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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Vow to Learn

During the wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer: “Look, I’ll give you $100 if you’ll change the wedding vows. When you get to the part where I’m supposed to promise to ‘love, honor and obey’ and ‘be faithful to her forever,’ well, I’d appreciate it if you’d just leave that out.” He passed the minister a $100 bill and walked away satisfied.

 

On the day of the wedding, when it came time for the groom’s vows, the pastor looked the young man in the eye and said: “Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life, and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?” The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, “Yes,” then leaned toward the pastor and hissed: “I thought we had a deal.” The pastor put a $100 bill into the groom’s hand and whispered: “She made me a better offer.”

 

Like our new groom in the story above; we too can always be learning. Often one of the best practices is to learn from observing from the successes and failures of others. Let’s look at some data –more than 600,000 businesses are started each year in the United States. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), close to 66% of small businesses will survive the first 2 years; that means only about one-third of total businesses will fail during the first 2 years. They go on to say that about 50% of businesses fail during the first year in business.

 

Regardless of the success rate, the first step is quite simple – each and every one of these people stepped up and took a risk. We should applaud people who are willing to commit their time, energy and resources to making the world a better place with a business.

 

While 600,000 seems like it is a lot of people until you look at that number compared to the 319 million people living in our country, and then true reality sets in. Most people are afraid to start; they fear the unknown or failure, others find starting a business simply overwhelming.

 

I had a very good teacher tell me one time that when things seem complex it is always best to break it down to the most basic element. The basics of starting a business are simple; you just need 1) a product or service, 2) a group of people willing to pay for it, and 3) a way to get paid. Think about it – if you have a group of interested people but nothing to sell, you don’t have a business. If you have something to sell but no one willing to buy it, you don’t have a business. In both cases, without a clear and easy way for customers to pay for what you offer, you don’t have a business. Put the three together, and congratulations— you’re now an entrepreneur.

 

Worry about risking it all is understandable, particularly if you have people who depend on your ability to bring home a paycheck. But today with all of our technology there’s no reason to jump into the deep end of the business pool if you don’t have the resources for such a gamble. Start your business on the side. Given how so much in communications and human interaction now happens online, it’s easier than ever to get a part-time venture going, find a market, close business, and get paid.

 

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