October 8, 2007.
....He's like this....he's like this mindless machine that I can't even relate to anymore...."Andrew, you've got to be number one! I won't tolerate any losers in this family...Your intensity is for shit! Win. Win! WIN!!!"
The quote is from The Breakfast Club (one of my all time favorite movies, though it really is a right of passage if you were a girl in the 80's right?) and it is the famous scene where they all sit around and realize how they are all so much the same, and there parents pretty much suck. Ya, it's a great movie, as your kids get older though - um, a little harder to digest. Especially with the whole, "are we going to be like our parents speech....." it gives me the chills, even as I write it.
Reason number one I will not quit, is that my products sell. I am NOT bragging, it is a truth. If your products are selling, then keep selling them, do not quit. If they only do well in certain channels then do what they tell you to do in Business 101 (for me that would be reading Entrepreneur Magazine) - grow those channels. Grow your fan base, it is much easier to sell to people that love you than those that.....well don't so much. Nurture and grow that business that has a big fan base for your products, they already love you...love them back!
I Totally Can't Do it!
I may not be the best business women, I may not have the best business sense but I will be the last one standing - I can not quit. I am loyal to the end. I feel loyal to my customer base, to my sales channels, to my employees, to myself. I have this crazy idea that the world would stop spinning if I stopped.....let's be serious, if I stopped producing, someone else would just pick up where I left off and make something to take my place. I uh, well I really could not let that happen though, could I?
Even though the word "quitter" is not in the Breakfast Club speech, it always seems to be what I think of when I think of quitting. Now, before you start hitting the comment button, or sending me emails, DO know I am not quitting.......sometimes, it does pop into my head. It happens (every time) when I get really sick, I start to realize I can not just lay there and be sick, I must continue to run the company and figure things out....just like how when you are a parent you can not REALLY be sick, you must still be a parent. I always whine (shocking I know) and my husbands says, fine - quit. Well, come on, I can NOT quit....it is NOT in my personality. I did not say "change" I said quit, quitting is really is not an option.
If I were to really slow down, and consider letting myself quit..I still could not stop (it's an illness, really it is) I would just take the business in a different direction. I have a friend who always focuses on the "light at the end of the tunnel". I am like, "um I can not even get THROUGH the tunnel, where is the damn light?" These are the times that I tend to think of broadening my brand, growing products, brancing out - if you have nothing to lose....you have everything to gain!
The Lentzner's Are Not Quitters
Last year a girl from my daughters soccer team (The Purple Pixies of course) quit half way through the season. Her parents walked up to my sister (who was coaching as a favor to me when I had a girls weekend away) and said, "Our daughter is quitting soccer" and they they marched off the field with there heads held high and never came back. Um, did I mention the girls were four? Ya, it was a great experience - we had four girls on our team after that - really nice. I would never let my kids quit mid-season, it is just not in my blood. Darin and I literally started saying to the kids, "The Lentzners are not quitters!" - I feel like Chevy Chase in vacation....but uh, well the kids got on board. We are NOT quitters, we will not quit - I mean come on, Stick It Out!
I may be able to step away from the business a few days a week, I am able to go on vacation and I am able to go in a different direction and grow. Quit? Close up shop? Not even an option - no matter what happens. I swear I can not imagine just throwing my hands in the air and saying, "That's it, the party is officially over." Those words are not in my vocabulary.
Well You Have My Support
I know how hard it is to run your own business, really sista' I do. I have also talked many an entrepreneur off a ledge, convinced them to stay........uh what does President Bush say "stay the course". I feel that one failure, is a failure for all of us. Being able to talk someone through a tough patch, a tough decision, or a "oh my gosh do NOT do that......walk away from the phone!" moment is huge. The community of women I have met through this blog, in this business has been amazing. I am amazed at the power of positive reinforcement - the power of a nice word, a compliment , a suggestion. When I worked for a big organization I only got a pat on the back quarterly or even yearly....oh and do not forget that fabulous 2% raise!
Now that I am the boss, the monetary reward is not what drives me. The small accomplishment, the new friend, the new product, the margins increase - or just the new sales channels pushes me forward. Really if God is in the Details, then he IS in small business. I get such a rise out of the small accomplishments that I make on a daily basis. And, truth be told, when others tell me about THERE accomplishments - that is just as cool! The truth is NOT in the pudding, the truth is in your support system.