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Categorized | Publisher's Letter

Scared turtle

Early on in my business life, I operated my small business as if I were a scared turtle afraid to come out of my shell. I knew I had a good thing going and didn’t want my competitors to take notice for fear they would announce a widget better, faster, or cheaper than me. Figuratively speaking, I thought the roof would collapse on me any second.

In some ways this was good because we treated every customer like it might be our last, but in the long run, we were stunting our growth by not shouting our message to all who would listen.

In hindsight, it was a mistake to operate for so long with that mindset, and I often wonder how things might have been different if I didn’t run my business “under the radar.” I now wonder how many of our small businesses are falling into this same sense of paranoia.

It was only years later that my confidence grew enough to where I was comfortable sponsoring events, being quoted in magazines, or even doing some full-scale advertising. What I didn’t give us credit for in those early days was our level of passion and skill. Not everybody could do what we did, nor did they have the desire.

You see, I was comfortable operating my company—it was uncomplicated to me, and I loved it. “What if others learn how simple this is?” I thought. But what I didn’t realize is that I spent years shaping my craft, and what came as straightforward to me was completely foreign and daunting to others. My customers needed us and they knew it, but ironically, I was the last one to figure it out.

I try to share my stories as much as I can. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I have lots of “experiences” others can learn from. I guess some just learn the hard way.

Yes, of course, hold your business close and incubate it in the vulnerable stages, but break out of that stage as quick as you can and get noticed!

On the cover of this issue is Mike McCreary, owner of Baymeadows Moving and Storage. When I approached Mike about the cover feature, he took a big breath and with quiet confidence said, “We’re ready.” Up until this point, Mike and his sons have been quietly running a successful business for years, purposely attracting as little attention as possible. It was only the recent announcement that his business was accepted into the North American Van Lines network did he feel comfortable with some real exposure.

Good for you, Mike! We hope this feature will make good things happen for your business like it has to others. The teaching point for others here is to find great channel partners, come out of your shell, and experience the growth you are working so hard for.

Brian


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