What is being in business all about?
I got my first answer from Paul Hawken, in his book Growing a Business. He said he kept working for the time when he’d get his business running like it should, and there wouldn’t be any problems. He wanted that magic state with the business running smoothly without problems. Then he realized, business will always have problems. Being in business is about solving problems.
That’s a good description, and it helped me appreciate the problems and opportunities that come with running a business. But with many years of experience, I’ve decided being in business is closer to what Olympic gold medalist and whitewater kayaker Joe Jacobi described as transition.
“You’re Always in Transition: Let go of the belief that the momentum will stop. It doesn’t. Just as on a river, life’s current takes on all shapes, sizes, speeds, and gradients. It always keeps moving, which means you are continually in transition.”
Being in business means always being in transition.
Like a paddler on a river, you are constantly moving and adapting. You can’t sit still, and you can’t expect everything to go smoothly forever. Right now, your business is in transition from one stage to another. How are you preparing for the next stage?
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Marko Schmitt says
Business is change – you’re on the right track. For small business people, especially those of us who live in small towns and rural areas, that means being willing to change the way we do business and learn how to engage with customers via the internet. Here in my Taos, NM as I discuss the value of blogging and social media with fellow small business people, they often respond with “I don’t want to spend all that extra time on the computer”. These are the same people who often lament that locals buy too much and too often on Amazon, that the Yellow Pages is a waste of time and money, and that the Chamber isn’t doing enough to promote local business.
The Internet Economy is an equal access source of new customers and revenue but it means changing the way we do business. In fact it means learning new skills and applying them – kind of baseball. It’s not enough to show up at the field with a new mitt and figure you’ve got the game down. There is a lot more to learn. It takes time to get good. You gotta swing a lot before you can consistently get on base. Same thing with learning how to do business on the web. These are the kinds of changes that may be challenging but in terms of opportunity, its better bet than trying to do the same old thing and hoping for a better result.
Becky McCray says
Marko, I love what you’ve added. Your baseball story is right on.