There was once a conference between Native Americans and Tibetan Buddhists, which many thought was interesting since the two had such obvious similarities. People were intensely curious and when asked what happened at the meeting, they were essentially told, "It's none of your business." Not, none of your business, you don't need to know, but none of your business, you couldn't possibly understand. There is similar fellowship among small business owners.
It doesn't matter how big your business might be, or what you do, or how long you've been doing it, when you meet a fellow small business owner, there is an instant fellowship, an instant connection. There is so much unspoken in these meetings, so much shared experience despite differences, that nobody else could possibly understand.
You can't talk to your spouse, employees or vendors about your experience, not truly. Nobody knows the trouble I've seen, except that guy. He knows. That guy who also owns his own business. It's a constant struggle without a net, a constant battle against entropy and the need for growth. Grow or die is a pretty common mantra. It's about dodging and weaving against both competitors and the government. It's about the many hands in your pocket, and hopefully the capacity for charity that far exceeds what you could have accomplished as an individual. It's about gathering customers, who constantly fall like sand through your fingers.
This fellowship transcends everything else, including class, race, and especially politics. Although most small business owners who are Republicans will assume you're also a member of the club, that is a conceit on their part, as there's no correlation between politics and small business ownership that I know of. What you do have, however, is a respect and understanding of something deeply American.
I wouldn't call it patriotism, but you're a member of the capitalist club, something deeper than politics, as you are exemplifying the American ideal, whether you acknowledge that or not. You not only do it, but you do it legitimately, unlike the crony capitalism that plagues our country. Nobody gave us tax breaks to move our businesses and we don't have a Washington lobby. You're just trying to make payroll, and somehow float that tax check, while making orders, selling product and planning for the future. You're just doing your thing, your many things, over long hours, while sacrificing time with your loved ones. It's not a 40 hour work week, it's an all the time work week. This fellowship is deeply rooted in the American dream.
You and your fellows will do this while others carefully, painfully step through life in fear of losing their jobs, which they usually hate, but perform so that one day in the future they can find happiness, by not doing something. Or worse, they don't think they can jump ship to do the thing they love because their world will fall apart. Yes, it will fall apart. I recommend a deliberate dismantling. When members of the fellowship shake hands and smile, there is a bit of shared mad glee in the falling apart they've wrought. From chaos comes opportunity.
"others carefully, painfully step through life in fear of losing theirReplyDelete
jobs, which they usually hate, but perform so that one day in the future
they can find happiness, by not doing something. Or worse, they don't
think they can jump ship to do the thing they love because their world
will fall apart. Yes, it will fall apart. I recommend a deliberate
Nice. You sound like someone in their twenties. :) Makes me think your Kickstarter will be a success.