Three Mantras for Small Biz Owners

Remember this when starting your business ...

I took part in a pretty dynamic, thought-provoking Twitter chat tonight in which a lot of small business owners shared ideas about how to take the leap to starting your own business.

I want to share 3 of the best quotes from that chat, and accompany them with a sentence or two about how you can apply that advice to your own small business (whether it’s an actual “business” that sells a product, or a side gig like tutoring, for which you still have to promote your service, manage your time, demand payment from clients, etc.).

These 3 brilliant snippets of wisdom were all said by @caroljsroth, author of The Entrepreneur Equation,

If a few people aren’t laughing, you’re not dreaming big enough.

SO TRUE!!!! Now can I make a confession? I am embarrassed to call myself a blogger — because I don’t make a living from it yet. I feel like an imposter. (Who calls themselves an “aspiring blogger,” anyway?) I’m afraid that if someone asks what I do and I reply, “I write,” they’ll laugh.

But you know what? My dream is for this blog to become big. HUGE. My dream is to start an entire Afford Anything movement. I want 1,000,000 readers to this blog. I want 200,000 email subscribers. I want this to spawn books, magazine articles, a television show. I want nothing short of a cultural phenomenon.

Are you laughing? Good. That means I’m daring to dream big. And so should you.

Be willing to take a couple steps backwards to make a huge leap forward.

Again, this is entirely true. The biggest barrier to risk-taking is comfort. If you’ve got a comfortable life, with a comfy job, comfy income, comfy home, comfy shoes, you’re at risk of not taking risks.

USA Today recently reported that the Great Recession and layoffs spawned record numbers of people to start businesses. Why? Because with 10 percent unemployment, and an even greater percent of underemployment and low wages, people stopped feeling comfortable. And that’s when the real fun began.

Your time is valuable — if you don’t think so, no one will.

Small business owners who sell a service — such as freelance writing — often charge extremely low rates, which they justify by telling themselves that they’re in a business with very little overhead. After all, a freelance writer just needs a laptop and an internet connection, right? And some incidental office supplies?

What that freelance writer isn’t considering is his or her time — hours of her life which she’ll never get back. Hours which could have been devoted to doing something else, whether it was pursuing more highly-paid work or relaxing and enjoying life.

Our lives are short and our time is valuable — so value it.


  1. says

    I am sure many great ideas were originally laughed at because many people do not have vision.

    I too hope you a ton of success. I don’t talk much about being a blogger myself because many just don’t understand how much can be done with a blog. They think it is just somewhere you go and write about your day. (Although I do that once in awhile too.)

  2. says

    My friends and family laugh all the time when I tell them I can make money blogging and marketing online. I laugh silently to myself too because it works. I continue to expand my dreams!

    • says

      @20 and Engaged: I love that it’s working for you! I love hearing inspiration from other bloggers … this can be a lonely enterprise, toiling in obscurity in an empty house. It’s great connecting with other bloggers and sharing success!

  3. says

    Great tips, yes dream big and you’re executing your dream.

    I know too many friends who dream and plan all day, but never execute.

    I look forward to the day Afford Anything has 1,000,000 readers.

    Thanks for the inspirational tips. A relate tip to your tip #2 I heard recently is to “go for failure”.

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