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Benjamin Franklin Autobiography, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 648

Essay

When the world thinks about America, it thinks of a country where dreams become reality, future becomes present, and impossible becomes possible. This is the land where innovation can be found in its purest form. Unlike other countries such as China and India where innovation is still in infancy, innovation in America has as rich a history as the nation itself. Long before there was Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla, and Henry Ford, there was Benjamin Franklin (Franklin) in America. Franklin could be considered one of the earliest if not the first American who infused innovation in the country’s culture. He possessed all the traits we still associate with innovators such as independent thinking, risk taking, desire to learn new things, and a can-do attitude.

The first thing we learn about Ben Franklin is that he loved knowledge and always strived to learn new things. Ben Franklin applied in his life what we usually call ‘continues education’ these days. Franklin had a fascination with the sea and wanted to become a sailor so he taught himself how to swim as well as manage boats. When his father would take Franklin to shops, Franklin would carefully observe the craftsmen at work. Due to his sharp observations, Franklin learnt to do little jobs at home by himself when no workman could be secured. Not surprisingly, Franklin loved reading and would often spend his pocket money on books as a child. When his father advised him to improve his writing to strengthen his arguments, Franklin took the advice in a positive light and worked upon improving his written communication (Early America).

The second thing we learn about Ben Franklin is that he was not afraid to take risks. When his brother James Franklin found that Ben Franklin may leave him, James went to every newspaper publisher to discourage them from hiring Ben. Instead of being distraught or giving up, Ben decided to move to New York and even sold some of his books to raise some money for the trip. He took the trip despite the young age of 17 as well as knowing no one in New York. When he didn’t find any job in New York, he took the trip to Philadelphia though he had little money left. When Franklin went back to his father on the advice of the Governor of New York, his father refused to help him set up a business due to Ben Franklin still being too young but Franklin didn’t let the rejection to stop him from returning to Philadelphia. Like true entrepreneurs, Franklin was not afraid to make sacrifices for the sake of his dreams (Early America).

The third thing we learn about Ben Franklin is that like many successful entrepreneurs, he also made mistakes in life before he succeeded. Franklin loaned money to his friend Collins and kept up with him despite Collins being an irresponsible individual. Franklin never got back the money which shows that one should be wise in choosing his company. Similarly, Franklin didn’t follow his father’s advice and overestimated his experience as well as ability to set up a business (Early America). As a result, he placed too much trust on the Governor of New York who ultimately deceived him.

Ben Franklin was arguably the first true innovator and entrepreneur in America with an impact on the whole nation and exhibited many of the traits associated with innovators and entrepreneurs to this day. He enjoyed learning about new things and was not afraid to take risks or make mistakes. This is why America has become a place where innovation thrives because failure is not seen as a social stigma here and bold ideas are not discouraged.

References

Early America. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: Chapter One. 27 January 2013 <http://www.earlyamerica.com/lives/franklin/chapt1/>.

—. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: Chapter Three. 27 January 2013 <http://www.earlyamerica.com/lives/franklin/chapt3/>.

—. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: Chapter Two. 27 January 2013 <http://www.earlyamerica.com/lives/franklin/chapt2/>.

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