Moxie originated around 1876 as a patent medicine called ‘Moxie Nerve Food’ by Dr. Augustin Thompson of Union, Maine. A few years later, soda water was added and the name was changed to ‘Beverage Moxie Nerve Food’. It was originally marketed as a delicious blend of bitter and sweet, a drink to satisfy everyone’s taste. It was promoted as an energy drink, much like Red Bull was a hundred years later.
Through extensive advertising for this soda product in the early 1900s, the newly coined term moxie became part of the American lexicon with the meaning courage, daring, and energy as in “the guy’s got moxie!” The advertising’s implication was that you will have more nerve and courage if you drink the product. Today, the term moxie also means: skill, knowhow, pep, vigor, and determination.
Moxie the drink declined in popularity in the 1930s when the company cut back its advertising campaign … while Coca-Cola was increasing theirs. Today, Moxie is still sold but is considered mostly a regional brand of New England and Pennsylvania. A Moxie Museum exists in Union, Maine, to this day.
While the term moxie isn’t as popular in American business usage as its cousins determination, courage, or initiative, I believe moxie perfectly describes the way a person with Gumption gets things done.
So, what do I mean by getting things done?
I’m referring to the production one has in their job or business. Producing could be a physical product, a service, or some type of intellectual exchange.
- Maybe getting things done is manufacturing a physical object like a car, kitchen countertop, or a computer screen … but done in the tradition of an old-time craftsman.
- Maybe getting things done is creating a new website, writing a blog or magazine article … while being done in the tradition of a modern-day artist.
- Or, maybe getting things done is giving a lecture at a university, consulting with a business owner, or teaching a child how to tie a shoelace … all done in the traditions of a committed educator, business coach, or loving parent.
Getting things done is as simple as creating, making, or producing something of value for others … no matter if the compensation is monetary or simple self-satisfaction.
The moxie spirit drives a person with Gumption to get things done!
People with Gumption get things done with moxie determination!
Moxie courage gets things done now!
Have you got moxie?
Does the world need more people with moxie?
Is moxie ripe for a comeback?
Next Blog Title: Gumption and Mindset
Next Blog Date: July 18, 2011