You are currently viewing Penny Power Ponders whether she is a small business owner or an entrepreneur now

Penny Power Ponders whether she is a small business owner or an entrepreneur now

Thank you for joining me on this and I would welcome your thoughts on the opinions I am a about to share because this week, I have been pondering the fact that I now call myself a Small Business Owner, following 22 years of being an Entrepreneur. Maybe this will help someone to define their mindset this year and I would love that as it helped me hugely when I defined this for myself.

When I became responsible for an idea I came up with in 1998, Ecademy, the first Social Network in the world, I had never worked for myself, within 6 months I had a large investor, a huge commitment to a vision and this took me on a 14 year entrepreneurial journey.

Together, Thomas, our team and I trailblazed a concept and a set of beliefs in business, we believed that Community and a sense of belonging was going to be a critical asset for all business owners to have.

We disrupted markets, we invested, and constantly sought more investment, and we focused on the asset we were building rather than the income we needed. We also desired control of our vision and were hell bent on scaling it fast and globally.

We defined a new business model, introducing ‘SaaS’ before the terms was invented, by having clients pay on a subscription basis.

The risks were very high for us financially and as a brand, our values led us, and as the market changed from ‘conversation to broadcast’, we resisted letting go of what we believed in.

We had to watch the market constantly, adapt fast, build new code, and we should have let go of the business much sooner than we did, because ultimately, Business has always been personal for us, and when you scale and have investors, being emotionally connected to our beliefs and the business was not a strength.

As we scaled, the saddest element was the reduction in our intimate relationship with our clients. I remember the first year we started this new concept, Thomas and I got to know every new member, online and often offline. The values within the business of ‘Friendship First, Transaction Second’, were defined in the culture we set, however, over time, this became impossible for us. I was constantly embarrassed when a member knew my name and I didn’t know them. I always felt lonely in business, despite being determined to solve this for others.

Following the end of Ecademy in 2012, I went on believing I could build a scalable business, believing I was still capable of being an entrepreneur. I started two more companies with investors, with all the stress of my past experience. I deferred income, I had to think about the investors, I was stressed, overwhelmed and I learned the hard way that I no longer wanted to be an Entrepreneur, I wanted to be a proud owner of a small business.

Now this in life..

1. No investors to worry about, serving and carrying the same beliefs of community and belonging for business owners.

2. We have total intimacy with our clients, we know far more than just their name! We deeply know how to serve them.

3. We enjoy income and live without risk.

4. We are not trying to disrupt, scale or innovate, apart from what is right for our clients.

5. We totally focus on the dreams, visions, and desires that our clients have

6. We reinvest in the business constantly for our clients and the value we want to give them

7. We have time to pass on the wisdom, experience, and connections we have gained

8. We celebrate the success the members of our community have

9. We keep the same vision we held back in 1998, we still deliver community and belonging

10. Business Is Personal, emotional connection matters, and now we can enjoy that too, we are no longer lonely ourselves.

I am not promoting either mindset over the other, what I think is critical, you have to know what life you can lead and lead that choice with pride. It took me 22 years to return, fully, to the mindset I have and used to have, and to truly love my business life again. What is really important here, I have still hold onto the same vision and mission from 1998, but my delivery of it, mindset and lifestyle is has returned to the moment I remember so much, sitting in Pizza Express in Feb 1998, when I turned to Thomas as said “I wonder if we could help business owners to feel surrounded with love and friendship”.

I am very happy to discuss this with anyone, especially if this confuses you. Sending love for whatever your chosen path is, have the best week, year and life and find the way to LOVE your Business as truly Personal.

As a footnote I wrote my book ‘Business Is Personal’ in 2018, it is on Audio, E-Book and paperback and may help anyone who is struggling around being a business owner. I am very honest about all my challenges which I now know, are so common, and awareness is the beginning of finding the way through.

If you would like more of this dropped into your inbox weekly please join our mailing list –

Leave a Reply