Many of us get the happiness equation wrong. We believe that we must work hard to become successful, make lots of money, get a big title and then, only then, will we be happy. It simply isn't true.
There is no doubt that an entrepreneur or small business owner/operator must possess a great deal of skill. While these things can certainly still ring true, I think there is a whole new set of characteristics that small business owners really need to possess if they want to be successful.
Fran Tarkenton, the football-pro-turned-businessman, tasted failure straight out of the entrepreneurship gate. "When I was 27, a lawyer friend told me he could help me start a business, and he could run it, and I should use my money," Tarkenton says.
Power to the mompreneurs indeed! Being both a parent and owner of a small business is not without its daily balancing act. As both a CEO and mom to two very active sons, I know all about the art of time management and taking care not to spread myself too thin with the activities I participate in. I love being a mompreneur and find it to be the gift that keeps on giving for both my children and the company.
Many people dream of owning their own businesses, but never actually make it happen. There’s always an excuse as to why: You don’t have the money. You don’t know anything about business. The list goes on and on. But if running your own business is truly something you’re passionate about, any of these obstacles can be overcome with a little effort.
At age 47, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, the woman we know as Mother Teresa, decided it was time to do something different. She’d been teaching in a private school for years and thought she might have more impact elsewhere. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that listening for her next calling was a good idea.
Too often we make the mistake of seeing entrepreneurs like Donald Trump and Steve Jobs as the examples that all businesses should follow. However, the great majority of firms in this country are not truly entrepreneurial but more what I call “lifestyle businesses.” These lifestyle businesses add so much to our economy and the welfare of so many employees.
I was a 21 year-old entrepreneur when the dot-com bubble burst in 2001. Given the unprecedented volume of dying startups, investors and other business partners became less and less inclined to partner with new companies—especially those led by young founders.
When it comes to running a successful business, the things you do matter. But perhaps just as important are the things we decide not to do. Identifying what activities to put in each category helps productivity, efficiency, and overall effectiveness.
Everyone has times when they fail. It’s easy to separate the world into two camps, those who are succeeding and those who aren’t, but what we often miss is that people move back and forth between those two groups all the time. Today’s great success was yesterday’s failure—and might fail again tomorrow. The key is persistence.