I brought Seth Godin’s book Small is the New Big home this week and have been doing some reading. Not all at once, of course, since that’s what he advised in his “Warning” preface: “Don’t read this book all at once. It took eight years to write, and if you read it in one sitting, it’ll give you a headache.” And so I’m taking his advice.
One chapter towards the end of the book is called “Start Now – Hurry!”, and though I haven’t read the entire book yet it seems to me that several paragraphs out of this chapter capture the essence of his message, or close to it. Here they are:
Here’s the crux of the matter: Organizations where the people doing the work are the very same people who are making the decisions are more likely to succeed in the long run. Just about all the sins of American business (from environmental despoliation to accounting fraud) can be pinned on the anonymous bureaucracy. Entrepreneurs can’t be anonymous — it’s your decision, your policy, your work, your business — and so you’re fast and honest, or you’re out. There’s nowhere else to pass the buck.
Is it scary? Well, just for a second, consider the alternative. You could work for Motorola or Adelphia or even AT&T, always wondering when the company is going to downsize at the same time that you are busy doing whatever the boss asked just to be sure you’ll be the last to get fired.
Sounds to me like running a tiny business is totally safe in comparison.
I’ve been “running a tiny business” or two for the last ten years, and even though there are plenty of challenges and hardships, when he puts it like that, I’m going to have to agree with him. Here’s to all the “tiny businesses” and one-man (or woman) shows out there in the business world!