One way I can tell my writing continues to develop is when seemingly unrelated topics can become pithy blog posts.

This week we had a… tasty Facebook Live in our VA 101 Mastermind group. Regina compared running a business to potato salad.

Yes, you read that correctly. She said, everyone has their own version, some versions you will like and others not as much, and you should never copy someone else’s version. In running a business, you will be different from any other VA, and will operate your business based on your experience. Not everyone will take to your business. And you must make your business your own, not a copy of another business. All excellent points that were great things for the VAs in the group to consider. But I have latched on to some more applications.

Regina was discussing the one situation in life where potato salad will have its largest presence – at the family reunion or picnic. Every reunion, especially here in the South, is going to feature one or more people bringing some potato salad. There will be people in line talking in hushed tones, “who brought that?” or “child, that looks nasty.” It brought back many memories of the family reunion that was a staple of my childhood. My grandmother on my father’s side was the youngest of 13 children. Only 12 of them made it to adulthood. But those 12 began having family reunions each July in the West Virginia mountains where most of them were born. By the time we had the reunion in 1986, there were only about 6 of the siblings still living, and their kids (my dad’s generation), weren’t too keen on keeping up with the tradition. So that was the last one. As you might expect, being the youngest, my grandmother was the last one left, and she passed on in July of 2015 at the age of 92. Her birthday was December 15, so every holiday season I get pretty nostalgic, remembering holiday gatherings at Grandma’s as well as those reunions. So what does this have to do with business? There were 3 very distinct personalities at these gatherings, all of which have business applications. So let me tell you about the insane asylum that was my family.

The Instigator – one of Grandma’s brothers, Uncle Doyle. No one ever met anyone more fond of stirring up trouble. Not real damaging trouble, just stuff like, if I would complain about my sister, Uncle Doyle would say, “well, she thinks you’re a spoiled brat.” This would send me off to confront my sister, who had never done anything more than roll her eyes when my name came up. Uncle Doyle would be over to the side, sitting in a chair, giggling as my sister & I went at each other. As I grew into my teens, I started doing that to people myself. Randy, Uncle Doyle’s son-in-law, would tell my parents, “Gawd, that boy is Doyle Rexrode up one side and down the other.”

The Instigator can be a blessing and a curse in business, but mostly a blessing for entrepreneurs. Big corporations talk a big game about innovation, and some even have work teams or departments dedicated to it. But overall, there is a lot of “same-ness” to big business. Everyone reports their financials the same way, most have the same type of organizational structure, and there are always many rules to follow. (We’ll talk about that in the next post.) Yes, there will be corporate instigators like Steve Bezos, Bill Gates and the like, but those are the exception more than the rule. The true instigator will eventually go out on his/her own and start something new. 

So to all my fellow Uncle Doyles out there, do what you gotta do!

And if you’re doing well enough that you need to consider getting some help moving your business forward, let’s talk about partnering with a Virtual Assistant. Click here to see what services you can hand off, and Contact us to see how we can partner to make great things happen for your business.