Tag Archive for 'love'

A few more reasons to love small businesses

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are the Top 10 Reasons to Love Small Business, as proposed by our friends over at the Office of Advocacy of the SBA.
10. Small businesses make up more than 99.7 percent of all employers
9. Small businesses create more than 50 percent of the non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP)

8. Small patenting firms produce 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms

7. The 28.2 million small business in the United States are located in virtually every neighborhood
6. Small businesses employ almost 50 percent of all private sector workers

5. Home-based businesses account for 52 percent of all small businesses

4. Small businesses make up 98 percent of exporters and produce 33 percent of all export value

3. Small businesses with employees start up at a rate of over 500,000 per year

2. Four years after start-up, half of all small businesses with employees remain open

1. The latest figures show that small businesses create 63 percent of the net new jobs in our economy

**Photo via Flickr by https://www.flickr.com/photos/sis/98171915/


Find work you love and enjoy

Whether work is a blessing or a curse depends on what you are working on and your attitude about it. James Matthew Barrie, the Scottish novelist said, “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.”

Many hard working entrepreneurs were once unproductive employees, but now, with their wagon hitched to their own star, work is the stuff of their dreams. Many productive employees understand the blessings of employment and become the most valuable of resources: the entrepreneurial employee who loves his or her work.
Work feeds our stomachs with food and our spirit with accomplishment. Work creates, produces, energizes, and fulfills all things humans need for survival and happiness.
If work is not a blessing for you — whether owner or employee — the problem is not work itself, but the work you are doing. The Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Work is love made visible.”
Life is short.  Keep searching until you find work you can love.  I did.

I Loved Mike Menzies

Mike Menzies was an original, founding member of Jim’s Brain Trust, going back more than 16 years to 1998. This is Jim’s tribute to his good friend.

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There’s a disturbance in the Force.  Mike Menzies is dead.

There’s an empty locker at Team Menzies. Their champion, devoted husband of Midge, proud father of Mike Jr. and Cal, has left the stadium for the last time.

There’s a boat on his beloved Eastern Shore, motor still, lines secure. Captain Mike won’t be takin’ ‘er out anymore.

There’s a quiet office at Easton Bank and Trust. Those honored to have been led by Mike for so long will now be sustained by memories of how he conducted himself with grace and professionalism.

There’s a hole on Main Street in Easton, Maryland. Without Banker Mike, to whom will small business owners now turn?

There’s an enormous void in the marketplace of ideas just now. When Mike spoke, people listened. At a time when we can ill afford it, one of the most compelling, knowledgeable and fiercest voices for free markets has been silenced.

There’s a new fault in the banking landscape today. As the industry trends toward giant banks, independent community banks have lost a giant.

Emotions are raw, the sadness overwhelming. Women are lucky—they weep. Men well up, but tears are scarce because we begin with anger. Then tightened jaws become unspoken feelings stipulated with a nod to each other. And finally Mike stories shared out loud with laughter. Mike would be angry if we didn’t laugh.

And stories and laughter there must be in the world Mike Menzies has left behind. How else can we honor the way he blessed our lives in his much too short life? What better way to celebrate Mike’s abundant life?

As singer-songwriter Warren Zevon was losing his own battle with cancer, he was asked what he had learned about life. Zevon said, “Enjoy every sandwich.” Mike Menzies enjoyed every sandwich. And if you ever had the fortune to be in his company, he made sure you did too.

There’s a disturbance in the Force today: Mike is dead and our lives will never be the same.

Mike Menzies made a difference. He was an enormously important and benevolent force who made the world a better place.

And I loved him for that.

A father’s tough love is the harder job

As the father of an adult daughter and son, plus the grandfather of four knucklehead boys, I’ve learned some things about love.

All the hours logged as Dad and Poppy have often caused me to contemplate how different are the roles of mother and father, especially in the overt demonstration of parental love. It’s fascinating how the manifestation of this love differs between mother and father - biologically, emotionally and experientially.

A mother’s love, at once sweet and fierce, is observed in almost all animals, not just humans. No doubt you’ve heard this metaphor: “… as sweet as a mother’s love,” and this warning: “Don’t get between a momma bear and her cub.”

I have been the recipient of this kind of love and have witnessed it, and there truly is no other force in nature like it. But it has troubled me that there are no corresponding references for a father’s love. Could this be why Father’s Day is not quite as big a deal as Mother’s Day? I’m just saying …

A human father’s love is more often associated with words that are unfortunate, like “tough” and “discipline.” As a teenager, my own father sometimes apologized to me when he thought his demonstration of love might seem “hard-boiled.”

Mothers occupy the pinnacle of parental love - with justification. And not to take anything away from them, but a mother’s sweet love is as primal as the miracle of life; they don’t have to work too hard to deliver it. But there’s a uniqueness about a father’s love that deserves a better rap. Here are two reasons:

  • Unlike a mother’s sweet love, a father’s tough love, as we know it, does not exist outside of humans.
  • When a father’s parental toughness is required, especially when applied to an indignant recipient (read: teenager), it requires a love that has found the courage to endure a negative response and a willingness to defer gratification - sometimes for years.

No one is more keenly aware of the distinction between these two demonstrations of love than a single parent, where both kinds are required of the same person, perhaps within minutes.

So, mothers, forgive any paternal bias you may detect, but here is my conclusion about parental love: The only force in the universe that comes close to a mother’s sweet love is a father’s tough love. But the latter is the harder job, and the return-on-investment almost always takes longer.

I talked more about fatherhood recently on The Small Business Advocate Show. Take a few minutes to click on the link below, listen, and leave your thoughts on the toughest job you’ll ever love.

A father’s love is like no other with Jim Blasingame




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