Why This Question Is Important
By Paul E. Casey
American Heritage Dictionary - Pragmatic: concerned with facts or actual occurrences.
“Just the facts, ma'am.” If you remember the television show Dragnet, you will remember that signature line. Sergeant Joe Friday repeated it when he was trying to extract information from a witness to a crime. Sergeant Friday was always trying to get the witness to focus on the facts.
I like a phrase that was said about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: 'He had dreams but he was not a dreamer'. He dreamed of equal rights for all Americans. He dreamed that one day there would be an African-American President. He also knew that in order to reach those goals, it would require smaller steps. He was pragmatic.
In 1956, the Montgomery, Alabama Transit System, by law required African-Americans to ride in the back of the bus. On one December day Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, refused to give up her seat to a white man. She was arrested. Dr. King led a boycott of the Montgomery Transit System that lasted for a year. The boycott almost destroyed the Montgomery Transit System financially. The law was repealed.
This was a very pragmatic first step for the Civil Rights movement. It was also a very pragmatic decision on the part of the Montgomery Transit System. They didn’t change the law because they thought that it was immoral. They changed the law because it saved the transit agency from bankruptcy.
What do these examples have to do with sustaining a business? Everything. You may want to occupy that signature downtown office space, but it just isn’t very practical right now. Your aunt may tell you that you are a talented guitar player, but supporting yourself in that profession isn’t very practical. The facts just don’t support it.
There are too many romantics going into business for themselves. They have a cool concept but don't know if there is a market to support their product or service. This is understandable. The people who reach hero status in this country are the ones who appear to have risked it all and are now living on Park Avenue in Manhattan. This will never work for 99% of rest of us but that fact is ignored.
Bottom Line: Inc. Magazine had a cover story that said “…the smartest entrepreneurs are satisfying needs, not wants.” If you want to increase your prospects for small business success, be pragmatic: 1) Find a niche, and 2) Solve someone’s problem.
Click here to find out more about available resources on successfully sustaining your small business.
There are too many romantics going into business for themselves. They have a cool concept but do not know if there is a market to support their product or service.