John Rolfe’s two important contributions, the financial success and the period of peace for the first permanent English colony in the Americas, led to the establishment of the English common law and the English cultural heritage of representative government and religious freedom on which the United States of America was founded. If John Rolfe hadn’t created a financially successful industry and fallen in love with Pocahontas, we could have a French, Spanish, or even Dutch heritage.
John Rolfe’s first accomplishment was his sole responsibility for the economic success of the Virginia colony. For years the colony could find no gold, silver, pearls, or cash crop. John Rolfe developed the first and only cash crop, which assured the success of the colony and made it not only viable but wildly successful financially. The History Channel’s 2010 production America: The Story of Us called Jamestown after the success of John Rolfe’s tobacco America’s first boomtown. Without the entrepreneurship of John Rolfe, Jamestown would have been a ghost town.
I’m sure you’ve already read all the dire statistics about how the odds are stacked against you in starting a business and how few new businesses succeed. Yet you are right to have confidence that your business will beat the odds and succeed. Without that belief you and your business will fail.
This book will help you avoid the mistakes that may not be obvious to many of the entrepreneurs who start businesses. I certainly hope your challenges won’t be nearly as tough as those actually faced and overcome by America’s first entrepreneur. But the dramatic events of his life graphically illustrate the kinds of challenges every entrepreneur faces. And it’s a great story even if you’re not an entrepreneur.
In each chapter you will find the inspiring true and epic story of the challenges faced by America’s first entrepreneur. As you enjoy the historical narrative, think about your own entrepreneurial venture and consider whether you have met your similar business challenges. It was an amazing time in history, and the end of each chapter highlights some key events going on elsewhere in the world at the same time.
Once you have absorbed the wisdom presented by the story of America’s first entrepreneur, you can be sure your belief that your business is going to succeed is rooted in sound entrepreneurial principles, not in la-la land like your relatives probably think and say.