“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” -James Matthew Barrie
Somehow I missed that memo the first time around. The one about making sure to underestimate your marketplace and overestimate your sales cycle when you’re starting a new business.
Or even a new career for that matter. New careers are self-contained yet interconnected businesses within themselves. Entrepreneurship has always included career management, business development, [personal] brand marketing, sales and sticky-sweet (but legitimate) customer service.
Because most, if not all entrepreneurs were employees with careers going anywhere but where they wanted to go. So they launch new careers, some of which eventually grow to make a few hires here and there, and a few others get really big by hiring tons of people, collecting tons of investment capital and riding sky-high (for now) with huge valuations (think social media firms of late).
But I did finally get the memo and read it thoroughly. You’ve heard the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” From careers, to start-ups, to small businesses to big businesses — American’s longing for success and trying again is hard-wired into our DNA.
As Obama (or proxy) observed, it turns out Mom & Pop and VC babies share more in common than size; they share spirit, ‘the idea that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard enough, you can succeed in our country…’
…For many more millions of small business owners, and workers, who have dared to dream and injected so much sweat equity into their bottom line, that creation myth is still being created. They might call themselves small businesses, or entrepreneurs, or start-ups, but our economy – and our jobs – depends on their growth. So we just wanted to say thank you.
Indeed. Thank you.
Most of the #TChat faithfuls preferred going from small companies to working in big companies. I concur. And even though I’ve always worked for smaller firms, I have worked “with” bigger companies and have always wondered what it would be like to pull the curtain back in Oz and give it a go…
Somebody slap me. Working for yourself, for a small company, launching your own start-up or firm — these activities are what continually breathes new life into the sometimes failing lungs of capitalism (long-time smoker, you know). And it’s this economic activity that sparks job creation as well. Brand name firms may still pull in the greater talent, and they’ve got the revenue to get creative with “total rewards,” but even big firms have struggled of late and now focus heavily on internal talent mobility — I know you’re in there and are just right for this position because I can’t find you out there. Plus, in this (yes, I know how many times you’ve heard it) global, virtual, contingent world where depending on the projects and the hourly rate, talent is fluid from small to big and back again.
It’s the brave new world of work. Just don’t forget to read the memos, even the stinky ones from the ditto machine. Hey, I kinda liked that smell growing up…
Here were the questions from teh #TChat last night:
- Q1: How do you define ‘small business?’ Is this the term we should be using?
- Q2: Would you prefer working for a small business or a big company? Why?
- Q3: What role does talent play in small business success? How can small businesses successfully compete with bigger companies in the ‘war for talent?’
- Q4: What are some of the biggest advantages of working for a small business employer? Drawbacks?
- Q5: Do you think employers and recruiters value small business and big company experience differently?
- Q6: What should big business workers know about moving to a small company (and vice-versa)?
- Q7: What’s your best advice for someone thinking about starting a small business? Any myths vs. realities?