Small business survival through humility and discipline

Surveying the economic landscape in front of us and trying to imagine what the near-term future will hold, I recognize that, while hard work and stick-to-it-iveness will be critical to small business success this year, we should also assume an attitude that we can default to, especially in the most difficult hours. I use the unit of hours because, while the leaders of larger organizations may wonder if they will survive the year, sometimes small business owners wonder if they will survive to the next hour.

As I worked on a useful attitude, I allowed that for any idea to establish itself it must be presented in a way that helps the memory, so it should be short and sticky. That’s when I came up with the Small Business Attitude for 2009, which is:

“In 2009, I’m going to win by surviving.”

You may have heard me say this before on my small business radio program or when I’ve published the “Attitude” in previous blog posts. The reason I’m revisiting it here is because of a conversation I had with Cliff Ennico, Brain Trust member and author of “The ebay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book.”

Recently, Cliff joined me on The Small Business Advocate Show to talk about the state of mind of small business owners in 2009. One of the things I like about Cliff is that he’s a cut-to-the-chase kind of guy, and during our interview he did just that by offering a very short and sticky thought. He said that small business owners should post two words on their computer monitor: discipline and humility. What an important insight for these times!

Discipline will help you make the tough decisions you must make this year. And humility will help you make those decisions with the appropriate speed - because you’ve told your ego to take a seat - and with the appropriate humanity - as your decisions impact others, like employees.

So, here’s your new assignment: Tape my 2009 Small Business Attitude, “I’m going to win by surviving” to your morning mirror; and tape Cliff Enico’s 2009 words of wisdom, “humility” and “discipline” on your computer monitor.

But first, take a few minutes to listen to my interview with Cliff Enico. I think you’ll find it time well-spent. And, of course, don’t forget to leave a comment.

2 Responses to “Small business survival through humility and discipline”

  1. 2
    Yvonne Gopher Says:

    Humility and discipline are two character attributes that I feel is needed in abundance by the entrepreneurial type person. When you’re running a company, you quite often overlook the fact that although you’re the boss, you are actually everybody’s servant, from the casual laborers relying on your work to feed their families, through to the difficult to please customer.

    A sense of humor is another part of the equation that needs to be mentioned though, as there will be times when things are hard and you have to learn to accept this and be in good cheer, regardless. This is the time when you need to be double nice to your customers, and not let your gloom affect their perception of you and your company.

    So keep smiling folks!



  2. 1
    kevin leversee Says:

    Humility is key. I thank you very much for this blog.

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