A small business is anything but small.
What it lacks in size, it makes up in impact.
If you think of it, prior to the Industrial Revolution, a majority of the businesses, if not all, were small businesses. Traders, livestock, armorers, home smiths, potters…that sort of thing.
Guilds were the next stage of evolution, where small businesses formed groups, and then grew from there.
Even today, 50% of America is a small or a home business – both in number and GDP. I suspect it’s the same number in India as well, maybe more.
Running a business comes with it’s challenges, but I tend to focus on rewards. The feeling of working for oneself cannot be described, and it is as exciting as it is challenging. You have the freedom to get everything done your way, and you are only constrained by your involvement, or the lack of it, and this can make or break a business.
Everyone should try it out at least once in a lifetime. You don’t have to quit your job and start out on your own – no. But try to have something that you can explore, and in time, you may find that to be your main stream of income. And this can be anything – selling art, or sweets, or something you’ve made, or teaching, cookery – the list can go on.
But remember – start small, but think big. By big I don’t mean money – I mean making a difference. Money will come with time. The thought process however, should always be big picture. How can you improve upon what is already there? Where can you bring in “your touch”? How can you breathe in fresh air into a crowded marketplace? How can you offer something that may not have been offered before?
The internet has brought with it tools of learning, research and propagation. Most are free, and the ones that are paid are not that expensive. From building a website, to social media marketing – you can get everything done yourself if you have the inclination to learn.
The main impediment I’ve seen is not money, or learning or even product. It is you. The lack of belief, the apprehension, the fear of failure – these hold you back – but only until you realize that they are unfounded. The worst-case scenario is that you will fail, and it’s ok. You can pick yourself up and learn again. It isn’t like you are going to carry a list of how many times you failed, into heaven or your next life (depending on what you believe in). You have one life that you will be conscious of, might as well try it out and know the result.
Just one condition. Try your best. Simple!
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥ ४७ ॥
karmaṇy evādhikāras te
mā phaleṣu kadācana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
mā te saṅgo ’stv akarmaṇi
You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.
Bhagavad Gita 2.47