The truth is not always pleasant to hear.
Sometimes, it is more comforting to hear a lie.
“I can’t do it. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have the resources. I shouldn’t even bother, because the only thing that will fix this problem is a miracle.”
This statement could have been made by anyone. The person thinking this could be of any age, and from any country. They could be from the United States, or they could be from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. No matter who they are or where they are from, they are telling themselves a lie.
Last month, I wrote about business formation and growth, and why that’s good for our communities and our world.
This truth comes into sharp focus when we examine some of the lies that people tell themselves about business.
People in the US and the DR Congo alike can think the following things might be true:
- There is not much that one person can do to change their reality.
- Business owners don’t work hard, they just collect cash (and profit).
- Poverty will be cured by miracles or other outside forces, not by individuals.
- A young person with an entrepreneurial spirit is helpless without a lot of startup funding.
Some of the regular readers of this blog will probably find it hard not to laugh out loud and roll their eyes at this list. (Especially that last point.) I know, because many of the people The Herring Group serves are people who started out without much more than a truck and some guts.
Now they have multimillion-dollar landscaping firms.
One of those clients (and I won’t name names) quit his job one day and was in business for himself the next. He had some natural gifts, some relationships in place, and a few personality traits that helped him, sure. At the core of his success, though, was a solid belief that he could and would succeed. He had the mindset of a leader. He was going to figure it out. He was not afraid to get his hands dirty. Literally.
I don’t often talk about the individuals who work behind the scenes here at The Herring Group, but the team of people who assist me with marketing and administrative support have similar stories. They needed to find a way to provide for themselves and their families, and they struck out on their own as consultants and business owners.
As some of you already know, I have been traveling to a specific city in the DR Congo on a regular basis for well over a decade, and I will be returning there soon. While we are “on the ground,” my team and I build relationships with individual people, and we support them throughout the year by staying in contact over email, Skype, and Facebook between trips.
We promote truth, build leadership capacity, and train people to start and grow businesses that can employ other people.
I am honored to count people from DR Congo as friends and colleagues, even though we are separated by thousands of miles and several time zones, and even though our life circumstances are very different. Though we have stayed in regular contact over the past year, I look forward to seeing them again in-person soon.
We have something more important in common than those surface-level differences. The core spirit that unites us is one of personal responsibility, combined with faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
We know the truth.
We have the power to create businesses, and to provide value to other people.
We believe that if we do not like the reality that we see before us, it is up to us to act to change it for the better. We know that there is no better time for us to act, because modern technology has made communication, knowledge exchange, and business formation easier than ever. We know that opportunities appear for people who have faith and who take action.
We also know that “no man is an island,” and when we work together as a community and we support one another, we can get a lot further than we could have ever dreamed.
Truth matters in your business, too.
When The Herring Group works with business owners like you to increase profitability and margin, we are using data to uncover the truth about their business and their potential. We help business owners realize their potential.
If you read this post and you’re interested in ever joining my team on one of our trips in the future, click here to send me an email and we can talk about that.