It’s Time to Heal the Backbone of Our Economy

hug-a-small-businessSmall businesses are the backbone of America – they are everything we stand for, and are vital to our country’s success and economic growth. This is because small businesses have the potential to create new jobs and put money back into communities – they show much more creativity than larger corporations, and they are constantly introducing new ideas into the marketplace. Without entrepreneurs, our economy would be suffering much more than it already is.  In fact, it may be that our economy is in the state it’s in today because of the closing of numerous small businesses – and the takeover of larger corporations such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Kroger – that our economy is in the state it’s in today.

Many people believe that these larger corporations are better for the economy because, well, they are larger. But the fact remains that small businesses are responsible for creating more than three-fourths of the country’s new jobs, and pay out more than 44% of the country’s private payroll. Think about it; places like Walmart combine hardware stores, craft stores, toy stores, grocery stores, auto-shops, clothing stores, shoe stores, appliance stores and much more – into one place. While they may employ a large number of people, one superstore opening alone triggers the closing of at least eight privately owned businesses, and puts more than 200 privately employed individuals and countless entrepreneurs out on the curb. People can argue the benefits of superstores all they want – “They’re so convenient, with everything in one place!” – but they can’t deny that small businesses are indispensable to the workforce, and help keep unemployment under control.Continue reading

Do What You Love, Love What You Do:

do-what-you-love2If you’re thinking of going into business for yourself, you need to be able to answer one very important question: Why you do what you do? Believe it or not, many people don’t know the answer. Let’s say you’re a car salesman and you’re thinking of opening your own dealership: When asked, you might say you do what you do “Because it pays the bills,” or, “Because I fell into it,” or something else along these lines. But if you don’t know why you sell cars – why you get that rush when you hand a set of keys over to a newly married couple (if you do) – or what it is about the act of closing a sale that not only gets you out of bed in the morning, but that makes you want to go to work, then how do you expect to succeed in your field? Individuals who are exceptional at what they do are so because they know what their purpose is, they’re truly passionate about their business and they believe that what they do is honestly making a difference.

So how do you go about finding your purpose – your passion – your reason for being in business? It’s not as hard as society makes it out to be. First and foremost, take a (serious) assessment of your skills. If you’re a car salesman, but you excelled at science in school, are really good at figuring out how things work and people tell you all the time that you could be the next winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, then you’re probably not in the right field. But let’s not be too hasty…

What does experience tell you? Did you sell candy bars in elementary school, or hold a sales position as a teenager, and you went above and beyond your projected sales goals in both? Or did you try your hand at retail in college, only to find that everyone else outsold you – and you didn’t really care? After all, that meant more time dedicated to lab work…If you relate to the former situation, car sales may not be a bad choice for you—but if you can relate to the second situation, I think it’s about time you considered a new career path.

Finally, you need to know what excites you. If you’re in car sales by accident, and you stayed because it pays the bills, chances are, you’re only “getting by.” But is that what you want – to just “get by” – or do you want success? If you want success, you need to figure out what you really love (science, maybe?), and to find that one thing that that gets you out of bed and working hard because you want to be, not because you need to make ends meet.

So many people go about their jobs, or run their businesses, with no clear direction. They don’t know what their core values are – they have no idea what their passions might be – and they’re unsure of what they stand for. This isn’t the way to live – for anyone – but especially not if you’re thinking of going into business for yourself. If you don’t know why your business exists, then why should anyone care? When you are clear on why you do what you do, then you will experience success. Until then, don’t give up on finding your niche—the time it will take you to do so will be well worth it.

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