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Blowing Smoke

Ever feel like the advice you receive is sung in a foreign tune, using fancy jargon and smoky illusions?

When Alice meets Absolem (the Caterpillar) in Wonderland, she does not like him because he ignores her and when he does speak, it is usually in short sentences or difficult questions. The first thing Absolem says is in the form of a pointed question asking Alice, "Who are YOU?" And, he continues to respond with this inquiry.

"Who are you?"

While Alice ponders Absolem's insistent question, she is forced to reflect on who she is as a person and what size she wants to be. As a small business or sole proprietor, you might be asking yourself the same questions - and if you're not, you should do so before seeking advice from others. Do you want to remain a side-gig? Or, do you want to scale your business regionally, nationally, or larger? What makes you different from your industry peers?


When Alice complains about her size (3 inches) after being shrunk, Absolem advises that she is a "very good height indeed" since he is also 3 inches high. As he puffs on a hookah upon his mushroom throne, Absolem symbolizes hierarchy over Alice - even though they are the same height with no discerning advantages.


With so many seemingly helpful characters to encounter, you will find several that question why you would want anything else but to mirror your peers and accept mediocrity (i.e., join the "race to the bottom"). It could be a friend, relative, colleague, or vendor who fears change or a challenge and is comfortable atop their mushroom.


Is someone telling you it's too expensive to form an LLC? Or, it's too risky to join the marketplace? Or even that you're not good enough to be prosperous? And, it's totally acceptable to live the status quo lifestyle?


If this is what you're hearing, then they're blowing toxic smoke. But, remember - smoke eventually fades.


As for Absolem? He couldn't comprehend Alice's unsettling disposition after she was shrunk and struggled with the conversion. But, Alice informed him that he would soon transform into a butterfly. Ironic, huh?


So, I'll ask you now, "Who are YOU?"


You must know who you are and why you're doing what you do. You can't sit on your mushroom forever.

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