The Green Sheet Online Edition
March 28, 2016 • Issue 16:03:02
Notes on the path less traveled
Editor's Note: This is Jeffrey I. Shavitz's last article as Street SmartsSM author. We wish to thank him for his year-long commitment to penning motivational, semi-monthly articles for our industry's feet on the street. We also appreciate how supportive he has been as a member of The Green Sheet Advisory Board and hope to remain in close touch with him going forward. Look for our new Street SmartsSM author, John Tucker, in our April 11 issue.
I can't believe my Street SmartsSM tenure is up; where did the year go? I want to sincerely thank everyone, inside and outside of GS Online's MLS Forum, who contributed their ideas and insights to help me provide worthy articles twice a month.
For my last article, I have chosen to include an excerpt from a chapter from my Amazon best-selling book Size Doesn't Matter – Why Small Business is BIG Business. The chapter title is "Why Do Otherwise Sane Men and Women Ever Take This Path Less Traveled?" In short, the book shares my journey from big corporate America at Lehman Brothers to starting and becoming an entrepreneur.
There is no greater entrepreneur than the commission salesperson, the merchant level salesperson (MLS), who is working hard every day to make a living. I applaud and congratulate you! Enjoy "7 AM," which is the heading preceding the title of the chapter being excerpted. I chose to designate each chapter as a time of day because, as the ever insightful Benjamin Franklin stated in 1748, "Time is money." And for the entrepreneur, time is indeed money, especially for the MLS. Now, for the excerpt:
The reasons why someone would choose the path of entrepreneurship are many and varied. They might simply like how it feels to blaze a new trail out of the business wilderness, digging the rocks out of the field as they go. Maybe they want to remove the ceiling from their lifetime earnings potential. They might feel they'd be better at what they do for a living if they're calling the shots, no longer limited by the restraints placed upon them by an employer.
Why are you considering taking the leap?
There are also, to be honest, solid reasons why someone might make the decision to work for someone else. I firmly believe everyone should at least consider the possibility of starting their own business before making this decision, but that's certainly up to each individual. Still, some people feel they simply aren't cut out for the entrepreneurial life. Even knowing that working for someone else is no guarantee of anything, they still like the feeling that it's more certain and the steady pay along the way. Perhaps they simply prefer letting someone else worry about running the show.
Go figure ‒ right?
Either way, it's definitely a personal decision ‒ one you'll generally wind up making with your gut. One thing's certain: everyone who enters the world of entrepreneurship, whether joining the leadership in a small business or starting a business from scratch, becomes a member of a truly unique club.
Welcome to the Club!
Once you do make this decision, you'll find you share a lot of similar thoughts, ideas, experiences, and feelings other entrepreneurs have ‒ whether they run businesses in your industry or not.
That's why I consider it a club. A very special ‒ but far from exclusive ‒ club. I especially like the fact that it's a club that's open to everyone. You've probably noticed in my own story . . . even grade school and college kids are welcome to join. The club isn't closed to anyone, and that's what makes it truly exciting.
Despite all the possible reasons why people start businesses and the vast differences in the types of people who do, everyone in this entrepreneurial "club" shares a number of characteristics:
- We all want more control in our lives.
- We realize there are also risks when you work for someone else, someone who directs things for you ‒ hopefully in a way that takes you where you wanted to go.
- We don't want a ceiling on our earnings potential.
- We don't mind working long, hard hours to get the rewards a business of our own can bring us.
Spend some serious time thinking this through. If you're not cut out for the challenge of starting or joining a small business, it's best that you back off the notion right here and now. For this reason, I want to focus a bit more on the various traits and skills you'll need to call upon to make the most of this journey you're considering. Some of what you hear from me might sound discouraging. If you feel discouraged, run ‒ don't walk ‒ to the time clock nearest you.
That might come at you kind of like a rude slap in the face. You'll thank me later: I could be saving you the loss of your life savings. There's no shame in working for someone else. Some people truly believe they have the entrepreneurial spirit to work on their own, and some were born to join a well-established larger company with all the perks and benefits that come with it.
There are certainly plenty of companies you can work for that provide a work environment similar to the entrepreneurial experience. Whether you're the CEO-type or you wish to join an existing company as senior management or you simply want the template given to you (as with the franchisor/franchisee model), there are positions you can find that could work well for you. Unless, of course, you're infected with the entrepreneurial bug.
You can learn more about Size Doesn't Matter, as well as my other books, Small Business AhaMessages, Networking ‒ Get Connected, and The Power of Residual Income ‒ You Can Bank On It, on my Amazon author page at www.amazon.com/Jeff-Shavitz/e/B013QZCA9E/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1458063893&sr=1-2-ent.
I have enjoyed authoring these articles over the past year. In my new role running TrafficJamming (which is a business club for entrepreneurs and independent business owners), I encourage you to sign up for our free newsletter at www.trafficjamming.com. We regularly post information specifically targeted to sales professionals that can complement The Green Sheet's extensive educational archives.
Jeffrey I. Shavitz is Chief Executive Officer of TrafficJamming LLC, which is a virtual business group for entrepreneurs and small business owners to help grow a company's sales (traffic = customers in his language). His experience in payments includes co-founding Charge Card Systems Inc., which was sold to Card Connect in 2012; Alternative Merchant Processing, dedicated to high-risk merchant processing; and Charge Card Funding, involved in the cash advance space. Jeff has published four books: Size Doesn't Matter — Why Small Business is Big Business, which became an Amazon No. 1 top release in both the business and entrepreneur categories; Small Business Aha Messages; The Power of Residual Income – You Can Bank on It!, and Networking – Get Connected. He can be contacted at 800-878-4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org; his websites are www.jeffshavitz.com and www.trafficjamming.com.
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