Sunday, April 19, 2015

Refreshed – With Gratitude! The Unlikely Entrepreneur

I began my business more than 20 years ago, and I dare say, without much of a business plan. Graphic design on computers was a young business, but I knew that I wanted to make a go of it. Aldus Pagemaker 2.0 had just been released, so I bought that along with a computer and a laser printer and was in business. 

Being and entrepreneur was something that was defined for me in the ‘rear view mirror’; not anything purposefully set out to become. Wikipedia defines entrepreneurship this way:

Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business or other organization. The entrepreneur develops a business plan, acquires the human and other required resources, and is fully responsible for its success or failure.

Before too long I was busy enough that I needed to hire an employee; that is the acquiring humans part. Now, not only was I responsible for myself, but I had another human; a person with a name and a life; to whom I was responsible.  

I worked hard, as did she, and several years had gone by when my wife and I realized that we’d not been on a vacation since the business had started. 

How could I leave? I thought. If I left I was certain I’d go out of business and not only would I have let down my family, but my 1 employee as well. I do not believe that it is ego, or ego alone that drives the entrepreneur to believe that business responsibility rests on them alone, but it’s a heavy burden. I cannot remember where we went on vacation, only that we took one.

Much to my surprise I returned and had not gone out of business. In fact, my absence, gave my employee the space to grow and thrive. Not only did she ‘hold down the fort’ but indeed everything went just fine…maybe better?!

I write this blog entry from an airplane returning from a 2 week vacation, and in full confidence that in my absence the business will not only be there for me to return to, but that everything went well. Yes, 20 years later a lot has changed. We are now more than 30 employees and I still feel a great responsibility to each and every one of them. But I also owe them a great deal of thanks and appreciation.
We traveled back in time to Petra, Jordan

I am now returning after 2 weeks, refreshed and renewed, ready to go back to work. So, in case I have not made it clear, I would like to say “Thank You” employees. I value your contributions to our clients and our company; and, now that I’m refreshed, I will continue to work hard for you.

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