No. 7



When our forefathers were establishing this nation, they never intended we should all be equal. Rather, their goal was for every individual to have equal opportunity. This simple philosophy or concept has produced more "rags to riches" success stories than any other economic system in the history of the world. If we don't see opportunity all around us, in most cases it's not because it is not there; it's because we cannot see it. Do you have any idea what it takes to get ahead financially in this country? Well, I can answer this question in just six words: a few dollars and a dream.

There is a story behind these six words that has given them a very special meaning and I believe it will also give you something worthwhile to think about. When the United States of America was celebrating the 100th birthday of the Statue of Liberty, many true life stories came to light about people who had come to this country with little more than the shirts on their backs, but over the years they had become highly successful.

The story I mentioned is about Casey Rowe. Casey Rowe came to America from South Korea some time after the great depression. At the time, all he had was a wife, seven children and $700. As he said, all he had was "a few dollars and a dream." He had no job, no friends, and except for a few personal items, he had nothing else. Casey's first job was as an axe grinder. At night he would come home so tired he would literally cry himself to sleep, only to get up and do it all over again the next day.

But Casey Rowe did not give up and he worked and worked, and saved a small portion of what he earned. His close family relationships gave him great emotional strength and courage and before many years had passed, he had saved enough money to go into business for himself. Today, if you go to the Terminal Building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you will find Casey Rowe and his family hard at work in the produce business -- at 4 a.m., and the whole family works. They do over a millions dollars worth of business each year!

I'm sure many people who do business at their produce market have no idea of the tremendous struggle and the years of hard work it took for their business to prosper as it is doing today. It's easy for the casual observer to say, "Oh, these people are hard workers" or "They had money to begin with" or "They inherited the business." For people who have never achieved financial success, they either don't want it or haven't been willing to pay the price for it. The saddest part of all is that there are millions of people who have opportunity all around them, but have never been able to see it or develop a sufficient belief in themselves to go after it.

The fact that Casey Rowe came from another country may have been an asset, because life where he came from may have been harder than it is here. On the other hand, we know of thousands of people who came from other countries who don't achieve financial success. Many of these people have returned home broke and discouraged, while others stay but have to struggle to survive.

The message of Casey Rowe's story is simple. If you want to achieve greater financial success, all you need is a few dollars and a dream, and then be willing to work hard for the next ten to twenty years to make your dream come true. As Elbert Hubbard once said, ôSuccess is the realization of the estimate which you place upon yourselfö. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)