spanish Armada on August 8, 1588, and thus became the most powerful European nation. John’s twin brother Eustacius died 27 days after his birth, on June 2, 1585.
John Rolfe is named for his father John Rolfe. His father was born October 17, 1562. John Rolfe’s mother was Dorothea or Dorothy Mason, born in 1559. John Rolfe the father died when John Rolfe was eight years old, on November 29, 1593. John Rolfe’s grandfather died the same year. His mother Dorothy remarried on March 9, 1594, to Robert Redman. So we can assume John Rolfe’s childhood was difficult.
Before he could accomplish all this, as you will soon see, John Rolfe’s entrepreneurial challenges included an Atlantic crossing on the Sea Venture that was so extraordinary that it became the inspiration for William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.
Notably, the wedding of John Rolfe and Pocahontas was the first interracial church marriage in the New World. John Rolfe’s initiative in his personal life as well as his business life set an enduring precedent for American life.
Pocahontas’ marriage to Rolfe led to a period of peace, known as The Peace of Pocahontas, which allowed the English foothold in Jamestown to expand until there were too many English for the natives to kill or expel. This period of peace was directly responsible for the success of the Virginia colony, and John Rolfe was responsible for it.
Second, John Rolfe fell in love with Princess Pocahontas. He asked for and received permission from the Governor of Virginia to marry Pocahontas, recognizing that interracial marriage was at least discouraged if not prohibited. No white man had ever married a Native American. He also asked for and received permission from Pocahontas’ father, Chief Powhatan, the paramount chief of 31 Algonquin tribes. John Rolfe and Princess Pocahontas were married on April 5, 1614.
Because of my name, I’ve heard about John Rolfe and Pocahontas my entire life. I didn’t appreciate his critical role in the success of England colonizing America until a visit to Jamestown, Virginia, set me on a path of serious research into the life of John Rolfe. I spent four years researching this book. By a happy coincidence, I was already researching entrepreneurship. I discovered that John Rolfe was America’s first entrepreneur and he set the tone for the unique American spirit of entrepreneurship.
As you will see, without John Rolfe’s two major contributions, the Virginia colony would have failed and the French, Spanish, and Dutch, rather than the English, would have colonized not only New Mexico, California, Florida, Canada, Delaware, and New York, but most of what is now the United States. In a very real sense, John Rolfe is responsible for the United States being an English speaking nation.
What is being an entrepreneur all about? The dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”
Who becomes an entrepreneur, and why would you want to be an entrepreneur? Here it is in four words.
Creation. Freedom. Money. Legacy.
Being an entrepreneur is all about creating a venture that you have some control over, achieving the freedom to live life as you wish – doing what you want, when you want, where you want, and how you want – acquiring the money or wealth to do so, and leaving a business or financial legacy. And, oh, enjoying the game along the way.
Why do you need this book? This book will give you time-tested principles of entrepreneurship which will help you succeed in reaching your goals. America’s first entrepreneur illustrates all the important principles of entrepreneurship. America’s first entrepreneur was wildly successful within seven years using these principles after a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. His epic story is very inspiring. The industry America’s first entrepreneur created is not only still successful in America after 400 years, but has multi-billion dollar sales year in and year out.