Almost every day a small business owner comes into my office to share his or her dream with me.
Sometimes they’ve already got a business, whether it’s a storefront, a home office, or a retail space. Other times it’s just an idea that they want to bounce off me to see if it makes sense. Often the person comes in covertly during their lunchtime so their boss won’t know about their desire to escape the cubicle and create something new.
This is the best part of my day.
Nothing picks me up like hearing the entrepreneurial ideas of small business owners and future small business owners. It’s like caffeine for the soul. Their dreams power the future success of our country and our economy.
Of course, there’s a long journey between a dream and success. It’s a path that requires long hours, sacrifices, and trying to find the nearly impossible balance of running a business and having a life.
It’s not for everybody. I know a number of people who wanted to work for themselves because they wanted more flexibility, free time, or didn’t want to answer to a boss.
Flexibility? Yes, you’ve got to be flexible to somehow juggle all the jobs you’re suddenly saddled with, from sales to marketing to accounting to hiring to buying office supplies to taking out the trash.
Free time? I don’t know a business owner who doesn’t check email before they go to bed and as soon as they wake up. Who often works through lunch. Who reviews their numbers after dinner at the dining room table.
Not answering to a boss? When you run a small business you suddenly have to answer to dozens, maybe hundreds of bosses…from your customers to your employees to your vendors to the tax collectors to your spouse wondering why you’re late for dinner…again.