Although I am not old to have known him personally, I am pretty sure Benjamin Franklin and I have a lot in common  An innovative creative, willing to take risks, and try things no one else has done before, he was great at getting things started.   ben franklin

There he stood, outside in a rainstorm with a kite and key, trying to prove the conductive power of electricity.  And he did! But it took a more than a century and the persistence of an adaptive creative type – Thomas Edison to apply the knowledge effectively.   Edison tried and failed more than 100 times, before he came up with a design for a light bulb that worked.

thomas edisonThese two men, separated by time –  changed the course of human history!  Think about your day, and all the times you rely on electricity.  What would your life be like without it.

Then think about what these two men could have accomplished if they could have worked together!  Franklin, the innovator, and Edison the adapter, would have made each other crazy, because they approached things so differently.  But if they could have gotten used to their different operating styles, they would have been an unstoppable combination.

There is a lesson here for small business owners. You are either Edison or Franklin, it is almost impossible to be both.  Accept that, and find your counter part.  Find someone with whom you can brainstorm, collaborate, exchange ideas, and create imaginative solutions.  If you have chosen the right person, they will make you uncomfortable.  You won’t always understand where they are coming from. That is ok, because they will make you think!

The key to success as a small busienss owner in any economy, but particually now, are innovative solutions, executed well. Figure out which part of the process you are good at, and find others to fill in the blanks, and do the same for them.  Success is more fun when it is shared!