Unless you’ve been living under a soundproof rock this year, you’ve undoubtedly heard, seen, read, or hummed along to buzz about a man who hasn’t actually made news for several hundred years. His name, of course, is Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton.
You may know him as the guy on the ten-dollar bill, a founding father of the United States, or the star of the hottest musical to hit Broadway in decades. But Hamilton’s story has lessons for all of us. And for you, Biz Kid, we’ve uncovered a few that may be more relatable than you ever dreamed:
1. He was an entrepreneur.
Ever heard of the New York Post? Well, would you believe that Alexander Hamilton was its founder? It’s true. And it’s a brand that lives on today.
2. He’s responsible for the economy as we know it.
Hamilton was the first-ever Secretary of the Treasury. It was Hamilton who first established our national bank, our mint system, and who negotiated our first set of tariffs on trade. His legacy—and his recent popularity—are so important to the US economy that a recent movement to replace him on the ten-dollar bill was scrapped. Instead, Andrew Jackson will be replaced with Harriet Tubman on the $20. (Want to know more about how the economy works? Check out our episode, “The Global Economy.”)
3. He faced adversity.
The young Alexander didn’t grow up without hardship. In fact, he was orphaned as a child, having been born out of wedlock. But he didn’t let his childhood prevent him from becoming one of the most influential figures in American history.
4. He believed he had a single purpose in life.
Hamilton, as with many of the other founding fathers, felt that he had one major responsibility in life: to rid his country of rule by the king. And this one purpose drove his undying determination and resulted in a lifetime of accomplishments. (In a previous blog, we discussed the idea of the “hedgehog principal,” a term coined by bestselling Author Jim Collins to describe the practice of mastering one expertise, then using it to change the world.)
5. He was a Biz Kid!
On July 4, 1776, how old would you guess that Hamilton was? 50? 60? 70? Guess again. 21! When the Declaration of Independence was signed, Hamilton was no older than many of the young entrepreneurs launching their own dorm-based businesses today. A democracy—now how’s that for a startup?