Paris, France is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but I could never have been made here.

This is both sad for me, and instructive for France.

While preparing to speak in Paris, France this week, it dawned on me that the same guy featured at the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD Forum), before an assembly of distinguished international leaders, could not have actually been produced here.

Now, hear me clearly; I absolutely love the culture, the architectural brilliance, the art, and the undeniable history of France. Many fond memories of mine can be traced right back to this great city. Like when I was asked to be the goodwill ambassador to the United States for UNCTAD (Geneva, Switzerland) in 1989. In this role my first official meeting, and my first real international speech was in Lyon, France. 

Exposure to the French culture helped to make me a better leader, and French culture has helped to make this a better world. There is no doubt about it, the world is a better place because France has played a critical role in it. Still does.

But this is a truly crazy place to try to be an entrepreneur or a risk taker. 

And the really odd thing is, the word entrepreneur is actually a French word; its origins dating back to 1723. 

So the very place that spawned the phrase entrepreneur to begin with, is today one of the toughest places in the world to try to be one. 

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John Hope Bryant is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and is the only 2010-2012 bestselling business author in America who is also African-American. His newest book, due out May, 2014, is HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM, and will be published byBerrett Koehler Publishing. Bryant is a Member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans,and co-chair for Project 5117, which is a plan for the rebirth of underserved America.

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