Small Business Week


Posted 05/13/2014
Happy small business week to you, my peers.

It's nice to know that Google (and Twitter) are thinking of us - honoring us, in fact - with our very own week. It's as if to say, "Go ahead, dream, do. We'll spin it into gold if you're creating value, ignore it if you're not. And if you're capturing value, we'll consume it entirely."

I am weary of most "___ week" and "___ day" designations, especially those honoring processes or people that are already working around the clock every day of every week. For two titanic middle-men to take the lead in patting the backs of "doers and dreamers" just strikes a sour note.

If there is one thing I've learned from working with musicians and small businesses; it's that creating value from passion (or "dreams") is not enough. Anyone can fill seats for a free lunch. Food plus stomach equals value. The trick for us is to capture some of that value. To do so we have to look at the bigger picture, and that often involves pouring some effort into non-creative not-so-passionate tasks. For all those small businesses dreaming of creating and selling the next big ad-based blog, or must-have widget, I implore you to start by selling it to one customer first. If you can't find one person to pay you even a small amount to do what you do, then you're missing the mark. You're whale fodder.

Notes: I'm a small business owner, that doesn't make me an expert, but maybe gives me license to have an opinion. Not a strong opinion so much as motivation to have more content on my brand new awesome blog. Also - the "consume entirely" bit is in reference to default "acquisition as an exit" strategy. Take it if you can get it and the offer is right, but it's hard to get excited about starting a business with that as your only measure of success.