Oct 27, 2014 | Posted by etc
Abraham Lincoln, my favorite President, had a great idea when he proclaimed “a national day of Thanksgiving.” It was a Holiday proposed right smack dab in the middle of the Civil War. At that most horrific hour, it had to take some intestinal fortitude for anyone to turn their head around to see anything good in anything. President Lincoln knew that if Americans did not purposely look up, they would lose hope. Hope is a priceless commodity. Mankind can live without anything but hope. To preserve it, he created a Holiday set aside for purposeful gratitude.
Without minimizing the miseries of the Civil War, many entrepreneurs can also lose hope. With their daily battles, they can be overcome with the problems and responsibilities of running a small business and succumb to deep discouragement. But when your nose is dragging, you will miss opportunities as they fly past. Focusing on the positive is not only good exercise for the soul, it is good for business.
Since the month of November celebrates our 26th Anniversary in business, I am especially thankful for three things–three things I could only see from the perspective of 26 years:
Small Business not only grows the economy. It grows people. Small business owners often start with great excitement and anticipation. They often have a big vision of what they want to do, but it often does not turn out the way they planned. The number one problem in being an entrepreneur is that you don’t know what you don’t know. And Small Business will show you what you don’t know, whether you like it or not. Lest you think that it is a negative thing, the entrepreneurial journey is also one of the most effective catalysts for growth and change. We learn by necessity to change our self-talk, our habits, and our attitudes. The truth is, God cares more about helping us to become all he has intended for us to be, than our success. We must be before we can do. He will not let us out of the oven half-baked. We end up finding out that we can do far more than we have ever dreamed we can do.
Small Business grows creativity like no other catalyst. No one enters business with unlimited resources. And that is the perfect soil for creativity to grow! Real creativity is born of constraints. Without enough X, you must invent a way to do what you need to do with what you have at your immediate disposal. So you have too little time? You must find creative ways of managing people and projects. Did the rug get pulled out from under you? Sometimes the biggest disasters reveal the largest opportunities. We learn to look at things with different eyes by necessity.
And last but not least, Small Business gives people a voice. It is not uncommon for any business, large or small, to begin with a very self-focused mission. We talk about ourselves too much. As we go along, we find out that that does not work very well. We soon discover that our business is not about us. It is about creating a vision larger than ourselves. We find and hone our purpose. In finding our purpose, we discover our gifts and our abilities. These may not be what we originally thought at all. But it does not matter. In all this wrangling, we discover what we were put on earth to do. It develops such a confidence that, as Who’s down in Whoville, we are compelled to YOP. And we are no longer YOPPING about ourselves. We are YOPPING for the sake of others. And it is a beautiful thing.
Yes, Small Business is much harder than it looks. The bad and the good are like two train tracks running side by side. They will always exist together in our businesses and our lives simultaneously. Do not derail by focusing on just the negative rail. Throughout the Holiday Season, no matter what situation you are in, take time for purposeful gratitude. It will improve your outlook, your health, and your business.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Dipika Kohli
That’s this week’s Imagination Hat!