Depending on your source, new businesses that fail within their first twelve months range from 20% to 90%. My own observations over the years (I have no solid data to back this) is that these failures are not from a lack of skill but from a lack of business-sense and of infra-structure. So here I am with my own start-up, and of course, I want it to succeed, but I'm a writer, an editor, and an HR professional. I'm not a small business owner. Oh wait. Yes, I am. Last week, I spent a fair amount of time networking and learning about the business side of things. By Thursday evening, it's fair to say that I was a tad overwhelmed. I had listened, processed, and absorbed as much as I could. It felt like I had walked into a dense forest. Trees grew closely together and leaves scattered the ground. I could no longer see the path. I looked up. I looked around. Nothing but trees and leaves. Tall and beautiful and amazing in their brilliant fall colors but so many of them! I froze.
Americans have a favorite pastime, and no, I'm not referring to baseball or football. This pastime doesn't cost any money. You don't need tickets, and there's no set game time. It happens every day. You don't need to be physically fit. You don't need special training. We do it at book club, at work, on the road, in meetings, having lunch with friends, etc. You get the idea. What is it? Complaining. We love to complain, and I'm right there in the fray, tearing everything and everyone apart. Sometimes it wears me out. My mom passed away many years ago, and one of my all-time favorite memories of life with her goes back to my summer between high school and college. We worked together that summer. Drove together every morning, bright and early, right into the rising sun. One morning, my mom reached into her purse and grabbed her sunglasses, putting them on just as we rounded the bend on the St. Louis-rush-hour-busy road that put us directly in the sun's pat