The Age of Small Business
Every single entrepreneur on the face of this earth is actually writing a book. And the nature of that book must begin right now. Where you are. With the question: what do I wish to say?
~ Michael E. Gerber
The United States was founded on a system of free enterprise in order to cultivate freedom and opportunity. A free enterprise economy matters since it enables individuals to achieve success, to “plant their own seed,” and to leave a mark on others’ lives. This foundation is based upon the voluntary exchange of goods and services, where both parties benefit from this transaction.
With our recent economic woes, unemployment is still a relevant issue. This has taken an emotional toll on fathers and mothers who struggle to put food on the table. College graduates, who’ve spent several years working diligently toward a degree, are having trouble finding positions in their desired fields. Then there are those who have stopped looking for work altogether.
Maybe this is the time that lends itself to a “call to action,” where individuals can take a leap of faith and personally invest in their pursuit of happiness. Aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors and dreamers, of all kinds, must take initiative.
In a blog post in Psychology Today, Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D, discusses how teens learn: “We now know that learning to overcome challenges during adolescence develops initiative, an important characteristic of how we successfully pursue goals,” she says.
While trying not to confuse initiative with achievement, Price-Mitchell advocates that initiative is one’s inner ability to move forth with purpose. As adolescents grow into young adults, they realize the power of choice. By choosing to participate in activities that illustrate creativity, dignity and autonomy, they will feel internally rewarded. Price-Mitchell is a firm believer in encouraging teens to challenge themselves and seize the potential to think critically, while also learning to get along effectively with peers and adults.
“They may be judged by others and given feedback that prompts an adjustment to strategies or behavior,” she notes. “These are important, valuable experiences that help adolescents learn to propel themselves forward.”
What drives initiative? Particular attributes are needed in order to exert control, and to go the extra mile in developing a business of one’s own. (Forbes contributor Eric T. Wagner lists seven in particular in his article 7 Traits of Incredibly Successful Entrepreneurs.)
Wagner stresses the significance of persevering and staying focused on your journey, even when the finish line appears a bit out of reach and overwhelming. “Are things going to look impossible for you as an entrepreneur? You better believe it,” he writes. “Will you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel? Absolutely. But do you need to fight off the urge to quit and keep pressing on? Yes!”
Small business guru Michael E. Gerber draws parallels with starting your own company to writing your own book in his article, Traits of a Truly Entrepreneurial Mindset. Just as the process of writing asks you to think of the kind of wisdom you wish to impart to the reader, starting a company requires similar questions to be asked.
“Your business is a product of how you, its creator, think about it: what it sells, what it does, how it does it, who your people are, and how you help them grow,” Gerber said.
The year is young. Possibilities are everywhere.
Do you have any interesting business ideas?
Suval, L. (2013). The Age of Small Business. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 27, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/01/19/the-age-of-small-business/