Romeo Cruz ProfileSilver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce Director Romeo Cruz will provide a weekly column to the Beat, featuring items and announcements of interest to the community.

Is it what you know or who you know?

Have you thought about starting a small business but you weren't sure that you knew all that you needed to know to be successful? If you have already started a small business, I'm sure there are areas where you still need a little help? Today my article talks about understanding that you may not know everything there is to know about business but you can still be successful. The trick is knowing what you don't know and getting help from experts who do.

As I've mentioned, in previous articles, the key to success in business is solving other people's problems. We start off on our entrepreneurship journey by solving problems for people and very soon we buy in to the notion that we have to be the masters of our universe. What I mean by this is that we begin thinking that we must know everything about everything involving our business. I'm here today to tell you that this is actually far from the truth.

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Ides of March, St. Patrick's Day and other "anniversaries"

Where were you when you got the order to shut down? I ask because, for the week, everywhere I turn I'm faced with "milestone" memories regarding COVID. People are talking about the COVID 19 and attributing to it one of the most comprehensive public health orders I've ever experienced.

I remember when the discussions started, last March, about this virus and how it was wreaking havoc on our country. I had already had a busy week at the Grant County Veteran's Memorial & Conference Center with meetings and activities and the busy part of the month hadn't even started yet. Like everyone else, I thought this was going to be a temporary closure. Oh, how I wish we had been right!

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To Be or Not to be – Afraid!

What is it that wakes you up at 5:30 in the morning? Besides my alarm, and its 3-snooze feature, I am awakened each day by the excitement of knowing that I will be able to work with YOU! I have often said that I sleep, eat and breathe Small Business and today I want to talk to you about what exactly that means.

I was having a conversation last week with some people and one of my friends was making a point about small business owners and how we think. I was excited to have somebody share their thoughts about the mindset of the small business owner because I have always had my own observations from my time in the field working with entrepreneurs and I was intrigued to learn that someone else shared my points of view.

Over the years I have learned that small business owners have similar characteristics to one another. Even though the differences in types of business vary so greatly the commonalities that link entrepreneurs are really what make them so fun to be around.

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What's Your Super Power?

"Change is inevitable!" When he shared this quote in a speech on a Reform Bill in 1867, Benjamin Disraeli was citing a centuries-old maxim about life and the reality that we, by happenstance or by choice, must confront for ourselves. Prime Minister Disraeli followed this quote up with, "Change is constant" as a way to help his audience accept what was happening in their country at the time of his speech. Today, more than one hundred and fifty years later we are still grappling with change and, many of us, are still not too accepting of this stark reality.

Over the course of my career there have been many instances where I was faced with change and confronted with the choice to either accept it or to fight it. The decision you make when faced with change is one of the only black and white choices you get in life. You either accept it, or you don't! Accepting change requires emotional intelligence because it can and will change the paradigm of your life.

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Do you have a side hustle?

I'm sure many of you reading this article don't have a side hustle. I'm also sure many of you don't think you need to have one. A side hustle isn't for everyone! You may be totally content with the career field you have chosen for yourself and, therefore, you don't need to consider a side hustle. If you have had a long career and are at the doorstep of retirement you may be wondering what you plan to do in that phase of your life. If you have reached retirement age but you are still too young to permanently park yourself in your rocker you may want to consider a second career.

I usually target business owners in my weekly article because, as the Chamber of Commerce in Grant County, we are always looking for ways to help our existing business owners here. I have found that, in life, there are three aspects of your life that must be working harmoniously together in order to have a good quality of life. The three aspects which you want to keep an eye on at all times are your work life, your personal life and your spiritual life. When these three parts of your life are working well together, you are in congruity and living your life in the "sweet spot!" The sweet spot is the point at which these three aspects of your life intersect. In everyday terms we call this work/life balance. But I digress.

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Now is not the time to give up!

This pandemic is hitting too close to home and it's time we sent it packing! I learned this week of two deaths due to COVID 19 which are, frankly, two deaths too many! These deaths have sent families and friends reeling with emotions because of deaths that have come all too soon. I won't share the names of those who've passed, out of respect for the families affected, but I want them to know that our community mourns with them and prays that they find peace and comfort in knowing that our creator has a plan for our lives which we may never fully understand.

A friend of our family lost a brother to the effects of COVID 19 recently and a cousin of mine, recently succumbed to this dreaded virus. Our friend's brother was somebody who she spent time with, and whose families were closely connected. Although we weren't that close, hearing about my cousin's death brought a lot of memories flooding back to me. The loss of these two family members were sudden and unexpected and have left Grand Canyon-sized holes in the lives of two families.

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Let's Solve Some Problems

Do you know why people start their own businesses? If you took a poll of the business owners in our market today you will see that a great deal of them started their business as a way to make money for themselves and their families. Many of them started their business as a hobby, that became saleable, which started to make money. I would say that almost all of their business were started as a way to solve people's problems. I think you would agree with me that solving problems is an important aspect of our daily lives!

As small business owners get into the process of starting their business, they begin think about how it can make money. They plan out their marketing and begin to devise ways to get into the minds of their ideal customers. Some pay money to agencies who help them come up with elaborate programs they can deploy in order to find said customers. There are lots of tactics that business owners can incorporate into their business development strategy and, probably, 5 or 10 so-called gurus who are willing to help them spend their money to get it all done. There is a myriad of options for a business owner to lean on but it's all really just minutiae.

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Who do you turn to for help?

Have you ever had that situation where you really needed help at a time when it wasn't really convenient for someone to come to your aid? Imagine that you're driving home late at night, it's approaching midnight, and you have a mechanical problem with your car. Who would you call in that situation? Most people would read the situation that I described here and, hopefully, think about a couple of people whom they know they could call for help. Depending on where I am, I know exactly who I could call.

I could call my brother Joe, who has always been the backbone of our family! Joe is reliable, always helpful and he knows how to fix just about everything! Joe is dependable and I know he will be available. I also know that I could call my good friend Romeo! Romeo and I have been working together for the past year and, from what I have learned so far, I know that Romeo is reliable and trustworthy. I could call him, and he would answer my call. On a side note, I probably wouldn't call my wife at that time mostly because she would wonder what I was doing out so late. I'm just kidding! My wife would probably be with me if I was out that late, or she would already know where I was and what I was doing. Realistically though, I lead a pretty boring life and I'm usually at home long before midnight, but I digress.

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