Some kids get lemonade stands; my brothers and I sold stocks for ‘Three Kids Vending’ to our extended family. We purchased two used vending machines, performed marketing analysis of ‘Pepsi vs Coke’ in our office audience, did inventory, purchasing, accounting and generally ran a (micro)successful venture for two years.
With a family that bred new companies as if seeking an undiscovered pedigree, I’ve gotten to experience nearly everything about business. That includes:
- Starting a company,
- Solidifying purpose/mission,
- Keeping stock,
- Managing profit/loss,
- Meeting with other professionals,
- Keeping the bathroom stocked (That’s important folks!),
- Managing up,
- Managing down,
- Managing sideways,
- Working in a team,
- Taking responsibility,
- Running trade shows,
- Moving offices,
- Building offices,
- Calming major staff snafus,
- Settling major customer/vendor snafus,
- Crisis response,
- Dealing with no-shows,
- Making do with less,
- Working partnership agreements,
- Recovering from failed partnership agreements,
- Making a buck on side ventures,
- Unveiling new products/services,
- How the little things matter,
- Supporting employees through personal troubles,
- Defusing inter-office conflicts,
- Politics and
- Going national with a small business.
Heck, there’s probably more!
Nightly dinner conversations growing up were rife with business talk and rarely much else. In the midst of it all, I learned my own specialty and calling: marketing. Actually, it was art and design at first. I stumbled into the wholesale term marketing when I became in-house designer for several small businesses – most family run. After all, great design is useless if you don’t understand your market or how to reach them effectively.
Mary Schmich wrote: “My advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. … Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”
This blog is about my experiences (for what, Mary Schmich poetically warns, it is worth).
I still to this day have a passion for making small companies look big. Small Business is taking over as the leading job provider and the highest income earner in the United States. If my experiences can help the literal backbone of our society, that is all I’m after. I want to help you grow larger, faster with a professional shine and a fearless outlook.