What It Takes

The end of this week marks the end of my 16-week tenure at Vigilant, and it is truly bittersweet. In what only seemed like a few weeks has actually been a fantastic summer, both in terms of work and weather (a sunny May 2-4 in NL? What?). I say bittersweet because I am both happy and sad about it. I’m sad that I have to leave, but I am unbelievably grateful for the work term that I’ve been lucky enough to have.

This summer, I was able to learn so much about what it really takes to run a small business. Although it was similar to my last work term, I was essentially by myself most of the time doing what I could to help out. In a rather paradoxical fashion, what I’ve come to realize is something that I’ve known all along - how important it is to care about the business.

A small business is just that; small. By definition (according to the Small Business Administration), a ‘small’ business will typically have no more than 500 employees working there. However, when you look at many of the local ‘small’ businesses around here, they do not even begin to touch this number! Many businesses, especially recent startups, are run by only a handful of people. Not surprisingly, Vigilant is no different.

So how does this relate to people caring? Well, put yourselves in the shoes of a small business owner (if you’re not one already, of course). When you only have this modest handful of people running your operations, you would hope that they’d be pretty awesome people, would you not? Otherwise, there’s no way your business will succeed in the long run. Businesses cannot self-sustain without the help of people, and good ones at that. You need to rely on people that will help make your business the best it can be, or at least what you want it to be. And most importantly, these people need to trust both each other and you. To put it simply, you need people that care about your business, not just the money that they’re making from it.

At Vigilant, our team is far from gargantuan. This means that all of us need to be in this 100% if we want to keep everything going. Suffice it to say, the things we are trying to do, and the means that we have to be able to do it, make it very easy for us to buy in. My two semesters here have truly shown me how much we all need to commit to Vigilant if we want to see it grow even more, which I am absolutely confident that it will. With the team that we have, the things that we’re doing, and the things that we will accomplish in the future, I know that we’re on the right track.

Although this is the end for now, I’ll be back soon enough. I’ll miss Vigilant and everything that it takes to keep it going, but I know that it’s in good hands.

-Sheldon