Well, hello there!
Welcome back to Focus on your small business.
So, how was your week? Have you been putting your small business out there?
I wanted to share a quick story of my experiences in thinking about a small business. I’ve told you that I’ve had some sort of personal business since I was a kid. My family had a horse breeding business when I was a kid and through… young adulthood. My folks also started another small business. It was a publication called the Smart Homefinders Guide and it was for FSBOs, For Sale By Owners.
Now, this was before the internet was a thing. My dad had worked for many years as VP of sales and operations for a business in Milwaukee. But the business folded due to mismanagement of funds by the guy in charge. I can’t remember the details, but I know the guy was brought up on charges of embezzlement. Several of the officers, including my dad stayed on and tried to save the company, including buying a lot of stock. However… it finally was laid to rest.
Now, we had been living a lifestyle based on a particular income. We had been breeding Arabians for some years, and when my dad was no longer bringing in that income, finances were a bit tight.
So, the magazine was born and I was hired. Again, I don’t really remember whatI did. I don’t remember a great deal of that business except that it eventually folded.
Now, you might be thinking that I must have learned that being a small business owner was sketchy and you could lose everything.
And yes, a small business, any business, is a responsibility, an investment, a gamble… stressful, scary…
You could put everything into it and not have anything to show for it.
But it is also true that all that could happen working a regular 9-5.
That’s what I learned when my dad finally gave up saving the company he worked for. After investing all we had back into it.
So, I learned early on that I needed to take control of my destiny. Always have something of my own that I can do on my own.
Even working the dozens and dozens of jobs through the years, I was always doing something else on my own.
The old phrase of never put all your eggs in one basket was one I took to heart.
My most recent employment, as a VA for the realtor, had several small lessons for me. I did tell you that I was gonna share them as they came up.
Well, one of those lessons came as a little aha moment for me.
When I first offered my services, my new client and I discussed what outcome we would need to qualify as a success. I was given a $ figure that covered her current income, her expected income growth without me, the cost of having me … and then the added benefit of that.
A few months into our relationship, she brought on another assistant. This one was physically in the office with her. More on THAT later, but right now I just want to add that my role was not as solid as it had been.
Again, more on that later, but the part that pertains to this discussion is that a month or so after the new assistant was brought on, I was in the office with her and she expressed that she should be making more than she is. She compared her income to another realtor in the office and said she should be making 3 times as much as she was to be paying the two of us.
And she said something else that I never heard because I was having my aha moment.
It occurred to me there that I was never going to make more than her. And I felt I had far more value than that.
In this relationship, which was quickly swallowing up the rest of my life and leaving me no time to do anything else… I was always going to be the level I was right there.
And that level was not enough for me.
I have known so many people through the years… people who worked at various places with me. And some were quite happy and satisfied to continue the path they were on.
Clock in, have lunch, do their job, have some small talk with their co-workers… just keep chugging along. The basic retirement was sometimes taken out and sometimes they seemed to be counting on social security, which by the way, was never intended to be a complete retirement but only supplemental so if somebody found themselves in the position like my dad where the savings was lost… they had something. A bare minimum.
But back to the story.
They were quite satisfied to clock out at the end of the day, drive home, have dinner with the family, talk a little to the spouse, but mostly relax on the couch in front of the TV.
For the next 25 or 30 years. They exist.
But I’m not one of them.
And I doubt you are either or you wouldn’t be here.
I have all sorts of respect for those people who are just fine swimming along.
We need them. We need them to make our society work. To clock in and out, to wait tables, to greet people at the door, to stock shelves.
But this society also needs us. The creative people. The people who don’t want to just keep swimming, but sometimes want to run or climb or fly.
As Marie Forleo says quite often, the world needs that special gift that only we have.
Can you imagine the world if it was just drones? Everybody wearing grey jumpsuits and walking slowly…
We are the colors of the world. We are needed.
We are needed to do our thing. Whatever our thing is.
I want to encourage you to give some thought to what your special gift is. What is it that you want to create or offer?
Spend a little time imagining what your life will be like.
If you want to share, I’d love to hear it. You can email me or leave me a voicemail through the button my site. I’d love to share your idea on this podcast if you want.
Keep in mind I offer a free newsletter and daily affirmations email. Super easy to sign up for either one or both.
Until next week. Make it a good one. It’s all up to you.. with a little bit of me.