A Few “Take Homes” After 50 Years in Business

If someone had of asked me 50 years ago, “Why are you going into business for yourself and what do you expect to get out of it?”, I probably would have responded, “ Because I want to be my own boss and I want to control my future.” Fifty years later, I can honestly say, my journey was far more than being my own boss, and the future turned out totally different than I expected. Actually, What I have learned about myself and, what the real meaning of being a “boss” was, totally changed my life.

You see, I really wasn’t meant to be a boss but rather a LEADER, and in so doing, my purpose was to help other people be successful and define and develop THEIR future. As I made mistakes and experienced various forms of failure, I grew wiser and was thereby able to turn those lessons into successes. By sharing that wisdom with my employees, they made fewer mistakes, our companies grew, and we became more successful by learning and growing together. The list of “take homes” below are a few of the wisdom tips I share with other emerging entrepreneurs whom I consult with. Hopefully one or more of them will be a nugget that you can cling onto and help you navigate through the wonderful world of owing your own business.

• Listen to the WISDOM of others. Learn from their successes and failures, it might reduce yours.

• Whatever you do, be the BEST at whatever you do. Good is not good enough.

• Realize that CHANGE is inevitable. Take a chance, make a mistake and learn from it. No Pain, No Gain.

• SURROUND yourself with people equal to and greater than yourself. Weak people will pull you down the ladder of success, strong people will push you up.


• REMEMBER that climbing that ladder of success is much easier than staying at the top. Always work to be the leader and one step in front of your competition.


• NEVER stop learning. The world is changing too fast to take a rest.

• Be a person of HIGH CHARACTER. Your character will determine your destiny.

• Take care of yourself. Your PHYSICAL WELL BEING will affect almost every aspect of your life.

• Establish RELATIONSHIPS with people with integrity whom you can trust. People who will hold you accountable and help you see different perspectives.

• Remember — every CHOICE you make has a CONSEQUENCE. Seek wisdom and knowledge and before you make your decision “CHALLENGE YOUR CHOICES.” You will make fewer mistakes.

I could add another 20 or 30 to this list, maybe in another article, but for now, these ten have made a major impact in my life and in others I have shared them with. Learn from your mistakes and failures, make corrections in what you are doing and then share that information with others. Then you will know what you are getting out of your being your own boss — it’s not about you — it’s how you lead and help others. That’s why you are in business for yourself.