Lean In


When you visit a small business, lean in and take a little peek thru that half opened storeroom door.  You just might be able to see a little arm attached to a littler hand holding a bright crayon scribbling away on papers laying about that worktable.  Of course then you realize, that Kristen who is tallying the receipts out front, is this little one’s Mommy. 

When you grab that coveted Hi back stool at the local bar (you know, the chair just opposite the TV but kind of on the corner so you see everything), go ahead and order that Sam Adams and as you wait, lean in a bit and you just might see a purse on the floor overflowing with bills including those yellow “final notice” ones.  For a second you get that sick feeling in your stomach too- you’ve been there.  Of course then you realize, Mary must have just raced here for the closing shift and is praying she makes enough in business and tips tonight to at least get the late late late ones paid.

When you take Max for a walk and see “Mike’s All Pro Painting” truck next door at Dave’s house you’re curious so you step a little closer.  You notice the truck is clean with a nice logo on the side- a real pro.  But lean in a bit and take a look inside the cab and you might just see a catastrophe of burger wrappers and coffee cups.  But as you look even closer you see in the midst of this mess a copy of Entrepreneur magazine and WSJ’s guide to Small Business.   Of course then you realize, Mike has much bigger dreams.

These folks and many other small business owners have kids, bills and dreams.

And many of you have the chance every day in what you do to help these folks grow their business.  You have the advice, the ideas, the products and the services that can do that for them.  

But So what?  Growing their business doesn’t really mean anything.  At least not always to us it doesn’t.

We have to think deeper.

Helping Kristen, Mary and Mike grow their business is way more than just growing their business to them.   Growing helps them pay for that after school program, or for those late late bills or for that seminar to learn how to secure an Angel investor and live that dream.

Growing is often a wonderful means to an end for small business owners.  And those ends aren’t much different than what you and me have in mind.

So lean in.

But lean way in this time and give em’ a hand.

Till next time,

Grow The Business.



3 thoughts on “Lean In

  1. Mark – You hit a nerve with this one. I have talked to several small business owners that have had to cut people this year, and they take that personally. Small business people know their employees’ families, their vendors families, etc. Business IS personal for these folks.

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