My husband and I are business partners. We've owned a distribution, sales, and service company for 19 years. Naturally, passion and ambition played a key role in the start-up of our small business. These virtues are the inner qualities we've constantly tapped into over the years. I believe these two traits help to decide the success of a small business.
After nearly two decades in the outdoor play systems' industry; I recognize that passion and ambition remains undervalued when it should be one of the major reasons to start any small business.
You Cannot Fake Passion
Before starting our company, we were already working within the outdoor play systems' market for a couple of years. We knew eventually we "might" get the opportunity to launch a business under the parent company. When that opportunity became reality, our passion to make it happen took on new meaning.
Of course, we didn't know "how" we were going to do that. We simply understood that we "would" do it.
We studied and learned everything we could about the industry. We worked in the field as installers, garnering knowledge about the business in all capacities. Because we were working full-time, and had almost no debt; we stopped wasting any money and instead built up our bank accounts.
Our home had a decent line of equity. If we had to, we could fall back on the equity in the house to get the business going: That's exactly what we did to buy product inventory in the early years of our company's development. Passion is important; so is money.
We didn't have to force a vision of ourselves as business owners; it consumed every waking moment. That undeniable vision and passion is something that's carried us through the ups and downs for 19 years.
No, passion didn't pay the bills: but it did provide us with the determination to find any way possible to keep the company going during unstable economic times.
Ambition Grows a Company
The ambition we put forth in our company is as worthy and extensive today as it was when we started. I admit, though, that I've experienced a few moments when it's difficult to muster up the same determination; after all, 19 years is a long time to keep that spirit intact.
Our small business is successful. It's grown tenfold. Everything is going great and we've expanded again this year.
Two years ago, I realized our company is not likely to cast us into the shameless millionaires' financial bracket. That's OK with me. I'm happy being a business owner. Besides, maybe it's the thrill of the chase that helps to keep our passion and ambition in forward motion.
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