Thursday, September 18, 2008

The power of possibility

Would you have known that one of the people in this photo would grow up to be one of the world's richest men?? (see left bottom...recognize him? That's Bill Gates!)

I was reading one of Kiva's blogs, Kiva B4B. Something about yesterday's entry made me really happy.

It's easy to bash Lehman Brothers for the events of today, but a look back to its beginnings provides a more inspirational story.

On my drive home from work yesterday, I heard a story on NPR about the early days of Lehman. It went like this - two immigrant brothers set up a general store in Montgomery, Alabama. Flash forward - it is one of the Big Five investment banks. Do you think they ever imagined? Where did they get their idea and first dollar? When they were selling soap, do you think they knew about derivatives?

The point is, as I look around the B4B community, I realize that every business has the potential to become something spectacular. It could be the restaurant owners, accountants, plumbers and goat herders. It could be the U.S.-based small business that is helping an entrepreneur get started abroad, or the Kiva entrepreneur that is scraping up money to start a business. We don't know what they will be one day or the impact that they will have on society. That's pretty powerful!

When people (including me) look at big, famous, and/or successful companies or people, they often forget that they started somewhere very small and spent a lot of time being ignored. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Ben & Jerry's excellent ice cream all started with two dudes who decided to take a chance on something they believed in; Dell started with one. When they started, they weren't any more distinguishable from any other crazy kids with crazy ideas.

So the beauty of this is that each of us are seeds of change, who with a little bit of belief and hard work can all be something. We're all starting the same way. And we all have the chance to make a BIG difference! I agree...that's pretty powerful!

So also I think with the prizes we are developing and the people we touch. Big, amazing things are possible!

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