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June 29, 2023

American Dream Defined by Comfort, Happiness and Freedom, Say Small Business Owners in GoDaddy Study

TEMPE, Ariz., June 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- New survey results from GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY), the company that helps entrepreneurs thrive, show that almost three-quarters (74%) of U.S. small business owners say their perception of the American Dream has changed. Small business owners today define their achievement of the American Dream as living a comfortable lifestyle (56%), feeling happy with their life (54%) and having the freedom to pursue their passions and interests (49%).

In your opinion, which of the following

indicate that you have achieved the

American dream? 


Living a comfortable lifestyle

56.4 %

Feeling happy with your life

54 %

Freedom to pursue your own passions

and interests

49.2 %

Owning your own home

45.2 %

Being your own boss

38.7 %

Having money/assets to leave to your


33.7 %

Being able to pay off your debt obligations

27.2 %

Having equal rights and access to


26.1 %

Owning a car

18.1 %

Earning enough to move into a higher

income bracket

17.5 %

Getting a better education than previous

generations in your family

14.9 %

Sending your children to college

14.3 %

Feeling like you belong in the USA

14.3 %

Becoming or being an American citizen

9.1 %

Improve your social status

8.8 %

Going to college 

8.6 %

74% of U.S. small business owners say their perception of the American Dream has changed.

However, 39% of small business owners do believe that being their own boss represents an achievement of the American Dream. This link is more pronounced among male (43%) than female (36%) small business owners. It is also particularly resonant for business owners who identify as Black (46%) and of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin (43%). Despite this, just 6% of people cited that as a 'top three' reason that they started their own business, with reporting women slightly higher than men (7% vs 5.5%).

While the majority of American small business owners believe that being a successful entrepreneur is a key way to create new generational wealth (78%), many have modest business aspirations, wanting to either stay a 'solo entrepreneur' (28%) or maintain being a small business with some employees and maybe a physical location (35%). Only 12% aspire to one day become a corporate business with a large employee base and headquarters. While revenue growth (63%) is unsurprisingly a top indicator of small business success, according to the survey respondents, other indicators point to the importance of emotional contentment rather than material accomplishments. For example, achieving happiness (60%) and a healthy work-life balance (60%) rounded out the top three indicators of success.

Just under two-thirds (62%) of American small business owners are confident they will achieve what they perceive as the American Dream, with male business owners showing more confidence than female (71% vs. 55%) and Millennials reporting themselves as the most confident generation (66%).

Small business owners do, however, face daunting economic concerns. For instance, 80% of small business owners agree that inflation is currently impeding entrepreneurs trying to achieve the American Dream. When reflecting on their biggest financial challenges:

  • 42% rated some level of difficulty in access to financial capital when starting their business
  • 23% pointed to rising costs of wages and materials
  • 23% cited lack of personal wealth, which is notable when 55% used personal savings to start

Other top barriers to the American Dream for small business owners include:

  • Lack of access to technology (33%)
  • Lack of access to free/affordable healthcare (32%)
  • Lack of education (28%)
  • Discrimination (28%)
  • Inadequate language/communication skills (24%)

"This survey data shows that American small business owners are thinking beyond revenue and sales growth when they consider what the American Dream means to them – today it's more about feeling a sense of belonging, freedom, happiness, and work-life balance," said GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Fara Howard. "Whatever their interpretation is of the American Dream, GoDaddy is committed to helping these entrepreneurs achieve success on their terms."

To learn more about GoDaddy's American Dream survey, visit

To learn more about GoDaddy products, visit

About GoDaddy
GoDaddy helps millions of entrepreneurs globally start, grow, and scale their businesses. People come to GoDaddy to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers, sell their products and services, and accept payments online and in-person. GoDaddy's easy-to-use tools help microbusiness owners manage everything in one place and its expert guides are available to provide assistance 24/7. To learn more about the company, visit

Source: GoDaddy Inc.


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SOURCE GoDaddy Inc.

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