Did you know that this is National Small Business week?
It’s been fun seeing the emails and Facebook posts about it, and it got me thinking about the word “small” and the tricks that labels can play.
Small can become a judgment
When we think of our businesses as being small, we can mistake that for insignificant or easily overlooked. It’s easy to go from thinking, “My business is small” to telling yourself, “My business is small so it doesn’t matter what I do. So I got a new client. Whoop! There are people out there who do tons more than me and are way more successful. So it doesn’t matter what I do.”
But that’s not seeing the whole picture. You have clients who have chosen to work with you. When you say that you don’t matter, you’re saying that their choice to work with you doesn’t matter, in essence that they don’t matter. As soon as you start discounting someone, anyone – especially yourself – you’re saying that not everyone matters. You’re saying that some people are worthy and others aren’t.
What if everyone matters? What if every choice is a chance for you to step into your business more – or not, to live bigger or live smaller? What if it really does matter what you do?
How big is small?
“Small business” sounds like an optical illusion to me.
The smaller my business has been, the bigger it’s felt. Big in the sense of looming. Big in the sense of hard. New and hard.
When I first started in my business, I had no idea what I was doing. Every decision felt momentous. Getting a new client meant a scramble to pull together what I needed. Anything I wrote or did I was doing from scratch.
As my company grows, the “business” part generally feels smaller and smaller.
My systems make it easier to welcome new clients. I now have a background of clarity and materials to draw from and to build on. In at least some aspects of my business, the wheel has been invented and I’m doing more refining than building from scratch.
Sure I stop and take a breath before signing a contract with a financial guide or a graphic designer. And I’ll always get super excited about each and every new client. However, these things no longer come from a place of worry or desperation like they used to.
Now, it’s more about making decisions with intention and my connection with my clients and the people I’m working with.
Perspective is an interesting thing. Maybe it’s also that I’m growing bigger in relation to my business.
Is it just little ole you?
One thing I’ve learned in all of this is that being a solo entrepreneur is not something to do on your own.
As I wrote “solo entrepreneur”, I had the thought of a pilot getting licensed. I can imagine how freeing it must feel to do your first solo flight – just you and the clouds and the world below.
Or are you alone?
First there’s everyone who built the plane you’re flying.
And everyone who’s taught you how to fly.
And the folks in the control towers.
Sure, you’re the one at the controls, but you have help getting – and staying – there.
And if you want to spend more and more of your time actually flying, you have technicians check the plane and keep it in flying condition.
You have someone who schedules the flights and takes care of the passengers. Even someone (or an autopilot) who takes on some of the more routine parts of the flight.
So what I celebrate this week is everyone who’s running their own business, who’s stepping up to take on the sometimes daunting task of continuing to show up, make decisions and do the work. However big or small their business is.
And I celebrate all the people who support, guide and help them, because this doesn’t need to be done all alone.
What about you? What’s something you’re celebrating this week?