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  • Writer's pictureLaurel Shell


Growing up, I watched my father be three things: a dad, a husband to my mother, and a business owner.

Afternoons after school and many a weekend were spent with my dad at his two successful photography studios - watching people come and go, the interactions between my dad and customers, his determination in early mornings and late nights and every moment in between. I learned early on how to entertain myself since he was so busy. Of course I didn't have much interest in business then, but I was listening and learning. Always observant and curious and asking questions, I picked up on all the ins, outs, struggles, successes and details that come with owning your own business - just from watching my dad do it.

What fascinated me about my dad then, and what fascinates me about business owners today is their mission. It's their drive behind what they do. I know that for my father, even though he loved photography and what he did, his true motivation was his family. That's what fueled his never-ending drive and strength. Photography was his passion. His family was his mission.

It's not for the faint of heart... being an entrepreneur. It's not for those who enjoy late, sleepy mornings with hot coffee and chocolate scones more than they enjoy the hustle of waking up early and chugging 3 iced coffees (and maybe a Red Bull?) before noon. It's not for those who aren't willing to work late, sacrificing time now for time later on. It's not for those people who don't have passion, those people who choose safety and security over risk and pure gut. It's especially not for those who fear failure.

See, that's the thing about small business owners. They don't fear failure. They fear instead that they may run out of opportunities to fail.

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners do run out of opportunities to fail... and opportunities to succeed. I've watched many small businesses swirl s l o w l y down the drain because of poor business decisions. It isn't because the owner lacks heart or passion or gut or drive. It's because they lack the fundamental knowledge to make the business work for them instead of making them work for their business.

That lack of knowledge that leads to failure is the sole reason I founded YourLocalBizPro. I've watched small businesses struggle with a unique set of challenges for the past 10 years, and I've set out to change that. I've set out to change the way we do small business as a whole, providing owners with the skill, support and knowledge to make wise decisions that will fuel their success. My passion lies in small business and helping the people behind those businesses succeed.

My mission, you ask?

I picture my future family. I picture my future husband and children - if God blesses me with them - and what our lives will look like if I stay dedicated. I think about how my children will be able to grow up watching their mom determined and full of strength, passionate about her business and the success of her clients, then coming home and being passionate about her family and dedicated to her husband and kids. Seeing my dad run a company shaped me, and I hope the same for my kids someday.

What's your mission? Every business has a mission, but so does every person. The two are often hand-in-hand, one often seen, the other often unseen. Interestingly enough, the unseen fuels the seen.

*Originally posted on August 19, 2020

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