A couple weeks ago, I had the honor of being named as a Small Business Influencer. Funny thing is, years ago, any award title with the word “small” in it probably wouldn’t seem very important to many. I’m very excited to say, however, that times have changed. Entrepreneurs and small business owners- and the people that relentlessly work day in and day out to ensure this industry gets what it needs to be successful- are front and center, getting the recognition they deserve.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the big businesses, as they once were startups long ago, too. But as we have seen with the economic downturn in 2008, small businesses today- each day- are just as important, even creating new jobs and boosting the economy in many ways more so than the big guys. I’m a life-long entrepreneur; I will always appreciate a good story of someone who risked it all to pursue their dream. Even more than that, I am forever grateful about those who have dedicated their lives to helping other small businesses.
The Small Business Influencers initiative and awards ceremony was jointly produced by Small Business Trends and Small Biz Technology. Small Business Trends (@Smallbiztrends) is a highly popular, independent, small business, online magazine serving over 4,000,000 small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually. The site was founded in 2003 by Anita Campbell. Small Biz Technology is a media company which educates growing businesses with information on how to strategically use technology as a tool to grow their businesses. The site was founded by Ramon Ray (@RamonRay).
Everywhere I looked, there was a friendly and familiar face that I have personally known and seen dedicate themselves to being an advocate for small businesses. From writing books, to establishing social media careers, to creating organizations- everyone was in the business of small business. And, the owners themselves, were all so enthusiastic, humble and hungry.
One of the highlights for the team and I was meeting the very well known, SmallBiz Lady, Melinda Emerson(@SmallBizLady). Boasting almost 200K Twitter followers, and a verified status, Melinda is a small business force to be reckoned with. Having a couple books out and an elearning series, Melinda is truly the walk and talk of small business.
Dear friends of mine in attendance were Brian Moran (@brianmoran), current President of Brian Moran and Associates and former publisher of several small business magazines. Scott Gerber (@askgerber), Founder and President of the Young Entrepreneur Council, and is a self-taught serial entrepreneur, public speaker, internationally syndicated business columnist, television commentator and author. Michael Simmons (@michaeldsimmons), author, teacher, speaker, award-winning entrepreneur and the co-founder of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour. Carol Roth(@caroljsroth), recovering investment banker, business expert and author of a New York Times bestselling book. And last, but certainly not least, Rieva Lesonsky (@Rieva), CEO, President and Founder of GrowBiz Media and the “face” of all things small business!
It was such a wonderful event that really brought together the warriors and champions of small businesses and entrepreneurship. It brings me great enthusiasm for the future- for businesses of all sizes.