Month: July 2021

Doing Small Business as an Art Form

Or,  An Ode to Small Business

It’s the season of art! The world is slowly opening back up. Once again, art is everywhere. We have live music, Shakespeare on the lawn, and art fairs– all the things we have sorely missed during the pandemic!

Yes, art is everywhere, even in Small Business.

Did you know that Entrepreneurs can be Artists? Yes, they can. Did you know that running a small business can be an art form? Yes. In every sense of the word, no matter what kind of ‘product’ you make. Small business will transform people and raw materials into bona fide art. And it will make an artist out of you.

Therefore, I hereby nominate Small Business as human growth catalyst number one. In growing our business, we grow ourselves. We cannot help but be changed by it––that is the way growth works. An entrepreneur who desires to make the world a better place will end up doing small business as art.  I love how this happens. 

Small business, how I love thee. Let me count the ways!

An Ode to Small Business:

You begin making products. You end up making art.

You learn that industry expectations and standards are set by someone. That someone might as well be you.

You begin making customers and hiring employees. You end up making friends. 

You learn you can always do more than you think you can. (Look at how far you have already come!)

You learn you always have more than you think you have. (Gratitude is required to see it.)

You learn you can always do more with what you already have! (Imagination is more important than intelligence! Einstein.)

You learn the moment you are down to absolutely nothing is the precise moment you have absolutely nothing to lose. 

You begin fearing external things. As you go, you discover your biggest threat is right between your ears.

You learn that the school of hard knocks is indeed the most expensive, but it teaches invaluable lessons that you can learn in no other way. Plus, they are lessons you will never forget.

You learn that if you cannot make decisions, you will never grow. Needing to be sure is a liability. You will never be sure. You are either growing, evolving, or dying. Leap or die.

You learn that wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you have a stellar habit, small business will magnify it exponentially. Unfortunately, this is true for the bad habits as well. 

You will learn to love feedback. Because if you do have a bad habit, you most certainly will be the last one to know.

You begin a rugged individualist. You end up understanding that no one ever truly succeeds alone.

You learn you are a human being, not a human doing. Sure, it may be easier to do it all yourself, but you will wear yourself out trying. Burnout is real.

You learn that you are a leader from your first hire (whether you signed up for it or not). Next, we learn how to be one worth following!

You learn that motivating other people is very hard, but you will never motivate a single breathing soul by focusing on the bottom line.

You begin focused on your own success. You end up taking other people with you.

Small business is both evolutionary and revolutionary. It will make you and break you and remake you countless times, both as a person and an entity. When a small business elevates to an art form, it will do things that look a lot like love. It will say things that sound a lot like the golden rule. This kind of culture expands into joy for everyone involved––not just the entrepreneur but also for employees and customers alike. And this joy is one of the most potent forms of resistance and resilience in the face of small business setbacks.

It is this joy that transforms a small business into art.

Make more art.