1. Many Entrepreneurs neglect their own garden
I remember once hearing a story about a man who went into the barber shop. There were two barbers working. One had a terrible haircut and one had an amazing haircut. The man promptly went and sat in the chair of the one with the terrible haircut. Why? You ask? Because the one with the amazing haircut had obviously had it done by the one with the terrible haircut – and vise versa.
Point being, many entrepreneurs are so busy trying to please their customers, they often don’t have time to take care of their own garden! So if you are expecting an innkeepers home to be neat and tidy, forget it. If you think the spa owners nails are going to be perfectly manicured, thing again. If you think the landscapers yard is going to be immaculate – nope! They are often too busy taking care of everyone else!
2. Everyone is just trying to make a living
Entrepreneurs are people too. They are not super human. They make mistakes. In fact, they make a lot of them! If they closed up shop every time they goofed or upset a customer they wouldn’t get very far! They tend to have thick skin, but many are sensitive underneath and every time they let someone down, they loose sleep over it – I guarantee it!
The next time a small business lets you down, remember there is a real human being that cares a lot about what has happened – approach kindly – you will get better results.
3. Their number one priority is making people happy
If you have entrepreneurial blood in your viens you can’t help but be constantly thinking about ways to make people happy – because that is really what it boils down to. Yes, there is the money factor – but money doesn’t come if your first priority isn’t making sure that whatever you are selling, whatever you are providing – you had better be making someone happy.
4. They love to connect
Every entrepreneur I have had the pleasure of working with – even the shy ones – love to gather and share information. Get them talking about what they know best and the web of people they are connected with is astounding. Connection is an integral part of success as an entrepreneur.
5. They have almost always paid their dues
Great entrepreneurs have almost always spent a good amount of time in the trenches, and often still do. They know what it’s like to make cold calls, to pound the pavement, to not be able to pay rent until they make the next sale. So if you work for an entrepreneur and they get after you to pick up the phone, I guarantee you it’s not because they are bullies, it’s because they are trying to run a business and keep the money coming in so that you can get paid at the end of the week.
6. Holidays, although necessary, can be stressful for an entrepreneur
Holidays mean that you are not working to make the business a success. Every moment you are away from your business, is a moment you might have made a difference. If you are not at work, you are relying on your team to cover for you and often, as an entrepreneur, you don’t have all of your ducks in a row, which makes it tricky for others to do your job. If you love an entrepreneur, make sure they get away once in a while, but don’t make it longer than they can handle because the holiday that was supposed to give them a break might actually heighten their stress!
7. They don’t always have their sh#@ together
As North Americans we are accustomed to big business customer service and treatment. If you want to support small to medium sized businesses, keep in mind that they may not have thought through every single scenario. You might be their first customer requesting a mohawk (if we stick with the barber analogy). It doesn’t mean they won’t be awesome at it, but give them time and space to figure it out and deliver an excellent product to you.
8. Entrepreneurs need friends
Running your own business can be a roller coaster ride. If you have a buddy who is trying to make it on their own, support them. Shop at their store. Use their services. Tell people about them. If they need improvement in some areas, don’t tell everyone – instead, talk to them directly. They don’t always know the answers, and can use help from people who care about them.
9. If you don’t have something nice to say…
I know I just said “if they need improvement…” but, as the old adage goes “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Often times entrepreneurs are painfully aware of where they are falling down, but don’t have the time or resources to get to it. So instead of pointing out all the places they are not hitting the mark, make a point of noticing and commenting on the things they are doing right! Entrepreneurs can spend a lot of time fixing unhappy customers problems and can loose sight of what they are great at!
10. At the end of the day, there’s always tomorrow
Entrepreneurs love tomorrow. It means they get to start all over again and hopefully do it better than they did yesterday. That’s why they are most often early risers!