I’ve traveled around the country, and regardless of your definition of success, or the level of success you’ve achieved there are 5 distinct characteristics that differentiate Iowa’s people from the rest of the globe. Now this article might be a bit biased, so I want to challenge you to create your own list of characteristics that set your states or countries entrepreneurs apart. I’m writing this though because when people think of Iowa they think of three things corn, farming, and rednecks.
Iowa does have corn don’t get me wrong, it does have farms which are slowly being demolished and turned into highways and commercial property, and it defiantly has rednecks aka entrepreneurs. In fact there is no other state with more people who call themselves entrepreneurs then the state of Iowa. University of Northern Iowa’s JPEC program, University of Iowa’s Henry B. Tippie School of Business, and Iowa State University’s Pappa John Center for Entrepreneurship Program emphasize the importance of building your own company. But building a company takes time, talent, and an unwavering commitment to succeed but that’s what drives Iowa’s economy and sets Iowa’s entrepreneurs apart.
Drive to Succeed.
Staying up late, waking up early, getting no sleep at all is what Iowan’s embrace when farming season rolls around. Building a business is just like harvesting a crop you have to prepare to plant, plant, water, wait, commit and harvest. The same goes for a business you have to prepare, build relationships, drip market, consistently take action, commit to getting a result, and reap the reward. While many people think it’s easy, it really is anything but. Successful crops just like successful businesses take time to build, hours of planning, years of experimenting and changing directions, and an unwavering commitment from the farmer or entrepreneur to make a difference regardless of the circumstances. Old equipment, new equipment, dry ground, wet ground, corn, beans, doesn’t make a difference the farmers drive to succeed is relentless.
Definition of Success.
The definition of success in Iowa is very different than many parts of the country. The value of family, friends, and faith supersede the need to make millions of dollars. Most Iowa businesses are nowhere near the million dollar mark, in fact many of them are producing between $80,000-$100,000 in income on a yearly basis and are happier than they’ve ever been and it isn’t because they don’t want a million dollars, but because they have been able to do what they love, and make a difference.
Ability to Be Creative.
Many Iowa businesses bootstrap it while picking up the momentum needed to succeed. The ability to be creative without an investment is what Iowa communities teach growing up. It doesn’t always take money to make money. In fact the support of the community is often the driving force behind the success of both a business and a farm. There is no doubt that Iowan’s are not afraid to get down and dirty, and lend a helping hand in times of need. While many start-ups in Iowa have little to no funding to begin with they focus on the tools, resources, and knowledge they do have and become as resourceful as possible to achieve their end goal.
Unwillingness to Give Up.
Times are tough in Iowa and across the country but that doesn’t deter Iowa business owners, entrepreneurs or already successful companies to give up their hope of wanting something more in fact it drives them to keep going. The term “redneck” references poor, uneducated, white farmers from rural areas. While many of Iowa’s farmers are from rural areas and aren’t rich, they are abundant, and while they don’t have a formal education, they embrace lifelong education. The same applies for Iowa business owners this willingness to face adversity, and come up with creative solutions to get through tough times with the support of the community separates Iowan’s. It’s as simple as asking yourself How many people in your community do you know? How many could you ask for a helping hand in times of need? How many would step up to the plate and help you when their plates are already full?
Embrace Our Differences.
Male, female, white, black, educated, uneducated, wealthy, poor, religious, non-religious, republican, democrat it doesn’t make a difference because Iowan’s embrace their differences. What makes Iowa different? Like many states people come and people go but one thing remains the same; we all share the American dream. So next time you think of Iowa as the state of corn, farming, and rednecks remember it is much more than that, it is a state of budding businesses, and committed entrepreneurs.
Melissa Krivachek President of Briella Arion is committed to helping executives and entrepreneurs across the globe Break-Thru* limiting beliefs to create 6 & 7 figure businesses doing what they love, whatever that may be. Known as the female Tony Robbins her practical, simplistic approach has made her one of the top 10 leadership and personal growth experts in the world under 30. With a focus on mindset, internal/external confidence, communication & leadership training her clients get massive, immediate, long-term sustainable results.
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