Ok, you can hate me. I got tickets and saw the musical "Hamilton" on Broadway. I have to tell you that I really knew nothing about this guy. Nothing. Nada. Zero. I thought he was the dude on the $20 bill, that's how little I knew about this guy.
But now--I am the unofficial president of his fan club (if he had one). I have the soundtrack http://amzn.to/1WTL6XA from the play and listen to it every day. I'm reading the Hamilton biography the musical is based on by Ron Chernow (http://amzn.to/1REuMc1). I just can't get enough of his story. I love this guy. (Oh yeah--he's actually on the $10!)
Hamilton's story is perhaps the greatest story one could ever hear about when it comes to sheer resilience and perseverance. His was, in my opinion, the single greatest American who ever lived, and psst, Donald Trump, he was an immigrant! His accomplishments are nothing short of astounding:
- As an orphan at the age of 14, he ran a trading company in the West Indies
- He came to New York City at 17, graduated from what was then King's college, and is now Columbia University
- At 19 he became George Washington's chief of staff during the Revolutionary War
- He was a Founding Father and one of the three representatives from New York state who attended the U.S. Constitutional Convention in 1787
- In 1790, at the behest of President George Washington, he created the "Revenue Marine" which became the U.S. Coast Guard, the oldest seagoing service of the United States
- He founded the New York Post in 1801
- He was a Founder of the Federalist Party (America's first established political party)
- He was the founder of the Bank of New York in 1784--Hamilton believed a national bank was necessary to stabilize and improve the nation's credit, and to improve handling of the financial business of the United States government under the newly enacted Constitution. He is credited with creating the federal banking system.
- The First Bank of the United States was a national bank chartered for a term of twenty years, by the United States Congress on February 25, 1791. It followed the Bank of North America, the nation's first de facto central bank. Establishment of the Bank of the United States was part of a three-part expansion of federal fiscal and monetary power, along with a federal mint and excise taxes, championed by Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury.
- He was the first Secretary of Treasury in 1789
- He was one of the three writers of the Federalist Papers and contributed 51 of the 85 articles that form the basis of our constitution
There were no self-help books in Hamilton's days. No online references. No Tony Robbins or Oprah to try to emulate. No Inc.com articles by Jay Jay French. So, no. None of us will ever be able to put these sorts of accomplishments on our rsums. But what we can do is be inspired by Hamilton's unadulterated guile and belief in what is right; the very qualities that have made people like us successful entrepreneurs.
Every challenge I have ever encountered in both my personal and professional life can be attributed to Henry Cabot Lodge's great quote: "The source of (Hamilton's) success was a combination of a force of will and a force of intellect."
Force of will: The inner fire that drives the passion to fight the fight and overcome your fears while having the balls it takes to make the tough choices that only real survivors and winners possess. The proof of "Force of Will" as it relates to Twisted Sister was our "never say die" attitude that kept us going for the 10 years it took just to get a record deal. I have never heard of any other band in history that spent so much time and energy just to get signed--not the Beatles, the Stones, The Who, Zep, Floyd, Sabbath, AC/DC, KISS, the Dead, Springsteen, U2, Priest, Motorhead...etc. In the modern music industry era, not one of these bands would have lasted that long in pursuit of their dream. Just watch our new documentary to understand the full effect: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3538328/
Force of intellect: The ability to problem solve, no matter how big or small, trivial or potentially dream-crushing the outcome. Problem solving and creating is the least sexy but most important aspect of success. After every rejection we as a band had to rethink our direction. We had to become our own merchandise, record and promotion company and pioneered, among many other innovations, the use of radio commercials to sound like our records were being played.
Now go forth all you Hamiltons. Turn the world upside down!