The Entrepreneur’s Creed

I do not choose to be a common man,
It is my right to be uncommon … if I can,
I seek opportunity … not security.


Thomas Paine

I do not wish to be a kept citizen.
Humbled and dulled by having the
State look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk;
To dream and to build.
To fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dole;
I prefer the challenges of life
To the guaranteed existence;
The thrill of fulfillment
To the stale calm of Utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence
Nor my dignity for a handout
I will never cower before any master
Nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect.
Proud and unafraid;
To think and act for myself,
To enjoy the benefit of my creations
And to face the world boldly and say:
This, with God’s help, I have done
All this is what it means
To be an Entrepreneur.”

Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • William McPeck

    If Thomas Paine could see where we are at today, I wonder what the sequel to Common Sense would be and what he would have to say?

    • Ray Edwards

      “Really, Folks — I Wasn’t Kidding!”


  • Ryan Eidson

    I say a resounding YES to Paine’s statements here. His view of utopia and guarantees in life is a boring life. I agree: if I don’t have challenges where there is calculated risk, I get bored too.

    What other historical authors besides Paine do you like to read, Ray?

    • Ray Edwards

      Emerson, Twain, Dickens, Doyle, Thoreau. To name a few.

  • Jason Nicholas

    Good stuff!

    Could Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan be considered a simplified modern day version of what Thomas Paine was saying?

    • Ray Edwards

      Well, I think Nike’s slogan is just that… a slogan. It is in the same spirit, but it lacks the scope.

  • Marshall Bone

    Every time I read this it makes me proud of what I was called to do, start a business and change the world.

    • Ray Edwards

      That’s exactly what caused me to reproduce it here.

  • Ilene

    I love it – and, the key above all keys is that he gave credit to God!

  • Jeff Goins

    Wow. Stunning. Thanks for sharing, Ray.

  • Amal

    Thanks for sharing.. This is awesome.

  • Amal

    Thanks for sharing. This is awesome

  • Thomas Osthus

    Awesome. I don’t think I have ever read that before. That Creed definitely needs to be hanging in my office.