Monday, July 21, 2008

microBusiness: Doing Your Own Good Work

Lloyd Lemons

Entrepreneurship offers endless creative lessons...

About three years ago, Michael Hopkins wrote a piece in Inc. Magazine about entrepreneurship. I kept the hard copy, because I enjoyed it so much. It’s a long article, but I thought it hit the mark then, and it still does today. If you want to read the whole article the link below still works. One of Michael's 75 Reasons to Be Glad You’re an American Entrepreneur... is number 40, and probably the one closest to my heart. He says, “...entrepreneurship is a way out, a way through...”. He notes that in the New York City Family Court system, kids still choose entrepreneurship as their second favorite dream for the future. (Becoming an NBA basketball player is the first.)

Entrepreneurship, which includes microBusinesses of all types, is one area of our economic system that has open arms for virtually anyone regardless of class distinction, race, education, financial wherewithal, social values, political affiliation, size and appearance, or even the ability to speak the English Language. Entrepreneurs, even ones with minimal resources, create their own welfare. They have an idea, they set an intention, and they move forward at their own risk. They establish their own set of management rules, accept 100% of the responsibility, motivate themselves, and win or lose in the marketplace. They don’t need to be “acceptable” according to a firm’s corporate culture. They work at something of their own creation, generally something they enjoy, and according to the dictates of their own heart. They create a space in the world that, for the most part, they control, and of which, they take ownership. (Sound familiar?)

I’ve seen a recovering addict start a business with a bucket, a brush, and a squeegee. Today, he has a thriving window cleaning business. I know of a handicap woman who designs and creates beaded jewelry at her kitchen table; a business that feeds her two children. I’ve seen a college kid build computers in his dorm room, and turn it into a multi-million company. And I’ve worked with a high school dropout who turned a hammer and saw into a growing construction company. It wasn’t easy for these people, and there were plenty of naysayers, but they would not let anyone steal their dream.

Entrepreneurship, just like creativity, doesn’t require a pedigree, a handsome face, a pile of money, or an unusual level of intelligence. It doesn’t require extraordinary talent, a polished speaking voice, or connections to important people. It simply requires the overwhelming desire to improve your situation. A healthy measure of independence and a determined character will carry you a long way; and more important than formal training is a belief in yourself, a moral compass, and the desire to contribute something of value to the world. Entrepreneurship isn’t an elitist club designed to usher a select few into uncountable riches. For millions "...entrepreneurship is a way out, a way through...” a life that is not always fair, not always just. It’s an opportunity available to anyone to make his or her own mark in the world, to do an honorable work, to be self-sufficient, and to build a better life.

NOTE: I know that this blog has an international readership, and it is not my intention to focus on America exclusively. I also know that microBusinesses are "a way out, a way through" for many people around the world. Please comment on how entrepreneurship, microBusiness, and creativity have impacted your life, no matter where you live.


Lloyd Lemons lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife of 32 years, Diane. He’s had many jobs in his life ranging from corporate marketing director to lemonade stand proprietor. Today he is a writer, copywriter, photographer, marketing consultant, and creative collaborator. He’s been a soloist for 25-years. He’s currently writing a book on the art of the microBusiness. To keep his head clear, and to germinate new ideas, he spends his free time as an endurance cyclist. Please visit his website “A Lifetime of microBusiness” at, or contact him personally at:

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