Three years ago, Mischa Communications embarked on a grand adventure to reveal, adapt and inspire the world’s small businesses. Admittedly, we weren’t always sure about what we were doing. But like most small businesses, we made it through with a little luck, some creative improvisation and a lot of determination. There have been hard times. There have been happy times. And there have been times when we wanted to bang our heads on the wall. (And occasionally, we did.)
Owning a small business is a never-ending learning experience. So it seems fitting to commemorate our third year by sharing some of the hard-fought, well-earned lessons we’ve learned since we opened our doors.
1. Being a small business is hard
In a lot of ways, it’s harder than being big. We have to survive on fewer resources – time, money and, most importantly, people. Yet we do just as much (and sometimes more) to keep pace with the competition. This can make doing business a real struggle, but it also makes us tougher and more resourceful. And our successes are so much sweeter because we pour our hearts and souls into our businesses.
2. Small businesses have to “make stuff up.”
My college crew coach used to tell my teammates and me to “make stuff up.” In other words, when life doles out the unexpected, just go with it. Make it up as you go. I subscribed to this mantra for years, but it wasn’t until I founded Mischa that I truly lived it. Being a small business owner means wearing a lot of hats and dealing with myriad challenges on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. There’s always something popping up, and it usually happens at the most inopportune moment – like in the middle of moving to another state or on your honeymoon in Italy. Learning to be flexible and make things up as you go along is essential to surviving entrepreneurship and preserving your sanity.
3. Young small businesses have to say “yes”…a lot.
When you start a small business, you have to take on every opportunity, every client and every project or job that comes your way. This is the reality of starting a company. It’s what has to be done to get it off the ground. You also have to agree to do things that are out of your comfort zone – like work long hours, make mistakes and go without a paycheck (or five). Yet facing all these things makes us more patient, understanding and graceful under pressure. These experiences don’t just make us better business owners either. They make us better people.
4. Being a small business owner is the best job in the world.
Mischa’s journey hasn’t always been an easy one, and the company experienced a lot of growing pains as we carved out a path for ourselves. But I wouldn’t change a single second of it. Because this is the craziest, most exhilarating and completely rewarding job in the world. And there’s nothing I’d rather do. Sure, it’s been a bit of an odyssey, but the lessons we learned and the small businesses we helped made it all worthwhile.
So thank you to our clients, especially those that have been with us from the beginning, for your continued support, letting us be a part of your small businesses and helping us make being small a big deal. We are so grateful to you for allowing us to grow your businesses, as well ours.
To the Mischa team, you are the lifeblood of this company. We wouldn’t be here without you. I wouldn’t be here without you. There’s no way I could’ve handled this rollercoaster ride alone. I’d probably be locked in a room with padded walls, or worse yet, sitting in a foolish, noisy office trying to corral a team into writing articles instead of playing ping pong. Thank you for your inspiration, boundless enthusiasm and dedication to our cause. But most of all, thank you for loving this company as much as I do. All the late nights, challenging deadlines and crazy requests have not gone unnoticed. Each one of you has been instrumental in Mischa’s success and our clients’ success, and for that you have my eternal gratitude.
We are small, but we are mighty.