Tag Archive for 'financial success'

Small business’s “green jacket” of success

Recently, pro golfer Bubba (Gerry, Jr.) Watson, won his first major tournament – the 2012 Masters Championship at Augusta National in Georgia – only a few days after he and his wife adopted their first child.

During the presentation of the legendary Masters “green jacket” after the tournament, CBS sports host Jim Nantz, asked Bubba about the heady combination of becoming a new dad and winning the Masters. Answering with the refreshingly unscripted authenticity that is pure Bubba, he said, “I never got this far in my dreams.”

Bubba’s honesty about the giant leap from his dreams to his new reality made me think about small business owners starting and growing their “baby.”

Every small business begins as a dream. The dream of controlling our own destiny, being our own boss, finding financial success, and of course, doing what we love – construction, web development, tires, landscaping, mobile apps, cooking, insurance, shoe strings, (your baby here).

A golfer’s dream of qualifying for the PGA tour must be accompanied by years of diligent preparation and arduous practice, perhaps to merely survive in this elite arena, let alone become a star. Being a pro golfer is difficult and comes with no guarantees.

Like a PGA pro, as a small business owner’s dream comes to pass the imagined quickly gives way to survival realities: being undercapitalized, cash flow challenges, our new bosses – employees (didn’t see that coming, did you?), and serving the people essential to fulfilling the dream of every business owner, those pesky customers.

And the reality of starting and growing a small business is a lot like becoming a parent: Bringing a baby or a business into the world is much easier than raising either one successfully. Before you know it, a growing business becomes like a teenager in two ways:

  1. It always has its hand out for money; and
  2. You will always love it, but you won’t always like it.

Then one day, almost unexpectedly, as critical mass is achieved from hard work and dedication to your dream, you’ll find yourself achieving the legendary small business green jacket – financial success and self-determination. Conceived by a dream, made from the fabric of excellence by diligent hands, custom tailored to fit your professional and personal countenance, and acquired against all odds.

Being a pro small business owner is hard, and it comes with no guarantees.

How far have you gotten in your dreams?


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Defining success in more ways than one

There are times when being one with your small business is not only a good thing, it’s essential. But extreme commitment weaves a fine seam between business and owner. And, unfortunately, entrepreneurial single-mindedness often results in the opposite of what is intended:  a business in jeopardy, run by unhappy humans.

The best way to be a successful AND happy small business owner is to define success in many ways, including having a life that’s balanced with richness outside of the business.

A small business is more like a patchwork quilt than a security blanket.  Some patches represent good things and some not so good. Some patches are about the business, others are about the owner, and some are hard to tell. Small business happiness is found by those owners who feel successful regardless of which patch is in front of them.

Having multiple touchstones of success, not just money and stuff, helps keep the rough patches in business and life in proper perspective. If you became a small business owner to find financial success, good for you; as a capitalist, I admire that motivation.

But if you think just being rich will make you happy, get your umbrella out because I’m going to have to rain on that parade with these two truths:

1.  Wealth only provides options, not a guarantee of happiness.

2.  If you can’t be happy without wealth, you aren’t likely to be happy with it.

Small business success can actually be found in being able to attend a child’s school activity in the middle of the day, as well as in getting a new contract.  And you should be as proud of being able to give back to any worthy cause as you are of the reason you can give back: your business’s financial strength.

Now let’s talk about fun.

Reasonable people disagree on where we will spend eternity, but most agree that this is our only trip through this life. And every moment that goes by without some kind of joy is a precious opportunity lost.

You’re no doubt planning for success this year, but have you made any plans to have fun?  Not your trip to Disney World.  Are you having fun on any given day as you run and grow your business?

If you desire maximum small business success, learn how to run a tight ship while encouraging your people to laugh and find joy in their work.

And one more thing: Be sure to laugh at yourself — in front of others.  Those are usually the best laughs of the day.

Write this on a rock… Define success in more ways than just money and stuff. And don’t forget to have fun.

On Monday, I talked with JoAnna Brandi, The Customer Care Coach, about what it takes to be happy and keep the good and bad stuff in perspective. Take a few minutes to listen and tell us how you keep your life in balance.

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