Most entrepreneurs think about “being independent” when they strike out in business on their own, and those who decide that their entrepreneurial spirit will be fulfilled by owning a store or salon or restaurant are certainly among them! Being independent comes with certain benefits for sure. It is the chance to define what success is for yourself and your business… the chance to make decisions and act on them…the chance to grow at your own pace… the chance to adapt as you see fit based on your view of the world. Most people would agree that being independent is great!
But on this day when we reflect on and celebrate independence, don’t forget that in fact we are never really on our own out there in our work. Independence does NOT mean being solitary, isolated and alone. Sometimes however, with long hours invested in one place… on a very personal dream…this can be hard to remember.
But, if you think about it, we need our customers and vendors, our landlords and employees to help us BE independent retailers. We need to know what our competition is up to and what our business colleagues are experiencing. We need our friends… really good friends… to tell us what we are missing in our stores because in our “independence” sometimes we can be too close to notice. We need advice from professionals whether they are lawyers or accountants or designers to help us advance. We need others so we can be independent!
So, may I offer a little advice as we celebrate independence? Listen, learn and be open to the contributions of others … and you’ll be the best independent retailer you can be. Happy 4th of July!