Call It Passion, Grit or Something Else

I have always referenced that unseen motivator that seems to help some people conquer seemingly insurmountable hurdles as passion.  Others reference it as determination or perseverance. In this TED video by Angela Lee Duckworth, it is labeled “grit.”

Whatever the name this element shows strong evidence of being important in achieving success, whether in academic settings or in business.

“Stick to it,” “never gives up,” and, yes, even “stubborn” are words that can be of great help to those looking to achieve a goal.

So when you are thinking of starting a business, reflect on how strongly the fire is burning inside you. If it’s small, you may want to think about this idea some more.  If it is a roaring blaze, maybe it is time to take the plunge.

Remember though that passion cannot overcome all obstacles. You still need a product or service that solves the customers needs. And you must be able to produce it at a price the customer is willing to pay. In other words, you need to do your homework as well as have the passion.

When you find this combination, then have the conversation with family, friends, and mentors and make plans.  Get ready to overcome or go around obstacles. Finally, hang on for the ride.

Hiring Your Own Children

You need some summer help and you have a teen who is looking for work! Perfect. You’ll hire your daughter or son and both problems are solved. While in many cases that can be a very workable solution there are other instances where hiring your own children can create more headaches than you ever imagined. As with most things in your business the key to success is careful planning. Here are a few tips for success:

Have a job description. This is important for any employee but will be especially important when hiring family members. Describe the tasks that are expected, the work hours and conditions.

Have an employee policy manual. This doesn’t have to be fancy but it should include the tasks that need to be completed along with clear instructions on procedures and work quality. Include general policies related to taking time off, and who to notify in the event of illness. The policy manual should also be clear about any training that is required, what equipment can (and can not) be used and when, and the safety plan in case of an emergency.

Have an letter of employment signed by both parties. This document should spell out the wage that is being paid, when and where checks can be collected, how hours are calculated, the policy on rest breaks and meal breaks, the starting date and the terms of employment.

It may seem a little silly to go through all of this with someone that you know as well as you know your own child but experience makes it clear that all of this process really helps to create a professional employee/employer relationship. By emphasizing the professional nature of this relationship you can help minimize the temptation to drag family baggage into the work environment. It will also help your teen set some important expectations about future jobs where the boss will not be “Mom” or “Dad”.


Tips on How to Motivate Employees

  • Organize jobs so that an individual can see the job through start to finish
  • Let employees interact with other employees, customers, and supervisors
  • Organize jobs into clusters that require a variety of skills
  • Allow some freedom for employees to make decisions in how to get a job done
  • Provide frequent feedback with clear standards about how success is measured
  • Provide opportunities for growth

Friday 15 Live Chat – August 1

Entering the World of Retail and Wholesale!

Mark your calendars – Friday August 1 for 15 minutes!

12:15 p.m. ET/11:15 a.m. CT/10:15 a.m. MT
John Marquis was on a mission of creating a men’s shaving lotion, after he created the perfect combination, he started Ogallala Bay Rum by selling on eBay!

Soon John discovered he was in the world of retail and wholesale!

John will share what he learned about marketing and selling!  To learn more about Ogallalg Bay Rum go to​​

To register and make sure you receive information on how to connect to the Friday 15 live chat – click here


Tips From a Restaurant Owner

Opening a restaurant is a desire of many individuals. Yet doing so brings a number of unique challenges. Power of Business, in a recent First Friday chat, interviewed Edgar Oliveria, a successful restaurant owner, for tips on how he successfully started and continues to operate not only one but now two restaurants.

Tips from business owners are provided the first Friday of every month at 12:15 pm ET. Topics vary. People attending can ask questions of the speaker. So grab a cup of coffee and join us on on Friday, August 1st.

Once All Businesses Were Small

Shop Small logo

Shop Small

This coming weekend about 8500 large business are going to become small businesses.

No, we are not predicting an economic downturn. It’s just definition adjustment by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as reported in the Washington Post.

So what is a small business? Although the street definition typically considers a business “small” if it employees 500 people or less, the SBA looks at both employee numbers, sales volume and whether the business dominates the field.

Yet here in North Dakota (my home state), and in most other states where I have traveled, the idea of a 500-employee business or 200 or even 20 is considered a good size business. Small in many peoples’ terms are businesses of 10, 5 or even 1 employee – a micro-business by some definitions.

And missing from that mix of businesses are over 22 million businesses that are categorized as non-employers and another 2 million farm and ranch operations.

The bottom line is there are lots of small businesses in our economic system.  When you think about it, once there were once only very small businesses and those businesses were based out of the home. We didn’t have store fronts and they were mostly, if not entirely, family businesses.

So what’s my point? Just that small businesses have always been around. They are broad in terms of how they are defined. And for our economy, whether a local community, state, nation, or on a global scale, we win with strong small businesses.

So this Sunday when we add more small businesses to the mix, let’s stand up and cheer.