I believe in conscientious capitalism; that's a kind of driving force with me. - Zachary Levi
Most of us have heard the old story of the farmer who wins a huge lottery, and when asked what he will do with all his money, wryly retorts, "I reckon I'll just keep on farming until it's all gone."
Amusing, but truth is often stranger than fiction. In fact, in both Canada and the United States a large number of businesses close or go bankrupt each year. Yet the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. My father was a small businessman, owning and operating Kuroki Hotel. Two of my brothers are self-employed entrepreneurs, and since I self-published my book I am attending the entrepreneurial school of hard knocks.
The life of the business person or entrepreneur is not always easy. To many of us it might appear to be simply providing some goods or services and reaping the rewards in the form of huge profits. But we rarely see the whole picture.
This fact was demonstrated clearly to me on my recent book signing tour to Saskatchewan. My sister and brother-in-law have been owners and operators of the Wadena Bakery since 1987. They graciously allowed me to spend a day there meeting and greeting customers while signing and selling my book. Small town bakers are true entrepreneurs. From the outside it looks easy. We know bakers are always rolling in dough. ( Sorry! Bad pun.)
Margaret and Steve, my sister and brother-in-law, bake an awesome variety of decadent tasty treats - some of my favorites are Apple Fritters, Boston Creams and Poppy Seed Rolls - as well as some extremely wholesome and nutritious buns and breads. But they work very hard to do it. I witnessed it first hand. They are awake at 3:00 A.M. every day getting ready to prepare the delicious fare that we take for granted. By the time I got to the bakery between 8 and 9 A.M. for my book signing they had already put in half a day of hard labour. Not only do they work long and tiring hours, they also provide employment for five other hard working, helpful and personable staff who clean, stock shelves, slice bread and act as sales clerks.
Entrepreneurial life can be extremely challenging, particularly during economic recessions. There was a farmer who, during the great depression, hauled a load of wheat to the grain elevator. Grain was such a low price that, after weighing the load, subtracting the costs of shipping the grain to the miller, taking off weed seed dockage, and adding elevator handling costs, the elevator agent advised the farmer that he owed the elevator company $5.00.
The farmer gave him $10.00. When the elevator agent asked why, the farmer said, " I'll be bringing you another load later today."
Some days, many entrepreneurs feel the same as that farmer. I tip my hat to all small business people who risk their capital and invest money, talent and energy to earn a living for their families as well as to provide employment for others.
Gerald M. Sliva
PS. If you click on the photo below, of Steve loading his oven with loaves ready to be baked, you will be taken direct to Wadena Bakery Facebook page where you can "like" their page and love their produce.
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