Size doesn’t matter?

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Contributing Editor Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor Walt Pickut

It sure does of a dinosaur thinks you smell like lunch! But that’s not always true. Sometimes small is better.

“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow!” And even the youngest Mr. Universe in history at the age of 20, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was somebody’s little baby once.

Small is often just a starting point. But growth alone is not enough. In fact, “No matter how tiny you look,” according to Nigerian playwright and poet Michael Bassey Johnson, “you can lead huge men if you have what the huge men don’t have.”

For people, that extra winning factor is often a magical combination of experience, wisdom, and determination, not height, weight, or muscles. Consider these small and powerful people:

Mahatma Gandhi – 5’4” Indian lawyer, nonviolent resistance leader.
Martin Scorsese – 5’3” Film director, producer, screenwriter.
Amy Poehler – 5’2” TV director, producer, writer, comedian.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg – 5’1/2″ Associate judge of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Small can be tough!

So, that’s why your Jamestown Gazette and this week’s returning cover story writer, Joni Blackman, is inviting everyone to join us in celebrating National Small Business Week.

Big businesses start small. Some of the most exciting success stories in business are the ones about one person with a vision, sometimes with no more than a handful of friends, starting off in a garage, a basement, or the family kitchen. Sometimes the business stays small, personal, and focused, and sometimes it grows much bigger. But either way, it fulfills somebody’s dreams and somebody else’s needs.

Success in business, therefor, is not necessarily measured in size. It is always, however, measured in quality, service, and profitability. Small businesses typically serve communities and big businesses serve the wider world.

Because of that simple fact, small businesses are personal. For that reason, small businesses are the cornerstones of every community. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses employ 99.7% of all workers in the United States. These small businesses also create 14 times more new, innovative patents per employee than big businesses every year. Small businesses are America’s superpower.
But starting a small business has always been risky. Their size makes them vulnerable to just about any kind of disruption. This spring, the Covid-19 pandemic threw a curveball at small businesses all across the U.S. and around the world.

As a result, this year’s National Small Business Week focuses on the three qualities that small businesses need and so many have demonstrated: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation.

And what works for a small business can also inspire the rest of us. This week, we ask our readers to look around at our local small businesses and see role models for everyone in our community. Achieve recovery by adapting and innovating:

Recover: Return to a normal state of fitness and strength by —
Adapting. Making changes better suited to a new environment and —
Innovating. Doing things in new ways, improving on old ways, or starting from scratch, whatever is needed to succeed in a new and changed environment.

It might look like that dinosaur called Covid is sniffing us over for its lunch, but remember, its size doesn’t matter. Individuals and small businesses, especially working together as a community, have the experience, the wisdom, and the determination to win.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.