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What Owning a Business Really Means 


by Glenn Shepard
September 22, 2015
Category:  Entrepreneurship


Chicago, IL Sept 29
Peoria, IL Sept 30
Click the link above for any date, or click here to email us.

Dear Glenn,

I liked (last week’s) article about telling young women to “Cover the Three B’s”, but couldn’t figure out what the third one was? Can you elaborate?

- Steve in Redding, CA 

Dear Steve,        

    They’re Belly, Breasts, and Behind/Buttocks. But YOU shouldn’t be the one discussing this. It’s something that female HR professionals and female managers tell their younger female employees in a private mentoring or mother like capacity, when it’s obvious they need a little guidance on their fashion choices.                
    Men’s fashions don’t change that much, but women’s change every year, which makes it hard to communicate what’s acceptable and what’s not. One company in Jacksonville, FL went through 25 fashion magazines and cut out photos of what’s acceptable and what’s not. They then glued them on poster boards and hung them in their break room.
      Thanks for your question.

- Glenn in Nashville, TN

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Last week marked 27 years since I bought my first business.

It was a small spinoff of a Nashville based publishing company, which I later expanded into Memphis, Cincinnati, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Birmingham.  

People who’ve never been self-employed sometimes tell me how fortunate I am to be self-employed, and they’re right. Life’s too short to spend your life doing something you hate.  

But too many people have the wrong idea of what being self-employed really means.  

I recently met a very intelligent and well educated 25-year-old who told me he hates his job. One of his complaints was that he “Only gets 12 (paid) vacation days and 11 (paid) holidays a year”. He said he wants to be self-employed so that he “won’t have to be a slave” to his company any more.  

How sad that they don’t require students to take a class titled “Here’s What the World of Business Is Really Like” before graduating.   
While 27 years in business means I haven’t had to ask anyone’s permission to come and go since 1988, it also means that I’ve worked on plenty of holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, without getting paid a dime.  

It’s been 27 years since I knew on Monday if I’d be able to pay myself on Friday, or pay my employees without having to loan the company money.  

It’s been 27 years since I missed a scheduled day of work.  

It’s been 27 years since someone else paid for my health insurance, or any other benefits.  

It’s been 27 years since I’ve had paid vacation time.  

When people who want to leave their job and “take the leap” ask my opinion, my response is “You’re not cut out to be self-employed. If you were, you wouldn’t ask anyone’s opinion. You’d throw caution to the wind and jump headfirst, defying logic and reason. You’d be arrogant and ignorant enough to actually believe you’ll be the 1 in 10 who succeeds. You’d be the reckless cowboy type who prizes independence, opportunity, and freedom above security. You’d believe so much in yourself that you wouldn’t care what others believe. You’d be a gambler who’s willing to put your money where your mouth is by risking everything, knowing there’s a VERY high probability you’ll lose it all.”  

But for the rare individual who has the courage, confidence, and conviction to follow their dream; believes in self-reliance and rugged individualism; not only marches to the beat of their own drum but builds their own drum from scratch; it is the most fulfilling career choice there is. I never want to retire, and hope I’m fortunate enough to be doing at 80 what I’m doing now. 

To Your Success,

P.S. *P.S. Every year at this time, I share this story for all of the entrepreneur wannabes out there. If you’re one of them and this doesn’t scare or discourage you in any way, good luck in your endeavor. It will be the greatest ride of your life.

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