Is Bigger Always Better…? Part I

Fat Boy

In 1987, shortly after opening my first business with several partners, I called a meeting… a vision meeting. 

You see… we were failing. 

In debt up to our ears… significantly behind projected revenue, and worse…

Internally, we were making serious errors in judgement; externally, the level of quality that our clients were receiving was unacceptable. 

In my mind, we were no better than our competition… and I felt the team had lost focus.  Further, I no longer believed that we had agreement on where we were headed, so we were all pulling in different directions.

“Where do you see this business in five years?” I asked.

One said “national”… another said “regional”… I said “local”.  Mind you, none was right or wrong… just different. Different goals; different vision. Here’s what I saw… and what ultimately happened:

A totally kickin’… debt-free small business… oh, yeah.. and great relationships in-house and in the community… doing millions of dollars in business with the best companies in the area… the finest reputation in the industry, and a compensation plan for our staff that no one… no one… could touch.

Yeah…, I like that.


Earlier in life, I had never really considered working my way up some massive corporate ladder… I just didn’t see any freedom there. And while I always knew I’d work for myself and my family some day, I never really spent a ton of time thinking about giving my whole life to just get, well…, big.

Now, don’t get me wrong… it not that I dislike big business; it’s just that the bigness of the business has never been what really attracted me.

On the other hand, the quality of the business and relationships, the successful achievement of one goal after another, the ability to have a level of freedom and power and control and influence,
and to keep it together personally… all while making a small fortune… now that, is attractive to me.

And that’s why I have always loved small business.  It is where the dreams of your family reside… not the dreams of your shareholders.

It’s where accountability is king; where you cannot hide. Small business is not insulated from the pain, and not oblivious to the glory.  To be in business for yourself is to be alive… the response time is immediate.  Small business gets the rewards when things work… and takes the hit when they don’t.   

Small business does not get bailed out.


For consideration:

What are two things you would do in 2009 if you had unlimited money and time?

Why not plan and begin working now to make sure you can do them in 2010?


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