Post from the Past is a series on the blog where we will re-post selected posts from the archives of OrangeBeautiful's original design blog, the SCOOP (2007-2013), as well as past articles by, and interviews with, OB's owner, Emily H Martin.
Below is the first post from a series of guest posts I did on design*sponge back in 2007. The focus was on small business and my experiences with jumping into the world of self-employment. At the time of these posts, OB was only 3 years old... Now, in our 9th year in business, it's actually really interesting, enlightening and inspiring to re-read my thoughts from back then. - Emily
From the very inception of my company, I had the thought in the back of my mind about how I would run things once on my own… not logistical things like what bank would I get a credit card from, would I need employees right away, or should I work from home or get a space – it was more a question of ethics: How would I treat my customers? Where would I draw the line when asked to do something that I felt was compromising my own integrity? What would I do in order to appropriately and professional find work that fit my talents?… not to mention, continually asking myself: Why is it that I want to be in business for myself in the first place?
Whether you’re someone already bravely setting out to be a successful entrepreneur & business owner or you’re only now aspiring to do so, the question will most likely be the same: How can I be a good (or better) business owner?
I think, in life, we all seem to be constantly reaching for this idea of GOOD… and, in my own business experience, it’s certainly the underlying theme of all your choices and level of work that you bring yourself to do on a daily basis. We all know of large corporations (and probably some small businesses, as well) which are run without this idea of what is good, what is right… and more with the idea of what will bring us the most notoriety? help us to become the biggest? make us the most money? And there is certainly value in that on some level. However, there are many large companies who do operate with huge bankrolls and do good, all at the same time. But the reality is those companies who are doing good are inevitably thinking small. They’re concentrating on their individual client, their individual employee, their individual product and how to make everything the best on those small levels… and from there money & success can grow – but it’s a different kind: it’s the bi-product of striving for GOODness, rather than the ultimate goal all along. And therein lies the difference.
This week of posts will focus on ‘business for the good of doing business’. I will be interviewing fellow business owners who are passionate about their work and are lucky enough to be doing what they love for a living. I will also post some more in-depth resources for places to go, books to read, people to hire – all, hopefully, to help with getting your brain around all the rough stuff (like tax filings, loan applications & insurance policies) and focus on the service, the craft, the product that you love… and being good at it the entire time.
Choose Between Fortune and Virtue. – Leon Battista Alberti
I choose virtue… knowing full well that fortune will follow.