Impoverished Craftsman Part 3

August 29, 2005

The Impoverished Craftsman, Part 3
By: Matt Michel

Continued from part 2:
As time goes on, the craftsman finds it harder and harder to perform the craft he loves so well. His body, abused and slight broken, resists when he struggles to carry more loads, to squeeze into more inaccessible spaces. Backaches and stiff joints become his constant companion. Still, he cannot stop. He can’t afford to. His only exit strategy is the final exit.

The tragedy is that it’s unnecessary. Life doesn’t have to turn out that way. Almost every successful business owner was once an impoverished craftsman who had an epiphany, who was splashed with the cold reality of true self-insight, who faced and accepted the need to change.

Giving up the known for the unknown and unfamiliar is never easy. It’s always terrifying. The knowledge of the craft is comforting, secure, satisfying. Craftsmen who cannot abandon the comfort, security, and satisfaction of the craft for the business would be better served working for someone else. They would have more money. They would have fewer hassles. They would have more stability.

A craftsman who cannot bring himself to work for someone else, must learn a new craft. He must learn the craft of business. He must learn how to hire people who may not be as good as he is and to let go. He must learn how to coach his employees and how to trust them, accepting that every now and then he will trust the untrustworthy.

The craftsman must look at the business objectively. He must divorce business pricing demands from a craftsman’s wage demands and determine the right pricing for the *business.* He must study the unfamiliar disciplines of sales and marketing. In short, he must leave his comfort zone and change. He must give up the craft to build the business.

The good news is there has never been a better time in history to build a business. More resources are available for the small business owner than ever before. There is more knowledge, more information, more tools, and more general prosperity. A prosperous world is a world of opportunity.

While not everyone is prosperous today, anyone can prosper today. Anyone who works hard, applies themselves, stretches, grows, and risks can attain prosperity. Maybe you won’t rival Bill Gates, but you can control your own destiny. You can become financially secure. It won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen in a linear manner. You will face sidetracks and setbacks. Still, you can succeed. You can prosper.

If, in your prosperity, you find you miss the craft, you can always return to it. You can hire a manager to run your business while you run around on a truck. It’s funny though. I know a lot of people who left the truck and built prosperous businesses. None of them returned. I think the reason is building a prosperous business is fun. It’s satisfying. It’s fulfilling. It can be more fun that the craft.

You’ve only got one life on this planet. You might as well build the best life you can. It’s not too late. Get started!

Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.
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Copyright © 2004 Matt Michel

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