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You are NOT Richard Branson

As entrepreneurial small business owners we get bombarded with messages about what we should and shouldn’t be doing with our businesses, what we should be striving for, and gurus and celebrity entrepreneurs we should emulate.

This is something that I care passionately about, and I care about it because it’s rubbish.

Yes, you read that correctly – I think the message that we should all be chasing super-star status is a whole heap of hooey, bunkum, and even tosh (feel free to add in your own expletives, but this article is rated PG).

If you, personally, WANT to be the next Branson, that’s just fine and I will cheer you on as you follow that path, but it’s not for everyone.

As I see it, the problem is that entrepreneurial types like you and me (and if you run your own business, however tiny, you ARE entrepreneurial at heart) push ourselves harder and further than many others. Consequently, we tend to feel that we’re failing, not because we don’t achieve anything, but because we don’t fully acknowledge those achievements because we’re already moving on to the next thing we have to do, and the next, and the next.

So, when we get all these messages telling us that Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, or Cath Kidston, are the measures of success that we should rank ourselves against, we automatically feel like what we are doing is not good enough, big enough, or clever enough.

Here’s the truth about that:

1. Whatever you want out of your business is just fine. THAT is your measure of success.

2. If you have been in business for more than a year, through the current recession, and you’re still going, you are doing really well.

3. If you are employing other people, or using outsourcers or contractors of any kind, you are doing great AND you’re putting money and work back into the economy and your community.

4. ..and finally, if you’re just starting out in business for yourself, I am beyond impressed by your courage (and you CAN do it).

Celebrate your small successes

Please be proud of your own measures of success, don’t strive for other people’s, and be proud of what your fellow business owners are achieving too – together we are slowly putting our economy back on it’s feet.

P.S. Mr Branson, if you are reading this, I think you’re great, just not the role model for every business person out there.

Blog written with thanks by Tamsin Fox-Davies of Constant Contact .
Tamsin will be appearing on a future episode of Business Bunker where we will exploring this in more depth