Saturday, December 05, 2009

Your Company Is What You Do, Not Who You Are

An entrepreneur friend of mine surprisingly took his life last week, leaving behind a wife and children. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.

While I'm not sure of the exact reasons for his actions, I do know his business and industry were suffering through a major decline. He went from having a soaring business with many employees to just a few. I'm sure this business downfall weighed heavily on him the past few years.

As and entrepreneur, it's easy to forget that our companies and our work "are what we do, they are not who we are."

That's certainly easy to sit back and say. We work long hours and are driven by bottom line results. Our employees become like children. We end up worrying about their progress and futures just like our own kids.

Even though it's tough, we've got to make this distinction. Even during troubling times like the past few years, our lives go on despite what happens with our companies. From my friend, I'm going to remember this lesson.

--Ron Ameln, SBM

Carrying A Man Purse And Running A Business

I met an entrepreneur friend of mine recently for lunch and he showed up wearing a Man Purse. Yes, that's right. He showed up with a purse, carrying such items as tissues, camera, keys, cell phone.
I gave him the obligatory 30 seconds of ribbing and then let him explain himself. "It's not a man purse," he said. "It's a European Shoulder Bag."
Oh, excuse me...Whatever.
Later, I starting thinking more about his man purse...ahem, European Shoulder Bag. You know, the same characteristics that make him wear his bag in public are the same characteristics that make him a great entrepreneur.
He's innovative, doesn't care what others think and isn't afraid to take a chance. He never waits to see how others feel about his decisions. He makes decisions based on what is best for his company and future (no one else), and he doesn't follow everyone's path--he creates his own.
Do you showcase these characteristics in your business?
Maybe I shouldn't have made fun of him after all.
--Ron Ameln, SBM