Small Business Can Change The World

boy with megaphone

I want your help to spread the word

2015 is going to be an interesting year for me

Musings on the completion of my latest book.

I’m back in Holland again after only a short absence of about 6 weeks this time. As I wrote in one of my previous musings, the situation with my mother is still precarious and so I am spending more time here.

Just before I left, I received the first printed copies of my new book: ‘The Ten Truths for Making Business Fun… And for building a business that sustains you for years to come’.

3 books Exciting moment, not least because I have now completed The Ten Truths Trilogy (a more beautiful alliteration ne’er was seen).

Some really interesting things happened when I saw the first completed book in PDF version on my screen. I was pleased and proud and relieved that I completed the project before Christmas and that I would be able to take a copy to give to my mother in Holland, but besides that I suddenly realised that this was changing the game for me.

I’ve always referred to my books as business books for people who don’t like reading business books (but ought to). The books were designed to be quick to read, easily accessible and practical and the content was all about translating the best business knowledge in the world in language and forms that would be meaningful and useful for my audience of small business owners. As such I think they were a success.

A new Game

But the landscape has changed for me with my new book. In this book I no longer only explain to small business owners what others have said about business, I now have my own messages to deliver. Two specific messages to be exact:

  1. That profit, although a crucial component of business, can not be the ultimate measure of it’s success and there is a much higher measure by which we can determine how well we’re doing in our businesses (I call that thing ‘Fun in Business’).
  2. That there is such a thing as enough and that, at the very least in small business, we would do well to let go of the “growth is good” mantra and myth.

Of course I’m not the first one to question the growth model of our society nor am I the first one to question that “maximising shareholder value” is the prime purpose of business, but I believe I have something new and practical to add.

I suddenly have a message

boy with megaphone BTW, It is typical of how my brain operates, that I actually only fully realised this after the book was written, edited, designed, illustrated and printed.

I rarely do anything to a big Plan, I tend to start somewhere and then see what happens next, but that may be the topic of another article in the new year.

But be that as it may… I now suddenly find myself in the unusual position that I have an actual message, and that I want to spread it. I suddenly feel that I want to contribute in some small way to the conversation around the world about how we build true sustainability in our businesses and in our world.

Because there is no doubt that this conversation is building around the world, and many great minds and great organisations are getting involved. And although I am glad that that is the case, I mostly see the conversation taking place in and about big economic and government structures. That’s a shame I think, because I believe we are missing a great opportunity to involve small business in the conversation so far.

The Age of Aquarius

nimbin Of course hippies and tree changers have talked about this stuff since the Age of Aquarius. (Maybe we should bow our heads and beg forgiveness of the growers of Nimbin) But the every day regular small businesses that keep our economies running, the plumbers,  architects, web-developers, shops, small manufacturers and couriers who employ 80% percent of the population in most (western) economies, should be encouraged to be part of this conversation. Small business is often referred to as the engine-room of the economy, and I believe it can also be an engine-room for change.

Change will come, it can’t help but come. At the risk of being accused of being alarmist… I have two grandkids and if there is to be any hope for a long, happy, healthy future for those two, I believe we must Change (with a big ‘C’). If we don’t organise the Change ourselves, I’m convinced the planet will organise it for us and I’m absolutely convinced my grandkids won’t enjoy that one bit.

The Great Barrier Reef

So although I agree that we should hold Shell accountable for the potential damage to our world when they drill for oil in the arctic and I’m grateful that there are people who are prepared to climb the barricades to protect the Great Barrier Reef from coal ships and dredging, it’s also high time we started thinking about business at a small scale. Smart efficient 21st century small business. What does it mean to build healthy responsible businesses when your staff is counted in single and double digits. How do you go about building businesses that sustain you and your community for now and for generations to come, when your revenue is measured in single millions or less.

And suddenly I find myself with an actual honest to goodness message in this conversation, one worth spreading and incorporating into the worldwide conversation about how we continue on this planet.

Oops

Oops, I didn’t see that coming. As they say: Careful what you ask for… you might just get it.

It’s weird, because for the last few years I’ve been saying that the problems of the world are too big for little old me to concern myself with any more and all I can do is concern myself with the people immediately around me, family and friends and the few small business owners I work with… but now I find I have to reassess that thought.

Let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting that my little book is going to change the world, I’m happy with the outcome and I’m pleased with what I have to say in it and I think the book might prove to be valuable for the small business owners who read it, but I doubt that it’s going to sit next the Das Kapital as one of the foundations of a revolution.

I do think though that it (and I) can add something to the conversation, and that it would be wrong for me to ignore that opportunity.

What next?, No Idea

ten truths I have of course absolutely no idea what I can and should and want to do with that realisation exactly yet… As usual I’ll take one step at a time and see what comes next.

I did make one decision as a result of this insight and that is that I am not going to sell the book, I’m going to give it away to as many people as I can, in Ebook and Audiobook and Kindle and paperback versions. By giving it away, I hope the message might reach a lot more people than if I tried to sell it… and who knows where it goes from there.

Spread the word and download the book

What that means for you of course is that I’d love you to go and download the book yourself. You can do so here: www.funinbusiness.biz . As one of my favourite small business clients wrote in a testimonial for the book: “You may not agree with everything Roland writes in this book but you should definitely read it and ask yourself the questions that his book asks of you as a business owner”… I agree with him of course

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I would especially love to have many conversations and intense discussions about it with lots of you.

And finally, I’d love your help to spread the message, and what that means is that I’d love you to send this article or just the link  www.funinbusiness.biz to as many people as possible Small business owners of course, anywhere in the world, but also anyone who knows a small business person and that’s all of us.

And for me? Well it means 2015 is going to be a really interesting year.

I’ll keep you posted… I promise you.

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