Yeah I know all the freakin blogging rules.
I’m supposed to make this post useful for you, quick and easy to digest and on point.
It’s the Small Business Marketing Blog of Orange County, not the Steve Averill blog.
Well, today I’m indulging.
This one’s for my kids.
I used to be a dick.
I hated, loathed and felt an enormous antipathy toward small business and most people in general.
When you’re a 25 year old insecure investment banker, working in the World Financial Center with a daily view of the Statue of Liberty, a secretary, an expense account and no conscience, it’s just how you feel.
“A player….or nothing, ” to quote Gordon Gekko
Never mind the fact that I wasn’t even close to being a player.
Everything around me suggested I was and that I deserved it all.
I flew on the Concorde at twice the speed of sound, had a limo service at my beck and call, stayed in the best hotels, ate in the best restaurants, and indulged in, well, everything.
It was not the real world.
You wonder what happened in this financial meltdown, why Wall Street asked for a bailout and how the entire economy has been brought to its knees by the Bernie Madoffs of the world?
It is because they hate you.
You are the spinach.
They see you, they know you’re good for them (somebody has to take out those mortgages and buy those stocks), but you are utterly distasteful.
Never mind the fact that with an I-Banker’s profligate spending, your net worth was probably higher than ours.
Or that we created nothing.
We just made it up along the way and moved things around a bit and spun. Boy did we spin. You think Washington spins? Go to Wall Street. It’s The Matrix.
I was slowly beginning to tire of it all when I was asked to do an analysis of financial institutions in Europe.
I will always have a soft spot for London and Portobello Road, because it was there, hanging out my window on the weekend, watching all these people walking leisurely to check out the antiques (Antiques!) that I got my bearings.
Just by watching people walking down Portobello Road.
They were happy. They were laughing. They were living life.
I wrote a poem about it.
I shared it with friends.
“You’re no investment banker dude”, one of them said.
I came back to the states and quit.
I moved to Boston where I wrote and performed in a show about the whole experience called “Big Men Don’t Dribble”.
Then I moved to LA, played the Hollywood game a little and started combining my communications skills and business background into a career in marketing and media.
And here I am.
A lover of life and people and the daily battles all of it brings.
I know how hard it to be a small business owner because I am one.
I enjoy the passion and possibilities that ideas, energy and execution can provide.
I champion my clients and they do the same for me.
It’s still a struggle but life is good.
And I don’t hate, but I do go toe-to-toe with false prophets and fakers and mediocrity.
Because most of us are good and work our tails off to make our dream real.
And that’s worth fighting for and pouring your love into.