*Ding ding ding*! Why, yes, a correct answer is… because you are depending on its success to sustain and provide for your home, your family, and all the demands of your life and lifestyle. Eleventymillion points!
For sure, the ability to obtain food, clothing, and shelter is the first and most obvious reason why the success of your business is so important. It’s essential that we make a consistent living wage; we all want to thrive in this increasingly expensive world, and it’s especially wonderful to be able to financially secure ourselves and loved ones for an uncertain future.
On a higher level, though, we can also appreciate how entrepreneurial success represents so much more. Your business, when it is thriving, has a significant, positive ripple effect into the many worlds you inhabit.
Let’s think outside your family, to all of the people you serve. Your customers are not the only people you’re serving, by the way. Employees, contractors, vendors, the IT person… to all of your customers and all of these other people, you and your business are interchangeable entities, and you are all connected in the ecosystem your business has created.
Then let’s widen our perspective even further. Your business success has measurable impacts on the community(ies) in which it operates. Small businesses drive local employment, market competition, innovation, and revitalization. They recirculate and reinvest more of their money in the local economy than do large national chains. Small businesses are also crucial to our national economy. As of 2015, the SBA estimates there were fully 30.2 million small businesses registered in the US, making up 99.9% of all businesses in the United States (!).
Beyond the economics, small businesses actually have meaningful impacts on the population health of their communities. They are also vital to social and cultural health, engendering employee satisfaction and loyalty that just cannot be replicated by a huge corporate entity. Each business is a unique expression of its owner(s): who they are, what they value, and what they want to create in the world. And as individual expressions, whatever they are providing cannot be imitated. Sure, products and services may be reproducible to some degree, but absolutely no one brings exactly the same set of skills, experience, and abilities to structure, market, and express in context of a particular venture. (Hence, why local coffee shops still exist even when they are flanked by multiple Starbucks.)
Small businesses also support each other, and when a community nurtures a robust entrepreneurial environment by building the necessary supports, women, people of color, veterans, disabled people, and immigrants have more and stronger opportunities to leverage their unique perspectives and skills to tap into the mainstream economy.
All of this is why YOU, as an entrepreneurial stone making waves in this community pond, must regularly feel joy when you’re at work.
If you ponder the roots of your business’s inception, it was likely from a sense of calling, that this was a thing you were born to do, that this is what you could do until retirement (or beyond!), and for which you would willingly sacrifice and toil. Without feeling happy and excited to go to work on most days (of course I’d like to say every day, but we live in the real world), our business suffers because we, and our sense of purpose, begin to wither. The ugly path from a shitty month to an existential crisis can be short or long, depending on the nature and duration of the challenges. However long it takes, though, it always involves rocks in our shoes, a thunderstorm, and a pack of wolves in pursuit.
How you then relate to other people often turns into an external expression of your internal thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. And who wants to work with someone in crisis? No one (unless they are in their own crisis and are looking for the cynical relief of, “Well, at least I’m not that yet”). Frustration and despair are as communicable as energetic joy, and most humans would rather be exposed to a genuine smile than one that’s so forced your skin cracks.
On that hard path of doubt and disempowerment, our saving grace is our awareness, and willingness to tap all available resources to stop, turn, and forge a new trail.
It is important that your business succeed so that you continue to feel good about your commitment to it, which then increases its (and your) opportunity to create positive and empowering ripples in your pond, from your innermost circles to your larger community. Yes, the monetary benefits are crucial, and so is the overall feeling of true success. When you are feeling your most fulfilled and flying high on productivity, your enthusiasm for your mission pervades everything you touch, synergistically creating more productivity around you. Basically, you’re ready for more success, committed to making it happen, and it does. One needn’t believe in the power of manifesting to understand that a business thriving joyfully is a powerful magnet to customers and collaborators, magnetism on the level of a freaking neutron star.
Are you still feeling joyful going to work every day? If you think you might be on the path of overwhelm, please consider me a resource! And if you think you’ve already reached crisis, let’s turn it into a crossroads.