Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How About Minding Your Own Business?

Welcome to the 1st of many
"Minding Your Own Business" Series
A blog about the joyful journey of small business ownership.
Growing up in a Jamaican home, I often heard older family members sternly tell the young’uns “fi mine yuh bizniz” followed by a vicious ‘cut eye’.  The stern warning and cut eye was normally a read between the lines warning for those (normally the girls) who wanted to get verbally involved in matters that the adult felt did not concern the child.  In addition, “yuh own bizniz” also referred to events that occurred at home that were not to be discussed with ‘strangers’- technically anyone who did not physically reside in the home or was not present for the event.  I would often think to myself, “what does that mean?” “What the heck does it mean to mind my own business?” I was further confused because if I minded my own business and something happened, I would get in trouble because I wasn’t paying attention.  Double standards…right?! This concept of minding one’s business is a skill that we learn in order to guard ourselves, emotions, relationships, etc.  However, if not clearly defined, we can miss important life changing opportunities, become confused or get involved in matters that distract us from our goals or purpose.
I was twelve years old when my dad left my mom for another woman.  This was the first time when “mining mi own bizniz” included others: I was now knowingly responsible for my siblings, my mother and the house upkeep.  At this point, my primary business included helping my mother take care of my siblings and being an A student.  In 1992, my mother decided to homeschool my five siblings and myself.  My business development continued.  I became tutor, lesson plan developer, teacher, student, caregiver…the list goes on.  My business skills would now include time management, multitasking and self-discipline.

When I was almost 17, I got my first job and added money management to my business.  Fast forward almost 17 years later and I now own a small business, Compass Consulting and Training Solutions, LLC.  Yet, I still ask myself, “What is my business?” Yes, yes I know! I OWN a business with a catchy name, so how can I NOT answer the question, what is MY business?? Sounds simple, eh?
KNOWING your business is the first step to MINDING your business.  As I child, when I finally learned to decipher that loaded statement, “mine yuh own bizniz”, it became easier to KNOW what was MY business and what business belonged to others.  This lesson is just as important for folks who want to start their own business.  The first step to MINDING your business is KNOWING what you want to do as a business.  Give it a name.  Set goals.  Guard it with your life.  Set boundaries for others so they know where YOUR business begins and THEIR business ends.

When I was young and living what I often thought was a life that was hard, I never could have dreamed that the skills I developed as a child and young adult would one day catapult me into small business ownership.  Your life is a journey.  Small business ownership is a journey.  Both start with an existence followed by a name.
So what is YOUR business?

For more information on Rachel Dolcine or Compass Consulting & Training solutions visit www.compasscts.comor email

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