Small Business Stories From a Lucky Idiot

 “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost

I have a great life. I have three wonderful children, all healthy and bright; I have an astonishing wife as beautiful as she is kind, compassionate, loving, and forgiving. And as those who know me will readily attest, I am also an idiot; fortunately for me though, I am a lucky one. I have started a total of 6 companies during my career which enabled me to retire at 48. Some companies were enormously successful, and others were not; some were intentional, and some were accidents. As a result of these endeavors, I have numerous stories, some interesting, others not. They are stories about business, finance, and entrepreneurship. Personal stories of risk and reward, morals, loyalty, and friendship. Stories of business success and failure. Stories about character and cautionary tales. These stories are not all about me; they are primarily about other people I have met. Mentors who have shaped my life and detractors who have shown me the path best not taken. 

My goal here is to share all of this, the good, the bad, and the ugly, as a tribute to the many people I have learned from over the years but mainly in the hope that this site may provide some experiential advice or a cautionary tale, or at the very least, an interesting diversion for a few minutes.  

I have always operated under the Old Approach of learning on the fly when it comes to business, and to be honest, my life outside of the business world as well. I have been using that Old Approach for years. I like things to be uncomplicated and not overly thought out. I tend to jump into things with little or no forethought or planning. And as I round the corner towards the end of my career and reflect, I find the simpler the approach was ( the more I “winged it”) the better the outcome was. So with that in mind, I will explore the themes of starting, growing, and ultimately exiting a small business through the lens of the Old Approach of simply Winging It. There will not be many hard and fast rules about small business, just simple stories of my experience and the experience of those I know within the world of small business. And since I have used a camera as an excuse to get outside for as long as I can remember, I will be posting a few photos along the way that will likely bear no relevance at all to the articles I post.

 There may be some nods of recognition, some eye-rolling, outright scoffs, or some pearls of wisdom that you take from this; either way, I hope it is entertaining, and I welcome your feedback.

I am a Geophysicist and Photojournalist by education. An exploration geologist, environmental scientist, project manager, business founder, entrepreneur, director, and CEO by trade. But above all that, I am simply a lucky idiot. My posts will incorporate some or all of my experiences under these career labels. And some posts will be my take on the business of doing small business. Hopefully, in these stories, I can capture the reasons behind the successes and failures I have experienced in the world of small business and entrepreneurialism and the Old Approach I used to navigate it all, being the lucky idiot I am.