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Viewpoint: What is Your One Reason Why You are in Business?

By James McEntire


In the 1991 movie “City Slickers,” the cowboy Curly Washburn — played by Jack Palance — tells Billy Crystal’s character, Mitch Robbins that “like so many others, you just don’t get it in life.” The secret to life, Curly stated, is one thing. “Once you figure out what that one thing is, everything else will fall into place.”

What is your one reason, your one thing for opening a business? If it is just to make money without a passion for the business, you can join the millions of mediocre businesses that dot our landscape. You know these businesses well, because you have visited these establishments and complained about the poor quality, lousy service, and vowed to never return. Research from the U.S. Small Business Administration found that 595,000 businesses go out of business each year and the number one reason is a lack of sales due to customer dissatisfaction.

Complete these five statements to see where you are on your quest to knowing the one thing for yourself.

1. The most important reason for being in business for myself is:

2. What I like best about being in business for myself is:

3. Within five years I would like my business to be:

4. The most important thing about the business I am about to start is:

5. The area of my business I really excel in is:

My friend Jim, after retiring from the local wire mill, bought a store in our small town. The first time that I stopped in to see him, he wowed me. As a business coach, I was eagerly listening to his conversations with the customers and it was easy to see why he was succeeding. Jim truly loved helping people, whether it was with the products he was selling or with advice on solving a problem they shared. He loved his work, his customers, helping others and following his passion. This passion drove Jim’s business success and added to his happiness. 

What is your passion? Is your passion being followed in the business environment you have created?

Drop me a note letting me know how you rekindled your passion and found your one thing.      

James McEntire, of Camden, is owner of Boomers Startups, and helps baby boomers jump start their startup plans. Contact him at or (315) 225-3536. 

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