The Future Starts Small
I had been stuck in the faceless answering system for the past 15 minutes. It had already spit me out three times and automatically hung up on me because the “voice” had a limited number of options for answers and none of them were what I needed.
Finally, after being on hold for 15 minutes, I was told that there was nothing they could do to help me (surprise) and, by the way, was there anything else they could do for me?
Yes, actually, there is. You could simply answer the question I have and let me talk to a human.
Those types of nameless experiences leave me feeling demoralized and like I don’t matter. And when you feel like your choices don’t matter, it’s tempting to start to live like they don’t in so many other ways.
This is where the truth is important to see.
I am the founder of a small business.
Much smaller than you may think, actually.
Before founding Brave Soles in 2017, I was a freelancer in the social enterprise space. Before that, I was the co-founder of a Canadian based charity, called Live Different.
The journey through it all has been riddled with endless ups and downs, surprising successes and painful failures.
The journey of entrepreneurship is basically the journey of life. We are all starting something at some time or another in our lives. For some of us it’s business and for others it’s starting the journey of waking up to what is going on around us.
It’s estimated that more than 95% of our economy runs on small business (defined as having less than 100 employees in Canada). Of those small businesses, 88% have less than 20 employees. Many of them have revenue of less than $250,000 per year.
If you are the owner of a small business, we want to say that we see you and you are valued.
Small businesses represent dreams and those dreams are a reflection of a problem they want to solve to help build a better world.
For those of you who support small businesses because you believe in them, thank you. Your purchasing power helps us to all do better and be better.
Small businesses and initiatives matter.
They matter because of the people that make them possible. They matter because they have the potential to help us create new ways of thinking by simply remembering who we want to be. They matter because they can respond quickly and pivot when there is a need.
Small businesses also matter because they provide us with the means to be able to live out our own aspirations.
We want to buy better, more sustainably and more justly and those small businesses provide us with the means to accomplish our own dreams.
Since the beginning of time, humanity has existed because of the buying, selling and sharing of resources. Although our world is changing quickly, what won’t change is our willingness to continue to think about the future we want to be part of.
If you have a dream of building something that will make the world better, please do it. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be an entrepreneur, please become one.
If you now recognize the power of your choices and voice, please use them.
The way to a bigger future is to think smaller in many ways. And thinking smaller means recognizing the reach of my own choices.
The past few decades have lulled us into thinking that we could do, take or have whatever we wanted without consequences.
But there are always consequences. Though it may not be me personally who is harmed, violated or treated unjustly due to insatiable corporations, corrupt administration or brutal law enforcement does not mean that I don’t have choices within it all.
My small choices, moment by moment, matter to what is going on. And so do yours.
Supporting small businesses and movements is about so much more than the exchange of money, time, or resources.
It’s about activating the most powerful force for change: our humanity.
Thank you for being you.
It takes courage to stay the course and stay true to your values and vision. Now, more than ever, we believe in the power of raising our voices, passion and attention to GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS.
Do you have someone you recommend us to feature here? Send us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.