I’m working on a questionnaire for a local business publication, and one of the questions is what “commonly accepted business wisdom” do I think it’s time to retire. Here’s a draft of my response, which I’m still tinkering with:
Contrary to common opinion, starting a business does not have to be risky, it does not have to consume your life, and it does not have to achieve major profits and growth in order to be successful. Many people have radically upped their quality-of-life quotient by opting out of the 9-to-5 routine and pursuing modest businesses that required very little capital to start, and with few or no employees. When run well, with simple organizational and management systems, these small businesses can be quite lucrative and manageable, even for a solo operator. Yes, there is a tradeoff to running a business with modest growth goals: It is harder to take time off, and long-term profitability will be more limited. But the flexibility that’s afforded by micro-businesses is of huge value to many people, and many consider this trade-off well worth it.
What do you think? And what conventional business wisdom do you think is outdated or just plain wrong? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts!