Tag Archive for 'hard work'

Olympic and small business heroes

Every four years, you can watch special people participate in a noble cause – the Olympics.

These heroes commit countless hours over many years to achieve a level of excellence that might somehow qualify them to represent their country in the Olympic Games.

Notice no mention of winning, medals or glory. Most Olympians find neither. And yet they train and compete.

Watching an event, we’re at once self-conscious and grateful as the camera’s lens permits us to invade that private moment just prior to competition. Self-conscious because of the intrusion, but grateful to share the moment and benefit vicariously from the Herculean effort and sacrifice.

The TV camera moves in closer. We can actually see the color of their eyes — even imagine their thoughts.

The swimmer: “Twelve years of training and it all comes down to the next few seconds – must remember the fundamentals.”

The runner: “Today I will perform my personal best.”

Then the long lens captures the mouth. There’s a lick to fight the cottonmouth that only those who risk failure have tasted. The lips move ever so slightly, as if to offer a short prayer or claim an affirmation.

Every day, you can watch another group of special people participate in a noble cause – small business.

Small business owners are a lot like Olympic athletes. They commit countless hours over many years, pushing mind and body to achieve a level of excellence that might somehow allow them to merely … make a living.

Notice no mention of winning, medals or glory. Most small business owners find neither. And yet they show up, year after year, to work, compete, and contribute.

Like an Olympic race, sometimes the future of a small business’ success rides on how well the owner performs over a very short period of time. If the camera could take you in close, you might see an owner thinking: “All these years of work and risk could come down to how well I deliver this proposal inthe next few minutes - must remember the fundamentals.”

The long lens would also capture the lick to lessen the cottonmouth that only those who risk failure have tasted. Then the lips move ever so slightly, as if to offer a prayer or claim an affirmation.

Olympians and small business owners are dedicated to what they love. Both work hard, in search of excellence, take great risks against all odds, and usually at their own expense.

I’ll gladly spend my admiration on that kind of spirit.

Because of Olympians and small business owners, the world is a better place.

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Today on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked more about my heroes, Olympic athletes and small business owners. Click here to download or listen.

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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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Check out more great SBA content HERE!

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