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My Small Business Can Bench Press More Than Your Small Business

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto.com (and yes, this was a fun search!)

I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day and overheard a conversation between a man and a woman that went something like this:

Big buff man (puffing out his chest just a little), “Yeah, I lift about 1000 pounds a week…”
The woman’s eyes got wide, “Oh wow, that’s a lot of weight,” but not wanting to be out-gymmed she non-chalantly professed, “I do 4 ½ miles on the elliptical 5 times a week… “ 

That conversation got me thinking. We love to talk about our accomplishments – some people even take it to the extreme and bore everyone with constant stories of self-aggrandizement; bragging endlessly about what they have or what they’ve done.  But for most of us, we  simply work hard to achieve our goals and it makes us feel good to share our success.  

So yes, we as individuals – as human beings – like to brag a little now and then. But I rarely hear small business owners bragging about their professional achievements. I’d love to be in a networking group and hear a fellow solopreneur proclaim (with chest puffed out), “I got 10 new leads last week and converted 8 of them.” And another respond, “Oh yeah, well I have a 95% customer retention rate”. And a third, proudly assert, “My average sale increased 50% last year!”

Why don’t we hear and engage in conversations like these?  I mean we are entrepreneurs for crying out loud! We should be loud and proud! We work our tails off, haven’t we earned bragging rights?  Why don’t we talk about these things more?  Could it be that we have nothing to brag about? Is it because we don’t set goals or measure results so we have no idea what we’re accomplishing – or even if we’re accomplishing anything ?

You see, the key to earning bragging rights as a small business owner is knowing where you started, where you are now, and where you want to go.  Mr. Grocery Store Iron Man didn’t just walk in to the gym one week and start lifting 1000 lbs. And I know his companion didn’t do 4 ½ miles her first time on the elliptical. Without a starting point how can you know what success looks like? And if you don’t know what success looks like how can you share it with others? So start setting goals and tracking success. I want to hear you brag!!!

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2 Responses

  1. Good advice and encouragement to set goals Carolyn. I often see a lack of a “plan” among many who try using online marketing tools. So, I like to look at in terms of needing to have an overall plan or course of direction that is then defined by a goal, objective, strategies and tactics. Once you get down to the tactical level you know you’re committed and making progress to boast about!
    Greg

    1. Carolyn

      Greg,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. We are in 100% agreement on the necessity of defining goals and outlining strategies before enaging or investing in any of the tactics of marketing (advertising, social media, etc). This is by far, the fastest and best way to goal achievement.

      -Carolyn

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