Sink or Swim in Business

As the owner of a small business I read a lot of articles about entrepreneurship and related topics. Often what seems on first look an article about small businesses generally, ends up being about tech startups that have less to offer me than an article about running a big, blue-chip company. But a recent piece from appeared on my LinkedIn Pulse that got my attention. First, as a devoted lap swimmer, because of the image of gorgeous pool with lap lanes and one lone, lucky swimmer, on her back at the far end. But when I actually read the article instead of just looking at the picture, it resonated because of the message.

The article made me reflect on all of the great mentors I have had on my professional journey. The author Howard A. Tullman is suggesting it is better to be an employee before you start your own company. I could not agree more. I learned so many valuable lessons in all the places I worked before I started this company seven plus years ago. Tullman states: “Try to work for someone who can teach you something of actual value, not a person who has been doing things the same way forever, or someone who’s 15 minutes older than you and learning the job as he or she goes. Also, it’s a really good idea to try to work for someone who has fewer emotional and mental problems than you have.”

I have had the great privilege of working with many who taught me things of great value. I hope you all know who you are. I’m not going to comment on our relative emotional problems, but after working with and for each of you, I had more of the skills I needed to combine with my own knowledge, drive and work ethic to start what has become a successful business. Without you I would have been much more likely to sink than to swim. Thank you.