A note of gratitude…

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Jen Wirth | November 28, 2018 | no comments |

A Note of Gratitude…

by Coach Jen, RN

I meant to send this out over the holiday weekend (aka on time), but I got a bad chest cold and am just now getting back on track. Thanks, as always, for your indulgence.
I’ve started thinking about Small Business Saturday in a different way over the past several years. I’m a third generation small business owner on my dad’s side. My dad was a pharmacist and I spent a fair amount of my youth Saturdays working in his store.
Despite the fact that it got progressively harder and harder to stay in business as an independent pharmacy, my dad made it happen, until he lost his battle with cancer nearly 17 years ago at age 55.
Now my brother, the pharmacist, works the counter and our mom works in the office. Together, they kept my dad’s store open and running, after all the other independent pharmacies in the city have closed.
My grandfather, my dad’s father, was an upholsterer by trade. Over the years, he managed to scrape together the down payments on a few small apartment buildings in Queens… and he maintained all the apartments himself until the year he died at age 80.
Apparently, we’re not much for retirement on the small business side of the family 😉 I’m hoping for a different outcome in this department, but we’ll see… I like what I’m doing too much to give it up without a fight… and I’m trying to be in good shape in my later years… Anyway, we’ll see.
Despite having a history behind me, the new economy and the type of business I’m in have made my learning curve as a small business owner over the last (nearly) 9 years pretty steep.
A small business is not a self-perpetuating event.
It takes effort.
Sometimes it’s like pushing a rock.
Nothing just happens, you know?
Sometimes I make mistakes.
It’s nerve-wracking and humbling.
But this is also the best job I’ve absolutely ever had. I get to develop all sorts of communication skills and coach others to make fitness a regular part of their lives. If my mission is successful, many people that I know will have lasting good health, strength, and vitality. This means that if I’m successful in my life’s work, my friends, family, and community will live longer, and stronger, and more independently. Pretty selfish of me, actually.
I love my small business for giving me the opportunity to realize my life’s mission. And I thank each of you for patronizing my small business to help me do this work.
Speaking of small businesses, recently, many businesses around the country celebrated “Small Business Saturday.”
Here are a few facts about them and suggestions for how you can help support them year round. Want to double your impact? Double the number of small businesses you support 😉
Here’s why Small Businesses are important:
   •   64% of new jobs in the U.S. come from small business. The trend is rising.
   •   Your kid will probably work for a local entrepreneur, or become an entrepreneur themselves.
   •   Local entrepreneurs give more to local charities.
   •   Local entrepreneurs support other local entrepreneurs, creating a cascading effect.
   •   Small businesses pay more in local taxes than you do.
   •   Small business owners pay their staff far more than they pay themselves.
   •   Small business pulls money INTO your city. Big business pulls it OUT.
   •   Small business creates sixteen TIMES more patents than large business does. That means more innovation, more future security, and more jobs.
In many ways, the city our kids will inherit, and the opportunities presented to them, depend on the success of our local small businesses.
Here’s how you can help support Small Businesses year round:
   •   Choose to support local service industries. Signing up for local services, like gyms and dentists and lawyers, makes a huge difference. Franchisees are local too–you don’t have to stop visiting In-N-Out, but corporate-owned stores like Starbucks pull money out of town.
   •   Tip their staff REALLY well. One of the hardest parts of owning a business is creating meaningful careers for your staff. When people like their jobs and earn enough money, they stay. They keep their kids in local schools and local sports; drive better cars; keep their yards clean. Be nice to the front-line worker.
   •   Decline their discounts. Most small-business owners will surrender a discount if you ask for one. Don’t. They’ll discount themselves to death, because they think they’re helping a friend. If you ask for a discount, you’re not being a friend; you’re taking advantage. I challenge you to go in the other direction and decline a discount when it’s offered.
   •   Forgive their mistakes. Big companies screw up all the time, but they make their mistakes in other cities, and then teach their staff how to avoid making the same mistake in the future. Local entrepreneurs have to make all of their mistakes on local people. A personalized experience means you’re dealing with a person. And people screw up. But people can also make it up to you.
   •   Tell your friends. Small businesses depend on referrals for growth.
   •   Take them a coffee. They need it.
In the age of Amazon and the Big Box with their phenomenal staff and ad budgets, Small Business owners aren’t asking for charity, they’re just there, with their shoulders to the grindstone.
Some businesses deserve to be successful, and some don’t. But there’s a lot on the line these days.
We’re grateful to all our members, current and former, who have kept our small business going throughout the past (almost) nine years. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Yours,
Coach Jen

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