Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good advice for sole proprietors and entrepreneurs

It has been my good fortune to recently become a member of a small group of exceptionally bright and highly-motivating entrepreneurs.   Our group, Masterminds and Muses, is comprised of five sole proprietors who each have at least one thing in common - a desire to succeed coupled with the realization that we're stronger when supported.

In our meeting yesterday (just our second) we made some very real progress on the accountability front and in establishing trusting relationships which are crucial to arriving at mutual respect and mutual benefit.

One of the issues we all face is the sometimes daunting mountain of tasks we must all undertake as sole proprietors.  Regardless of our business mission we're all on the hook for everything from bookkeeping to timely billing (assuming we have any!) to business development to client service to actually doing the work for which we've been contracted. 

What is great about our group is the early onset willingness to support each other and to open our kimonos in so doing.  This got me to thinking about how valuable advice can be when we effectively state our need and are in the company of people who will listen intently before chiming in with commentary.  It also got me thinking that we each of us have to take off bite sized chunks of our tasks if we have any hope of succeeding.
Now, I've written about Shel Silverstein before on this blog so if you've ever visited you'll know I'm a fan.  What I didn't expect however was to gain really solid business advice from poems primarily targeted to kids.  That written though, we can all stand to approach our daily lives - personal and professional - with the open minds that little ones so briefly possess.  That's why I think the following poem is so apt and relevant to any attempting to find their way through what might seem insurmountable odds.  To summarize - one bite at a time folks.

And now, with thanks to Mr. Silverstein, here is the story of Melinda Mae:

Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
Who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could,
She said she would, So she started right in at the tail.
And everyone said, "You're much too small,"
But that didn't bother Melinda at all.
She took little bites and she chewed very slow,
Just like a good girl should...

...And in eighty-nine years she ate that whale

Because she said she would!

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