With #July4th upon us, The SBDC celebrates both the independence of our nation, and the #independence that exists in our small businesses. Anyone who knows a small business owner knows they are often incredibly independent. Is it nature or nurture? Is the yearn for freedom to work on his/her own the same yearn which inspired our leaders to create our nation? We say, yes!
To say entrepreneurs are typically empowered by freedom and independence is mild. Generally, they’re completely energized by it to a level that can be overpowering! It’s why people ‘get into business’, right? The freedom to not have a boss over your shoulder! The freedom to make your own decisions! The freedom to create your own destiny! As consultants, we sometimes have to wrangle this exuberance with helping them with the most crucial points of business – operations, budgets, and workforce. We often talk with our business owners about how they can shape their strong independent streak into business success, and how they can use it to positively influence others. Here are some suggestions of how you can use your #independence to make a difference in your business and your community…
- Create. Being self-aware and flexible to your own independent nature can help you create a culture within your business where independent ideas are appreciated. A meeting structure where open comments are welcomed and not scoffed at, a leadership expectation of acceptance that all staff understand and follow, and regular positive affirmations by you to your workforce can catapult productivity – and will ultimately grow your business!
- Mentor. Taking time to mentor a newer employee or even another newer leader in the community can be your form of community give-back, even if you aren’t in the same business or trade. A cup of coffee and great discussion about how to make good decisions in business or funnel a strong personality into a team environment or project may be just what this person needs – and you probably have more perspective than you know. Don’t forget your industry association or local membership-driven groups are also a good outlet. End bonus – you’ll feel rewarded, too!
- Maintain. You can’t forget that creating and mentoring often take a ton of brain power, energy, and even emotion – which we often see in exhausted clients. They’ve worked so hard in and on their business and community efforts that they’ve drained themselves. If you’re daydreaming of working for someone else while sitting at your desk, recognize that all of us who are wired-for-independence need maintenance (i.e. dependence) from time to time – allow and ask for some help to get something done or to take a few hours off. Begin a new project or hobby?! Spend time with people who re-energize you. You’ll be back in action in no time!
Enjoy your #IndependenceDay!
The University of Scranton SBDC