A Small Business Is Big Work

I had both the fortune and misfortune of growing up in a family-run small business. I say “fortune” because it shaped my later years of life in positive ways as it gave me a work ethic that has served me to this day; and I say “misfortune” because it meant that I was always working for my family after school as a child and all throughout my middle and high school years. But I wouldn’t re-live my life any other way.

It was a little shop in the International District of Seattle — a true “hole in the wall.” My parents woke up super early in the morning (between 1am and 3am) and worked into the late afternoon (5pm to 6pm) for six days a week. Often they’d work seven days a week. And myself and my siblings would be along for “the ride.”

This experience has helped me understand the small business owners that I have the privilege to get to meet these days by working at Automattic. I thought I’d share some of what I learn on this site to paint a picture of what “being your own boss” really means — which is hard, hard work. This is my first post! —JM

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John Maeda

I'm a learner.