When I initially started my business, my husband and I agreed that if we could change just one life it was going to be worth it. If we could tell one person that they mattered; it would be a success. We knew creating something from nothing was going to be a challenge on many different levels. We had no idea how we were going to make the financial side work or how to make equipment and resources appear out of nothing, but we figured we would take it a day at a time and start building. What we never expected was that we would have to plant our feet and protect the people and business we were creating from others that would try and tear it apart.
Sharing my story with several other business owners has been eye opening for me this week. If I think my story of struggle is bad, you should hear what others go through on a daily basis. Big companies aren’t as concerned over a couple negative reviews, but small businesses are quite different. They are the people that struggle daily over hard decisions. They are the people that love their communities and the people that walk through the doors enough to sacrifice in order to make the business work. They are the people that have a dream and grind every day to make that dream work. They are the people that through a cup of coffee, a friendly greeting, and a warm shoulder to lean on change the lives in a community. They do it day in and day out. Personally, I am so grateful for many of those people that have touched my life. One such person was why I was able to find a sport I loved so much. He would work a full-time job and then sacrifice his spare time and resources to teach people to box. That gym picked me up in the middle of one of the hardest times of my life. I am FOREVER changed because of his selfless sacrifice, and that passion has continued to change people through my own business.
Mentioning the critics to these types of dream chasers, I have witnessed the tear in the eye of the business owner who has been torn apart on social media. I’ve heard the wise laughs of those who have read the hurtful lies spread on social media. I’ve seen the heartbreak on the faces of people who are walking through law suits. In the most hateful and vicious spirits, these people have been torn apart at least once. They have had to fight to keep their dreams alive. Don’t get me wrong, there are people out there that prey on people through their businesses and that is wrong, but what I have seen this week is heartbreaking on the other end of the spectrum.
Stand strong, friends. Don’t let the weak individuals sitting behind their computer deter you. Chase the dream, change lives, and stand your ground. Find other people to lean on in those dark times because if you ask around enough you will find them. They are marked with the brave smile on their faces for the meaningful lives they are living, and also the deep understanding for what you are going through.
Because of those people, I’m standing stronger than ever today. I am more focused on my dream than ever and my hope is that I can reciprocate that strength to another person that could use it today.
And, if you’re one of those critics out there….get a life. Find meaning of your own and dedicate all that passion to accomplish something meaningful instead of just trying to tear others apart. If you don’t like someone’s dreams and vision, take your business elsewhere.