Fri 26 May 2006
I asked a small business owner recently how he got his start. He related that he used to work for a privately owned international firm (whose name will remain unwritten here) and they required him to work 6 days a week, wear a specific color of shirt and tie, and he wasn't allowed to grow facial hair. Along with these mandates, there were several other business practices that he felt were repressive to his personality. So he quit and started his own business.
At heart he was a creative, free spirit. He didn't like a schedule and his art was good enough that he could afford to eat and put a roof over his head. I think one of the first things he did was grow a beard!
Is your own unique fingerprint on your business? I hope so. Small businesses are not just about transactions that are made between you and a customer. Your business is an important part of you and should adequately represent you to the world.
And if you're just starting a business, let your interests and uniqueness inform your decision: love to travel? Consider a business that lets you do that. Love to sing? Consider a business that lets you do that.
You spend long enough at your business, it only makes sense that it should be a natural extension of who you are. Don't be afraid to be unique… embrace it!