It’s true; I’ve owned several businesses. I’ve had 5 websites, myriads of business cards designed and printed, I’ve registered names and gst numbers with the government, I’ve written 2 business plans, one qualifying my business for a $30,000 loan, my work has been in the newspaper and on TV, I’ve written articles, and have actually been recognised by someone because my picture in the newspaper ended up in her inspirational scrapbook. And…I’ve never been rich.
When someone tells me they own their own business, I automatically assume he or she is poor until I see otherwise. Why? Because by and large, small business owners are all the same: Big dreams, small bank accounts. You do not start a business to make a lot of money; that’s a recipe for failure we’ve all seen time and time again. You start a business because you have a passion to do something better than everyone else who’s currently doing it…because you want to build a company YOUR way, obviously the RIGHT way…and most importantly: because it’s actually impossible for you to not do it.
In this light, asking a small business person if he or she is rich is like asking a parent if they’re rich because he or she has a baby. It’s that funny. Now, you can get rich off of your small business of course…this is sometimes the goal of the business owner, as I’m sure it’s sometimes the goal of certain parents. And both are possible. But something I have learned by watching is the people who make money are always the ones who absolutely LOVE what they do…and who subsequently don’t care about money beyond their basic needs. I’m going to say it…and I know I’ll ruffle some feathers, here, but: all of those “realise your dreams of being rich” books, cd’s, emails etc…they don’t work. Know why? Because those are someone’s business. They’re making money off your misguided notions of what small business IS. Because if you were that dedicated to building your own business, you’d be doing all the stuff they tell you to already. Because copying someone else’s system, unless it’s a franchise, is lame. They’ve already done it. How many notable people in the world do you know of who got successful by following someone else’s recipe???
The very idea of copying a success story is as ludicrous as the idea of starting a business to make money. They’re both ways to spend a lot of your money on something intangible and end up with nothing. I do see value in duplicating successful habits, mantras and ideas on how to go about things…but that’s diferent. Thinking a book or CD will show you how to be successful really IS too good to be true.
I watched Citizen Kane the other night, and if you don’t know the story about that movie take a minute to look it up; it’s fascinating. What I got from watching the film itself as well as the film about the film and it’s repercussions on the star (Orson Welles) and the subject (Randolph Hearst), was this: Success takes dogged determination, BIG personality, and gall. You don’t have to be the smartest, prettiest, or most talented person; you just have to believe in what you’re doing, then wake up every single morning with a single mind to do it. People can be resistant to what you’re trying to do in the world, but they’ll eventually be worn down. We are all basically lazy. The trick then, is remind yourself constantly who you are and what you’re doing, and do it relentlessly. Pretty simple for a secret, huh?
If you have enough conviction in what you’re doing, you’re unbeatable, unstoppable and incrushable. So: DO you?