Working Hard

I am a huge proponent of small businesses.  I think it's an awesome thing to watch a small business find a niche where they can succeed and thrive.  I recognize that there are all kinds of forces, economic, governmental, and financial constraints to name a few, that can impede, and end a small business. I also happen to believe that most of the time, when a small business fails, it is not primarily for any of those reasons.  Small business is inherently about working hard.  

Earlier this week, I found myself this morning standing outside the door of two small businesses, both whose name and trade are closely linked to breakfast.  It was 7:55 AM.  I was not standing outside of those two doors trying to decide which to enter, though.  I had already parked, and was now standing in the cold outside, when I read on their respective doors that both opened at 8AM. I decided to be patient, and wait to see which would open first.  At 8:00, one of the doors did open, and the owner let me in.  We turned on the lights together, and she let me know that most of the baked goods were still in the oven.  

I respect that small business owner for having a vision and pursuing it.  I hope that she succeeds and the business sustains her family, adds to the community, and is a blessing to many.  If the business would struggle, though, I'll wonder why someone opens a breakfast spot and isn't jumping out of bed early each morning to greet the day and its opportunities.

I'm not trying to point fingers at others, but to encourage thought for myself, and others who may read this, to think about what makes small business work.
Am I, in my work, a baker who doesn't come to work and open shop until breakfast is half-over for many of my customers?  
When I can't find customers, have they already passed me over at a time or place that I wasn't ready to meet them?  
What is the very core of the business that I work in, that demands no sacrifice be made there?

As much as I love supporting my town, the people in it, and the small businesses here, I'll be at Starbucks most mornings, sipping black coffee that I could buy anywhere in town, if only anywhere else was open as early as the local branch of the largest coffee shop in the nation.

Perhaps Thomas Edison said it best, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."


  1. I made an educated guess as to what business you were referring. First I visited their website to verify the 8 am open time. No hours or days even listed. Then Facebook confirmed my suspicions. Open at 8 every day. I would also assume that a business serving primarily breakfast items would be open by 7. Then again, I would also assume that any business would also use their website to convey basic information about their days and hours.

  2. M-
    You're probably able to guess, even though I tried hard to be as non-specific as possible. I really don't want to pick on them, it's just such a strange thing to see a business so out of sync with its entire industry and customer-base.