#BYOB

For all you “social drinkers” out there, the title has little to do with what you think it does. No, it does not stand for “Bring your own bottle” nor does it stand for “Bring your own booze.” Those titles and their corresponding blogs will be discussed at a later date. *wink, wink*

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(To be discussed at a later date)

No, in this case #BYOB means something entirely different. Be your own business; that’s what those letters stand for. And in an age that’s filled with countless start-ups, numerous small businesses with too many specialties to list, and a myriad of niche markets that only a certain crowd can fit into (read: Millennials, a.k.a. Generation Y, a.k.a. whippersnappers), being your own business is much harder than it sounds.

Today, practically everyone has their own business. We all know someone who has a clothing line or a production studio or a restaurant. It almost seems as though being a CEO or President of some company that you slap your name on is as easy as ever now. Which for some, makes the idea of being a small business owner not so special anymore. So you created a business. Big deal. Anyone with half a brain and fifty bucks can do that. But you want to know what will set your business apart? What will make you stand out to consumers and possible investors?

Being your own business, that’s what.

If you started your business because your friend did it and it sounded like a good idea or because you just wanted to be addressed as Mr. President all the time, then you’re probably (obviously) not in it for the right reasons. But if you started your business because you have a genuinely undeniable heart-wrenching passion for whatever your business entails, then you’re in it for the right reasons. That’s the first step to being your own business.

The second step to being your own business is to stick to what you’re good at. That too sounds easy, but allow me to explain why it’s not.

Do you remember when McDonald’s tried to create a McPizza? Or when Bic, the ink pen company, tried to create an underwear line? Or when Madonna tried to rap? What was so wrong about all of those things? Those businesses/entities veered away from what they were originally created to do. McDonald’s is good at making burgers and fries. Bic makes some of the most long lasting ink pens. And Madonna is a pop singer. Not a rapper.

Madonna (trying to) rap.
Not a rapper.

When a business sticks to what it’s good at and keeps the main thing the main thing, then they find success. When they try to steer away from the main thing or try to enter an industry they have no business entering, they fail.

That’s not to say that as a business, you shouldn’t try to innovate or reinvent yourself every now and then. A smart business owner always has their drawing board near them should in case they need to edit or add on to their business. What differentiates between an innovator and a  non-innovator, though, is that the innovator will hone in on their strengths and capitalize them, expound on them, add to them. As for their weaknesses, they remain just that. Weaknesses.

The third and final step to being your own business is quite simple: Don’t. Ever. Quit. Ever.

Don’t stop.

Don’t give up.

Don’t throw in the towel.

Always be hungry for what you strive for.

And never settle for less or second best. Because absolutely no one remembers the guy who came in second place.

That earnest passion, that innovation and simple genius it takes to stick to the basics, and the tenacity it takes to determine that you just can’t quit are all very necessary, very fundamental ideas you need to have to be your own business.

Now you know what it takes. The next question is do you have what it takes?

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