The Small Business Arena

Theodore Roosevelt’s, “The Man in the Arena”, is an excerpt from the speech “Citizenship in a Republic” delivered in Paris on April 23, 1910.  I have modified the excerpt to be non-gender specific.  Is the small business owner in “The Arena”?


The Person in the Arena
It is not the critic that counts; not the person who points out how the strong person stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends themselves in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if they fail, at least fails while daring greatly , so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


The Small Business Owner in the Arena
Yes, we small business owners are in the arena.  We have a passion for our businesses, we have a purpose and we fight hard daily to succeed.  We also fail from time to time, but are not deterred.  We have many critical decisions to make and many responsibilities.  We do not have the comfort of a guaranteed paycheck, but do have a vision for great accomplishment.  We enjoy our freedom.

We have many supporters, but many critics as well.  Many critics have never experienced the small business arena.  The critics may include regulating authorities or even employees.  Many seem to know what we small business owners should do, yet have never taken these actions themselves.

Well done small business owners!  I salute you.

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