Are We Having Fun Yet?
Most people have no idea what kinds of pressures business owners have to deal with every day. From the outside, the idea of being in charge and owning a business looks pretty cool — yet we’ve all heard it said that it’s lonely at the top. I had an experience with a business owner one day that brought home that point. I was at a business meeting at the Birmingham Country Club; from the conference room windows, those of us who were in the meeting could see the club entrance and the valet parking attendants. During one of the breaks, only the owner of the business and I were in the room. We were idly looking out the window, and not saying much of anything. All of a sudden, he said, “Now, there is a good job.” To which I replied, “Excuse me?” I had no idea what he was talking about. He responded, “The valet parking attendant job. Most customers are very polite to you, and they usually smile and pay you cash.” He was serious, and obviously dealing with some tough customers. I felt honored that he felt safe enough with me to be so transparent. On those days when your job as the boss leaves you feeling rather lonely — because, no doubt, there will be some days like that — I hope you have someone to support you.