Thank God for Entrepreneurs
“The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.” – Jim Rohn
As much as I enjoy being an entrepreneur myself, I feel so very fortunate and privileged to spend a significant amount of my time working with other business owners. The best part always is hearing about the entrepreneurial journey ... the start-up, the progress to date and future plans.
Each story is unique, of course, but some of the common themes include enthusiasm, optimism, persistence and a clear vision of the future.
Those things – especially optimism – are in stark contrast to the 24/7 drumbeat of doom and gloom provided by the broadcast media.
Yes, things have definitely been tough these last few years. But even in the darkest of times newscasters seemed to go out of their way to avoid talking about anything positive.
You want the real news? Talk with a small business owner.
Here’s what you’ll hear: Business is going on.
Many small businesses have done very well during this recession. I’ve heard firsthand about record revenues and profits, acquisitions, hiring, and new offices opened.
Recently I had the good fortune to spend a couple of hours with a local entrepreneur, enjoying cold beers and talking business. His business was up last year and he’s expecting another ten percent growth this year.
He told me all sorts of things about his operation. How he started. His employees’ bonus payouts from last year. His social relationships with his most important customers. How he gets more business by staying on friendly terms with his competitors. At every turn, his eyes lit up as if he was talking about his children. There was no missing – or denying – the genuine enthusiasm this guy has for being a small business owner.
Two things he said that I found especially noteworthy:
“It’s not all about the money.” And, “It’s fun.”
I believe him on both counts. If you spent time with him, you would too.
Like him, many entrepreneurs make it a game – to see how successful they can be despite the economy, the challenges, the naysayers, the mainstream news, their negative relatives, politicians and the “woe is me” crowd.
Most entrepreneurs are family-oriented, common-sense, hard-working people. They’re the kind of people who built this country and are the kind of people who will get our country back on the right track.
"Success to me is not about money or status or fame, it’s about finding a livelihood that brings me joy and self-sufficiency and a sense of contributing to the world."
- Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
"The cover-your-butt mentality of the workplace will get you only so far. The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business--but it's a whole lot more fun, don't you think?" - Bill Rancic, winner on Donald Trump's "The Apprentice"
It’s not all about the money. And it is fun.
Thank God for entrepreneurs.
Bill Collier is the author of “How to Succeed as a Small Business Owner … and Still Have a Life” and is the St. Louis area coach for The Great Game of Business. He helps businesses improve their financial results by teaching employees to think and act like owners. He can be reached at 314-221-8558 or firstname.lastname@example.org.