Tag Archive for 'inspiration'

Believe in yourself first, success will follow

Photo by Melody Campbell via Flickr.com

Photo by Melody Campbell via Flickr.com

As we continue the holiday season and move into the New Year, I encourage you to contemplate your capacity to have faith, and how faith manifests in your life.  Not just religious faith, which is important to many of us, but faith in yourself and faith in others.

August Wilhelm Von Schlegel said, “In actual life, every great enterprise begins with and takes its first forward step in faith.”  How many things have you accomplished in your life where, regardless of your research and experience, the first forward step was taken in faith?

Awareness of faith can be very exciting. William Newton Clark wrote, “Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see.”

Exercising faith can be very powerful. Sherwood Eddy once observed, “Faith is reason grown courageous.”

Faith can transcend mere facts, and can actually be a lever for reason. Blaise Pascal believed that, “Faith is a sounder guide than reason.  Reason can go only so far, but faith has no limits.”

Have faith and take that first step. Have faith and dare to go farther.  Have faith and be courageous.  Have faith and leverage reason.

Have faith in yourself, and when you do, anything is possible.  Because, after all, you’re a small business owner.

Inspiring words for the coming year

As you know, I often weave my thoughts in this space around a statement someone else has made, or idea they have proposed.  Occasionally, like today, I find something where I have nothing to add, and just want to pass it along.  Below is such a piece.

Photo via Wikipedia Commons


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway.

What you spend years building, someone may try to destroy overnight. Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Do it anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them, anyway.


What are you thankful for?

Americans punctuate each year with the Thanksgiving holiday as a way of perpetuating a 390-year-old tradition begun by a rag-tag group of our forebears. That first time, in 1621, thanksgiving day wasn’t the proper noun it became. It was just a day set aside by a few dozen humans who risked everything, actually lost most of it, were hard-by to any number of dangers that could cost them the rest, but still felt compelled to be thankful for what they had.

Photo credit to HBC Realty Group

Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means you have enough to eat.

Be thankful for the mess you clean up after a party, because it means you have been surrounded by friends.

Be thankful for the taxes you pay, because it means you’re employed.

Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing, because it means you have a home.

Be thankful for your heating bill, because it means you are warm.

Be thankful for the laundry, because it means you have clothes to wear.

Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means you can walk.

Be thankful for the lady who sings off key behind you in church, because it means you can hear.

Be thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning, because it means you are alive.

And finally, here is mine: I’m thankful for small business owners - the most courageous and most important modern-day pilgrims I know.

Flex your spirit to your business’s advantage

Do you know what a jet fighter is? If you said airplane, you’re only half right. In the strict nomenclature, a jet fighter is actually a weapons platform. Its job is to deliver ordinance to a target, not to fly the pilot around.
In that sense, the human body–this vessel of protoplasm we drive around — is not really what a human is. It’s actually a delivery platform for the will of our spirit; the true life force that is who we really are.
One of the things I have observed about humans is that we often don’t understand, and therefore tend to under-employ, the power of our spirit. We seem so obsessed with the body that we don’t spend enough time contemplating the presence and power of the spirit.

Someone once told me how little of our brain’s power we actually use. I don’t remember the percentage, but I do remember it was astonishingly low. I wonder if there is a connection between under-usage of the brain and limited awareness of the spirit.

Author and philosopher, Colin Wilson, wrote, “We possess such immense resources of power that pessimism is a laughable absurdity.” The power he’s talking about is that of the spirit.

Pessimism can’t be overcome by our bodies. Dealing with frustration and overcoming disappointment are both tasks performed way above the pay grade of protoplasm. If you are a small business owner you either already understand this, or are acquiring that understanding a little more every day.

I’ve been a small business owner for a long time and have observed others far longer. I can’t imagine how any of us could do what we do without a strong spirit. The challenge is to become more aware of our spirit and flex it, like a muscle, to our advantage.

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio and the Internet.

Until Next Time: “Just get out of our way!”

Over the past several years, a lot of people have had their hands out for help from the government; from GM, Chrysler, and AIG, to all of the big banks. Then there are the unions that rely on government defense for their very existence. Big corporations make billions of profits doing business with the government. And the number of Americans accepting financial welfare-type support from the government is at an all-time high.

But there is another group of folks out there that is about half the number of welfare recipients, who produce over half of the U.S. economy, and signs over 70 million paychecks every week: small business owners. So last week, during National Small Business Week, we asked this group in our online poll this question, “Do you think the government supports small business?”

A whopping 2% said, “The government is very supportive of small business.” And less than one-in-ten said, “The government should do more to help small business.” But those small business owners who believe the government should just “Get out of our way” came in at 89%.

What if every sector of America-and I’m not talking about the truly poor who really need our help-felt the same way small business owners do? I would like to see what that looks like, wouldn’t you?

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio and the Internet.

Attitude is everything

In the world of small business, attitude is everything. Yes, I know, profit is essential and cash is king. I’ve been guilty of spouting all of those types of platitudes, however true, myself. But more than anything you can buy, sell, count, hold, or distribute, assuming what I call The Small Business Success Attitude is essential to entrepreneurial success. Here is The Small Business Success Attitude:

I accept that my small business will face challenges every day. As I begin my day, I will assume the attitude that, regardless of the number of challenges or the degree of difficulty, if my business is to survive, I must face each one. Therefore, I know that the only thing in question today is how well I will respond to challenges, and the future of my business may depend on the answer to that question.

The I Ching (pronounced yee jing) is an ancient book of wisdom, the origin of which predates the written word. In English, I Ching means “Book Of Change.” I was inspired to write The Small Business Success Attitude from this passage in the I Ching: The event is not important, but the response to the event is everything.

The author of the I Ching was certainly an entrepreneur in the marketplace of ideas. Perhaps from as far back as 10,000 years ago he was proposing that it’s not what happens to you in life that you should worry about, because there will always be something happening. When events happen, change will also happen, and armed with the I Ching attitude–or The Small Business Success Attitude–you have an opportunity to influence change.

Small business owners often feel that they don’t have very much power. In the passage above, I believe the I Ching is telling us how to gain power and control in our lives. In The Small Business Success Attitude, I am absolutely telling you how to gain power and control in your business.

Accept the inevitable and ubiquitous challenges you will face in your small business, and get excited about the power you have to affect change simply by knowing that your response to the event is everything.

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