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Great Enterprise from a Small Opportunity

June 2, 2014

On our facebook page today we posted the quote: "Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises." This was said by Demosthenes, an excellent Greek public speaker (384 BC-322 BC). He made a living as a lawyer, but he also wrote a few books and became increasingly involved in politics.

As you read the quote, think about the USA. Many people from all over the world, come to America. They come for religious freedom, they come for equal rights, they come to live and achieve the "American dream". As a result of the American dream, many people who came to the United States with next to nothing to their name, started small and wound up big.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, many Swedes immigrated to the United States in search of inexpensive farmland, high paying factory jobs and the desire to get away from the state church of Sweden. One such person in search of opportunity was John W Nordstrom. He came to the United States from Sweden at the age of 16 in the late 1800s. He stepped onto US soil with $5 to his name and worked his way across the United States until he ended up with $13,000. At that point, he was ready to start a business. He and his friend Carl opened a shoe store called Wallin & Nordstrom. The store is known today as Nordstrom and is a top fashion retailer. They have been on the "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for quite a few years and they are currently on the Fortune 500 list. They are a publicly traded company under ticker symbol JWN (after the founder) and the Nordstrom family still has 20% ownership in the company.

Get a small opportunity, it may be the beginning of a great enterprise.