This is the Chamber Small Business Week here in Columbus, GA.
The message is simple…Thank you.
They own the coffee shop, the dry cleaners, the doctor’s office and the pharmacy. They also own the guts to do the things that most of us don’t have the guts to do.
I have the opportunity to work with many brilliant entrepreneurs and here are three things that I think us “9-5ers” should thank them for.
1) Passion– Each and every store front is the representation of a passion. It is the passion to do something very well. It is the passion to accomplish something that no one accomplished before, or to show someone they were wrong or right. It is the dream that they fostered since they were a little kid, or something that brought them alive when they were an adult. Sometimes it is a passion loved by a family for generations. They did not apply for the job, the job got hold of them and would not let go. It is a compulsion to follow the light inside.
2) Courage- They get up every day and put it all on the line to follow the light inside. This is different from you and me. If I get fired from work, the damage is done. I just go find another place to work, with another pay check. For the entrepreneur, they pledged all they have as collateral. They have injected their savings into the company. They have spent years, at great personal sacrifice to make it work. If they fail, the fail greatly. If the business does not make it, it takes years to work through the aftermath. That takes an amazing amount of guts to make that leap, one that most of us are not willing or able to make.
3) Stubbornness- Most entrepreneurs are proudly stubborn. They have people telling them why it won’t work. They run into people trying to take advantage of them. They are asked to give till it hurts to the community and to the tax man. They have every reason to stop trying and to move on. They don’t. They set the ships heading directly into the wind and let er rip. Because they do, some of the very people who told them it could not be done are the ones that prosper the most from their efforts.
If you have a job, then you owe a portion of it to small business owners. They are providing a service to you or your company. They are giving your employer a customer base. They are making something that you need to perform your work. Because they are taking the risk, you don’t have to. They are providing the passion, courage and stubbornness for all of us.
Here is to the entrepreneurs. My family and I appreciate you. Thank you for my job.