Small Business Owners

Words matter. When “small business” and “small business owner” is used over and over again, it begins to feel belittling. Together, opportunity awaits those who brew fresh ways to talk with and about small businesses!

First, let’s get an elephant in the room. Everyone understands the need for business categorization within an economy and yes, size is a simple metric. Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) are quick to explain that because of government policies, regulated programs, and the history of small business owners not thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs, using “small business” has become second nature.

The opportunity exists within events where the assemblage are small business owners, but what about this fear of marketing that won’t resonate without a clear call to “small business owners”? Here’s the trick. Use small business terms to gather awareness, but then let those technical terms chill once everyone comes together. This ensures clarity in branding, online activity, and event promotions. As events get underway, emcees, speakers, panelists, and staff can embolden the audience by using “small business owners” as necessary, but intentionally use more alternative titles that add depth to the narrative. Instead of everything being stuck on small, try these seven synonyms that describe greatness, importance, appreciation, growth, and yes, small business owners.

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Leaders
  • Students
  • Innovators
  • Heretics
  • Creators
  • Community Builders

As people who may have only identified as a small business owners start using enlivened vocabulary, these side conversations become a signal of something lasting! If this effort continues at future events, more people will connect with more terms they feel inspired by. This exposes small business owners to even more relevant resources, helpful ideas, and different areas to confidently explore within an expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Extra Shot

When was the last time you wanted something important to be small?

Using this working draft of synonyms, we can each quietly inspire more inclusivity through fresh assimilation at events. Even if policies remain rigid, more people will learn to celebrate and identify with more codifications.

Over time, more will feel allyship with all that is entrepreneurship. We will remain proud small business owners, but just as vested when we hear whatever the latest jargon may be.

Popcorning

There’s an energy that comes from jumping between different initiates in a diversified career portfolio.

An ability to popcorn between progress is what makes a diversified career portfolio work. Over time, the mental and physical exhilaration strengthens an elastic-type of energy that builds focus, even when it’s applied on multiple fronts and in tiny time windows.

This ambitious movement fuels action within different slices of a diversified career portfolio and should be celebrated. For example, the impactful days where we hammer on one thing, ship progress; pop to the next thing, ship different progress; and then pop one or three more times to fuel momentum on even more! This type of work is exhausting, but the flow makes us feel tenacious. With practice, this multi-modal focus is refined, increasing the leverage to explore exponential activities.

Extra Shot

I have a fun new phygital item for sale.
Video – https://youtu.be/6toglC21dwI

They’ll say you gotta focus. Only chase one rabbit. Maybe. If financial stability relies on a single income or paid employees depend on you to lead, less diversification will help support stability.

That said, who knows a leader who only does one thing? Leaders are everywhere, doing everything! We are efficient humans with super computers all around us. Even when different ventures don’t seemingly relate, there is a shared thread that sews efficiency into the work. YOU!

For anyone with more to build, there’s no permission required to add creative slivers to the pie chart of how you spend time. Does it take an extra gear? Yes. Might it require practice to stay balanced? Yes. Will you have to play 80 hours in order to avoid working 40? Yes. It is absolutely possible for anyone in our connected era? Yes!

Cheers to this elastic-type of energy that comes from popcorning between various initiates within a balanced diversified career portfolio.

Funnel Canyoneering

Kaylee Williams is a sales savant and an empathetic venture capitalist dedicated to accelerating fellow founders. As the Investment Director at InnoVenture Iowa, she manages a $30M public fund focused on investing in early stage companies throughout Iowa, with applications for this year’s $100K InnoVenture Challenge now open!

Together, we chat about hiking in the Appalachians, raising capital, and filling the sales funnel to keep entrepreneurs building in the wild. As Kaylee reminds us with her closing canyoneering story, we are all capable of so much more, so push yourself into positions where the only way out, is through.

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Playforce Principles

Introducing a modern equation:

C + I + R + V = future of work

The “future of work” is something many people throughout an entrepreneurial ecosystem think about, talk about, and work on together.

When everyone is trying to figure out the future of work, how have we arrived at this simple solution to such a complex, important, and constant debate?

It began with 20+ years of collaborating through connection. This experiential wisdom is wonderful, but thinking/writing/talking about education through the lens of entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and innovation has embedded perpetual learnings from students, educators, employers, and community builders. Along the way, “Playforce” was coined to describe a workforce that thirsts for significance through work that feels like play. In fact, an optional multiplier in this C.I.R.V. equation is actually having fun through an intrinsic sense of play. The depth of each variable (curiosity, initiative, real skills, and vocational knowledge) is also key to equalizing this complex equation.

This long-term focus has provided clarity, but this C.I.R.V. equation was refined through an ambitious collection of professional podcast interviews. In just three months, we orchestrated, recorded, and produced 55 fascinating episodes of You Don’t Need This Podcast. You read that right my friends. 55 thoughtful episodes of YDNTP were created in only 3 months, with a new episode now queued up to be released every week into 2024! During this prolific sprint, leaders boldly shared timeless insight linked to all parts within the educational system and related influences from throughout an entrepreneurial ecosystem. These were not quick chats. These were rich conversations with each special guest totally plugged in, sitting directly across me in a downtown recording studio! Navigating this many peculiar interactions sealed in the required comprehension that connects through pertinent perspectives.

Forecasting the future is hard, but action guided by the modern principles expressed in this new C.I.R.V. equation helps us activate exponential value as we continue building the future of work.