That’s what the guy next to me at the bar said.
“When I started my company, I was this laid-back, low key guy. Not anymore. Since then I’ve gained eighty pounds, I’m constantly on the run, I wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety attacks and my health is terrible.”
“But there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t quit or stop now. It’s too late. I’m too deep. I’ve got twenty employees who are depending on me for their livelihoods, their paychecks and their healthcare.”
“What about your healthcare?” I asked.
He smiled reluctantly.
“Look man, let tell you something: I don’t want to be busy all the time. I don’t want to wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night. But that’s just the way it is. When it comes to owning your own business, you simply don’t have a choice.”
“No. It’s just what happens to entrepreneurs. Even if you’re not a high strung person when you start, you’ll become one eventually.”
Then I asked, “Well, then here’s my question: What would happen if, in the beginning, you removed the threat of having to support stakeholders? And as you built your company, you educated yourself about how to avoid these kinds of small business undertows?”
“For example, let’s say somebody owned his own company, was the only employee and ran a one-man show. Wouldn’t that delete some of the variables in the equation and ultimately give that person the choice to avoid becoming the type of person you’re talking about?”
He replied almost immediately.
“No. It doesn’t work that way. As a small business owner, you want your company to grow. And you can’t grow when you’re the only employee. It’s inevitable.”
“But if I had to do it all over again,” he warned, “I would have stayed small.”
LESSON LEARNED: Bigger isn’t better – better is better.
And more often than not, better is the fruit of smaller.
Here’s a list of twenty-one reasons why:
1. Small means you can be honest.
2. Small means you can delete meetings.
3. Small means you can respond quicker.
4. Small means you can reinvent in real time.
5. Small means you can enable greater mobility.
6. Small means you can foster deeper commitment.
7. Small means you can have the freedom to innovate.
8. Small means you can make decisions that matter sooner.
9. Small means you can implement new ideas immediately.
10. Small means you can make mistakes quickly and quietly.
11. Small means you can actually execute your brilliant ideas.
12. Small means you can take action with asking for permission.
13. Small means you can interact with customers directly and personally.
14. Small means you can take a piss without meeting compliance.
15. Small means you can delete useless planning of things that don’t matter.
16. Small means you respond to changing customer or employee needs immediately.
17. Small means you can take risks without the pressure to remain excessively predictable.
18. Small means you can focus on shipping the most value because you’re not bogged down.
19. Small means you can quickly make adjustments without having to go thru the chain of command.
20. Small means you can have a higher awareness of everything and everyone within the
21. Small means you can preserve the charm and intimacy of connecting personally with the people who matters most.
The choice is yours: Go for greatness or go for bigness.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you stay small?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “99 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
Now booking for 2011!
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