Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Entrepreneurial Benevolence

Small and medium-sized businesses are struggling to survive in this tough economy, right?  Entrepreneurs are fighting to make payroll and advance their companies to the next level, aren't they?  Yes and yes... and some of these business owners are even growing their companies and their market share in these difficult times!

What's even more amazing is a trend I commonly see within these entrepreneurial companies.  Here is a conversation I had yesterday morning, paraphrased and altered to protect confidentiality:

Oh, Ken, there's one thing I need to tell you about our payroll.  You see, there's this guy named Fred that we have on payroll to try and help him out.  He can't find a job and I'm trying to help his family - he's a good friend and neighbor of mine.  He helps us out here and there, and he tries really hard, but I could think of a lot more qualified people to hire.  But I feel like I need to help him out.

Amazing, especially when you consider this entrepreneur is investing all of his resources to adjust his business into a more profitable and sustainable model.  But he wouldn't stand for letting Fred go.

If this happened once or twice, I wouldn't bother to write about it.  But I can think of five companies I have met in the last two weeks with which I have had a similar conversation.  I've decided to call it Entrepreneurial Benevolence.  If you meet an entrepreneur, I'll bet there's a good chance he/she has someone in a less fortunate situation on payroll that is mainly there to help that someone.