No use complaining
Keep up won’t you? There’s no room for weenies in the global micro enterprise community. My hapless and hopeless UK agent, Tony Robinson OBE, sent me a press clipping of what Serena Williams said after winning the Madrid Open last week.
He’s obsessed by how Serena and Venus have raised the game, opportunity and fashion in women’s tennis so he’s always sending me stuff about what they do, say and wear.
Unfortunately, as he’s by no means the sharpest knife in the drawer, he doesn’t realise that what the Williams family achieve provides some great learning for micro business owners the world over. It also captures a lot of what that fab Enterprise Rockers movement, for micro enterprise owners, is about.
Apparently there was a lot of controversy at the Madrid Open about the new blue coloured clay courts. They use blue playing surfaces indoors in tennis and in other sports, like this coming Olympics hockey, as it make the game better for spectators and television.
However, the men, particularly the world’s number 1 and 3, Djokovic (cool) and Nadal (hot), didn’t like these blue, normally red, clay courts. They said it was too slippery and threatened to boycott any future tournaments that used it.
This is what Serena Williams had to say, in her winner’s interview, about the playing surface:
“Women are way tougher than men,” she said. “That’s why we have the babies, you guys could never handle kids.”
“We ladies don’t complain we just do our best. On the WTA we are real performers, we are not about going out there and being weenies.”
Just do it
Go Serena go. Now neither Serena nor I have had babies but I think you can see what she’s getting at. By the way, I wonder if she hasn’t had babies for the same reasons I haven’t? I’m just not convinced that the maternity or new Mum look is for me – why I’ve even seen some of these women go outside without their mascara on!
The point is there’s really no point in whingeing as it gets in the way of winning. (I’m sure they’ll put that in the next volume of fave Soculitherzisms – see ‘Stripping for Freedom’).
I believe women are better at just getting on with it. However, all the successful micro business owners, women and men, I’ve interviewed work longer and harder than their corporate and public sector equivalents but because they love what they do they remain incredibly positive.
It’s unfair so get over it
My agent, Robinson, is stupid but he’s said for years that a level playing field for micro enterprise owners will never be a priority for government, certainly for you Brits. Governments traditionally view micro business owners, the 95%, as the great unwashed whereas they can clearly see what executives in larger organisations, the 5%, can do for them.
So, they give them more skills and support funding, greater public procurement opportunity, ability to cope with regulations, more favourable taxation, better financial services provision and bale outs when things go wrong. It’s called ‘creating the right conditions for enterprise and entrepreneurs’.
In turn, larger organisations make the playing surface very slippery for micro business particularly by the practices and processes they impose on their micro business suppliers and then by the late paying of their bills – average 80 days.
Money talks. The big company lobbying machines, which get from government the playing conditions they want, out muscle the small business membership organisation’s lobbying efforts by £billions.
So just get over it and get on with it. Complaining about unfairness is a waste of business building time. Concentrate on winning like Serena. The great thing is that it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to overcome the same level of adversity and prejudice in order to get to the top with your microbiz.
Rocking all over the world
I think Tina Boden, who co-founded the Enterprise Rockers, a global movement for micro enterprise, has the right idea. Tina’s psyche is the same as Serena’s, along the lines of;
‘Let’s get on with it and just do it ourselves to make life better and fairer for all of us. Then, one day when we have the Power of Plenty in the Rockers’ band, say over half a million, as voters and customers, those that are making us play uphill may just have to listen to us.
In the mean time we’ll have a lot of fun helping each other to thrive and make everyone understand self employment and running your own micro biz is a great career and life option’.
Mind you, I think that now the Enterprise Rockers have got that big German guy, Stefan Topfer, CEO and owner of WinWeb, involved, government may be listening – and a tad scared – already.