One thing I love about small business is their attitude. From start-ups with just an idea to small business with staff members and a thriving business, many share a similar attitude. And that attitude is seen when faced by a challenge or problem, they approach it thinking ‘I Can’. It’s pretty amazing seeing small business tackle the most complex of tasks to either get a business off the ground, facing some insurmountable problems or growing the business.

This is a big difference to what we, in Nudge, have observed from our previous corporate lives. And the attitude that we felt summed this up was an attitude of ‘Can I’. Going on a work trip and wanting the flexibility in your ticket to come home half an hour earlier, people never thought twice of the extra several hundred dollars that would cost. Need help fixing up your computer. Call someone else. Need help preparing a report for a client. Go and see the presentation specialist on the formatting (and yes, there is actually a job that involves this). The whole mentality became one of what you can get others to do for you. Sacrifices were generally only made out of self-interest as opposed to any sustained or longer lasting benefit for the company.

We understand sacrifice because small business is all about making sacrifices. When we understand the sacrifices that we are making on a daily basis, having an I Can attitude comes part and parcel with the territory.

Is there a problem with the I Can mentality? Well, possibly. Small businesses can have the approach that they can, and have to do everything in the business. It’s not always economical for them to do that. Things such as doing your own bookkeeping or accounting, or designing your own website are often better left to the experts. We looked at this in our blog post here.

But the I Can attitude means that when small business take that approach and apply it to create value within their business, they often have spectacular results.