Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In Appreciation of Small Business Owners - Let's Do More, Together

Congratulations. As the owner of an established small business, you have successfully navigated quite a few of the terror-filled challenges which start-up entrepreneurs still have to face. Having said this, the one thing a small business owner can be absolutely guaranteed of, is constant challenges, simply because of the unknown and nobody knows what tomorrow might bring. You are also faced with constantly having to make decisions, some big, some small, yet all having consequence because as we know, every action (the decision) sets about a reaction (the result). As the leader of the business, you to deal with staff matters, employee outputs and you have to set the performance tone. You have to manage resources and systems in order to drive improved efficiencies because by making the cost of doing business more affordable, you have funds for growth. You also have to grapple with the relentless landscape of multi-tasking and I'm sure you can write all these titles under your name too: operations manager, marketing manager, secretary, bookkeeper, sales and service manager etc.

Put all this together and it's clear that running a successful small business is very demanding. You have to procure and secure clients which bring your people skills in to play, you need money, you require a sound cash-flow for liquidity purposes, you need operational skills, you must have product knowledge, it helps if you have a trusted network of advisors, you must be persistent and persevere, plus you must have the ability to cope with constant stress and navigate through those terror barriers when they strike. When the chips are down you need to have an iron will to succeed because your business is exactly that, your business and you are passionate about it - you love it! So, to deliver progressively improving business results, you have to grow, both as a person and as a business owner and if you don't grow, you die and in business the moment you stop creating, you start disintegrating.

Given all the above, no wonder most South Africans choose to rather enter the safe, secure world of being an employee with benefits and a guaranteed income. Being an employer is certainly not for the faint-hearted as economist Mike Schussler reminds us with only 15% of those South Africans employed, being employers or self employed. Now, the reason South Africa has so few business owners is because as a country we have successfully created a paradigm for our people that being in a job is far safer than opening and running your own business. This is a classic example of the Law of Cause and Effect which is one of the natural Laws of the Universe. Face it, we have so few business owners because we've scared the daylights out of many who at one stage in their lives, had entertained the idea of becoming a business owner. We have all tended to focus on the risk, we mistakenly have not focused nearly enough on the gain. It is so important to remember that what you focus on you get and what you expect you attract, simple as that. We are all affected by the Law of Attraction and the Law of Vibration.

In September 2011, South Africa's leader, President Jacob Zuma, called on all South Africans to embrace becoming business owners because there are no visible black industrialists. I applaud President Zuma for his call to action because this is exactly what South Africa needs, however, what is not considered here, are all the years of conditioning which we have all created around how terrifying it is to both be an entrepreneur and business owner. If we are to succeed, then this has to be undone. The paradigm which we created, has to be set aside and replaced with a better serving one, one which views being a small business owner, as truly aspirational. How do we do this? Simple, we have to change the way we think about things and we have to begin to think into results, the results we want for ourselves, our families, our economy and yes, our country.

For South Africa to significantly reshape its business owner landscape, there can be no back doors, no excuses, no terror barriers so big that they will cause us to stop doing what is required and revert to our current state of bondage as opposed to achieving the liberating freedom of success. There can be only one objective and that is to do whatever it takes to succeed. Napoleon Hill reminds us in his book You Were Born Rich, that no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty and Bob Proctor teaches us that you don't get rich by doing certain things, you get rich by doing things in a certain way. As such, small business owners absolutely have to make it their business to study the natural Law of the Universe and how these work, as well as the seventeen principles of The Law of Success. All South Africans and all Africans for that matter can alter their lives simply by altering their attitudes of mind. We live in a constant evolution of change and what we need to understand the most, is that as we raise our conscious awareness, we will find solutions and discover opportunities which we never dreamt possible. We need to start to think more.

To deliver against what President Zuma asked for, can absolutely be done. We must all consciously decide to actively support small business and to believe in them and to get them in turn, to really believe in themselves. Their belief in themselves will translate into new paradigms, which will foster new behaviours and this state of praxis, which is about aligning you with you so we all win, will generate even more results as they and their teams confidently bridge the knowing-doing gap. Small business owners also need to be cognizant that in order to make an even greater contribution to the economy than they presently do, and to create jobs, requires that they be bold enough to set really big goals for themselves and their business. The purpose of a goal has to be growth and in order to accomplish really big goals, people and teams need to be inspired and this comes from inside you, from your infinite mind. Just these few steps, if done properly, will stop the negative impact which the rest of the world and its current economic trials and tribulations are having on our local mindset. Let's build the economy we want, for South Africa and for Africa. Let's build this in our minds, being ever mindful that whatever is built is built twice, first in the mind and then in the physical world.

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