Today I reflect on a time when I didn’t fully appreciate a job I once held. I only kept that job for a year. I was nearly broke and chose to end it and head back home to Seattle and start over. The job I am referring to was in the little desert town of Yuma, Arizona. As a creative services Director/Producer for a small market NBC Affiliate Television Station, I made commercials for small businesses. A LOT of commercials. Some had very specific directives for their 30 second ads while others allowed me some creative freedom. Both had their advantages and disadvantages. From Car and RV Dealerships to Coffee and Antique shops and car services, I saw the full range of business types and owners. Sometimes I hated it and sometimes I loved it. But I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. I figured this was a rung on the television career ladder. I was wrong to think that way and was, ultimately, a disservice to my clients and myself. That was nearly 18 years ago.
Today I am a small business owner. I write and produce Comic Books with an artist/partner and I also write and produce media for wineries in Washington State. Two very different business types. But what I have discovered is the same entrepreneurship required of me is the very same drive that moved all those business owners in Yuma. Work hard, find and build an audience, develop the brand, and drive consumers to your product. This is the same goal that ALL business owners have. AND IT IS HARD WORK.
I believe in small business. It is the engine that drives the economy and job growth at a local level. 68 cents of every dollar is returned to the economy LOCALLY with every transaction. It’s important that these businesses flourish because if they don’t the economy, as a whole, will fail. Many local small businesses work together to drive consumers to their products and refer each other to their customers as a rule. What is good for one, is usually good for all.
So, this Holiday season (and all other seasons) keep this in mind and shop small and local, OFTEN. This is the lesson I learned 18 years ago but didn’t realize it until only recently. I appreciate my time in Yuma more than I ever thought.
Think Big and Shop Small