On the center of my bulletin board above my desk, I’ve posted a print out of “The Small Business Success Attitude” by Jim Blasingame.
It’s secured, smack dab in the middle of the board, with a red push pin.
During the moments when I find running my small business to be a difficult and daunting prospect, I read Jim’s wise words, like these:
I accept that my small business will face challenges every day.
Today: Day #3 this week that school is cancelled for extreme cold temperatures. It’s also the 10th school day this month that school has been cancelled.
When school is cancelled, I juggle motherhood + business. I love having my kids around. And. When we can’t leave the house, when they can’t play outside, when school cancellations also mean that my office helper can’t work regular hours without bringing her kids along (she has four!), I feel challenged. I feel edgy. I long for a return to the routine of our lives.
If my business is to survive, I must face each challenge.
Since this is my business, any issue, problem, or concern is my responsibility, ultimately. It doesn’t matter that some of the work that must happen is outside my comfort zone. I can outsource and delegate tasks and details, but I am ultimately responsible. If I am going to thrive and continue to succeed, I must face each challenge. Today, the challenges are relatively easy: a disrupted routine and schedule. Other days, the challenges are significantly more difficult.
The only thing in question is how well I will respond to challenges. The future of my business will depend on the answer to that question.
In the scheme of things, distractions at home are small challenges. My kids are playing happily. Tinker Toys are littering the floor outside my office, but they are old enough to pick up after themselves. They will go back to school soon enough and I will miss their smiles and mid-day hugs.
Yet, the reality today is that I work with their happy noise, and I strive to be as productive as possible.
I have chosen this life: chosen to work at home, and chosen to work with a virtual, distributed team. When my office helper and her kids stop by to work, we welcome them and share our lunch. I can’t control the weather, but I can control my response.
It’s just hard sometimes. I am choosing to respond in positive proactive ways.
Jim Blasingame wrote his new book, The Age of the Customer, to help small business owners like me find success and relevance. I am honored to support the launch of his book this week. I encourage you to buy a copy (or several) this week for small business owners in your life.