Opinion | We are all entrepreneurs these days in Grand County | SkyHiNews.com

Opinion | We are all entrepreneurs these days in Grand County

Patrick Brower
Grand Enterprise Initiative

The truth is that in this day and age, we are all entrepreneurs. This is especially true for Grand County residents.

A family or an individual doesn’t have to have a storefront, a small business, burgeoning tech company or large corporation to be an entrepreneur in Grand County these days. You just have to exist. 

Raising a family and working the day-to-day? You’re an entrepreneur. Think about it. Your product is your family. You want the children to be the best they can be in school and sports. That takes work, not unlike what a business owner might be doing to improve his or her product, whether its food at a restaurant or a service such as construction repairs or housekeeping.

Sales and marketing plays a role in raising a family and succeeding. Really, when you think about it, those of us with children and even a spouse work continually on figuring out the market (What school should the child attend, which teacher, what sports to play, who are the other kids.) and creating a brand. (Do we focus on academics? French or Spanish? Is Junior going to be a jock or an intellectual or both? And so on.) and then selling that brand (college applications, whether to play on a traveling team for sports, what to wear to the game or school).

Oh, and don’t forget that carefully cultivated online image, whether it’s on Facebook or perhaps Linked-In. or even TikTok. That’s marketing, in a digital sense.

Then, perhaps the hardest part, is the financial management of the family affairs. And like with a business, this involves a lot more than merely balancing the check book. What hidden fees are there in school next year? How much will this sport or activity cost? How many trips to Denver or elsewhere for sports or dance or academics can we afford? How much more food is our growing family eating and how much of a bite is that taking out of the budget? Can we cover the mortgage and car payments? Are we ready for unexpected health care costs?

Yep, it’s not all that different from being a business entrepreneur. It’s just being a family entrepreneur.

Not married? Don’t have kids? But you’re living single and trying to get by? Once again, you’re not unlike an entrepreneur.

Your product is you and your family. Looking for a job? Want to get a promotion so you can make more money? Well, that means you (your product) need to make sure you are as good as you can be, whether it’s through education, training or just on-the-job experience. Competing well also plays a key role here. Perfect the product.

Sales and marketing for you? Fine tune that resume. Maybe trim that scraggly beard or cover that silly tattoo. And apply for good jobs and excel at the day job. Then you’ve got to sell yourself to move up, just like an entrepreneur has to sell his or her product to generate cash flow. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to keep that Facebook page clean and pertinent or be careful with postings on Instagram.

Financial management for the single operator out there is, of course, as with the familial entrepreneur, more than balancing the check book. It’s saving money (developing cash reserves), planning for trips and health care (budgeting or cash flow projections) and enhancing gross revenue (getting that raise or that better paying new job).

Yes, we are all entrepreneurs in our day-to-day lives. Planning for living is much like planning or a business. We ourselves and our families have to be great products that are sold and marketed well while bringing in enough money to live well or even better than well . . . to live (and play) happily.

We are all entrepreneurs. Many of us just don’t know it.

Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He provides free and confidential business management coaching for anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He is also the author of “KILLDOZER: The True Story of the Colorado Bulldozer Rampage.” He can be reached at 970-531-0632 or at patrickbrower@kapoks.org.

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