I found this article that I wrote many years ago, when I had a slightly different role within Vivid Image. However, as I read through it again, I thought “WOW”, I really did capture the essence of owning a business. More importantly, it helps explain how I view my role in sharing the responsibility of owning a business. I was recently asked how to clone my enthusiasm and passion for what I do, and the last line really sums it up: “That’s why I do what I do. That’s why it’s my life passion to help others. That’s why I continue to be a business owner. I find extreme fulfillment in the human side of business.” While I can’t speak for Steve, I think he’d be nodding enthusiastically in agreement. Do you recognize yourself in part of this?
The Truth About Owning a Small Business
If there’s one thing I know about small business, there is an underlying current that connects all small business owners that makes us all comrades of sorts. We live in a world where we read articles about what more we can do to improve ourselves, grow our business, and boost employee morale. We work hard to network, project a positive image, and making ourselves indispensable. Our business world doesn’t grant much time for “well, that sucks”.
Amid the good days, laughs at work, and increased profits, small business owners experience spontaneous compliments and negativity from a variety of sources. How do business owners keep turning a profit, implementing new ideas, and encouraging great employees when the next phone call or knock at the door could be someone with news or comments that could be uplifting or aimed for the gut?
The answer is, it’s hard. Business owners across the board struggle with this. Most do it silently. They know they are in business because of a choice they made. It is what they love. It is their passion. It is their life’s work. They made the decision to go into business for themselves, so none of this should come to much of a surprise, right?
Complaints, financial decisions, dismal sales, product flops, and more happen behind closed doors to keep negativity in check, and rightly so. However, this very necessity also hides the hard work, extreme overtime, stress, sacrifice, and labored decisions that go into each and every small business.
We all need a company culture that exudes enthusiasm, positivity, and determination! We need customers seeing other happy customers! So what can we do to help small business owners, while maintaining business as usual?
It’s my responsibility to enjoy what I do and be of service to others.
I have opportunities everyday and so do you. I look at everything as MY responsibility. It’s my responsibility to enjoy what I do and be of service to others. I’m always thinking, what could I do to help this person or their business do better? I know it’s in my best interest to be positive and encouraging, to find passion in the little things, and ALWAYS think in terms of respect and compassion for others. If I’m meeting with another small business owner, I assume he or she’s has just spent the last two hours fielding complaints and defending their decisions. That is my starting point. You can imagine what it will take to pick someone up from a low spot. If they’ve had a tremendous day thus far, then I just add to it.
That’s why I do what I do. That’s why it’s my life passion to help others. That’s why I continue to be a business owner. I find extreme fulfillment in the human side of business. Plus I’ve been able to work alongside my husband for almost 20 years!