As the Olympic Games come to an end there has been a repeated thought that has run through my grey cells...it is the inspiration and admiration I have for all the athletes who have to find the strength, will power, confidence, guts, support, finances, belief and courage to go for their dreams against all the odds while fighting the fear, poverty, stress, isolation, competition, bad days, injury and set backs...remind you of anything?!?
There are so many lessons and ideas that a small business owner can learn from these athletes. To the horror of my offspring, I have spent much of the last fortnight being teary as I have heard the stories of heartache, gratitude, thankfulness, excitement and success that have been displayed before us. It is a story that is so resonant for folks who run small businesses. In these times of banking crisis, recession and depression it is so easy to be sucked into that negative whirlwind of media coverage, national news and global crisis and yet from that I am constantly overwhelmed when I see small, local businesses being innovative, single minded, brave, enthusiastic and successful. It seems to me that the world is on the shift and that the way forward for many is to do it their way. Small businesses are so good at coming together, networking, building business together, sharing knowledge and ideas and always looking at the big picture rather the just the bottom line. I see Staffordshire towns around me working together, looking to the future, using innovative ideas to improve footfall and share their story with their customers. It is simply human nature to survive against the odds and to adapt to change, difficulty and setbacks and it inspires me.
The Olympics has been a time to stop and reflect in the personal stories of success and set backs and how those who are passionate, focussed, single minded and frankly special can make all the difference to all around them. They have the power to be pebbles dropped in a pool and spread the positive ripples through all of us.
Please feel free to leave your comments on the Olympics - it would be great to hear how they might have inspired you, driven you mad or given you the courage to keep going....