In 1980 I started out at age 13 as an entrepreneur, electrified by a brief, chance conversation with Steve Jobs on the campus of Stanford University. I created software to teach people how molecular fusion was a more sustainable energy source for America's future than oil. That sparked a career in which I now run five businesses in tech investing, digital marketing and reputation management.
For me, tech entrepreneurship is exciting and a path to financial independence. But for others, it's owning an options brokerage, an online toy store or a Mexican food franchise.
Economists say America's entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. We shape the economy, but the economy can also shape us. A dramatic event — like the financial collapse of 2008 — can be a financial nuke detonated on our lives.