By Sheila Askov

The 4th of July is gone, but the pursuit of freedom and independence continues. As a small business owner, that’s part of your motivation for getting up in the morning and working those long, hard hours.

Isn’t it interesting that the road to independence is in fact dependent on being mindful of interdependence?

The more we find solutions for the problems that plague others, the more likely we are to achieve success. Perhaps the secret to a shorter path requires asking more questions and listening intently to the answers. It may be more comfortable to wait for customers to fit into our ‘boxes’ than to change boxes or redecorate the interior…but long term, it will not be more effective. As the world evolves, change is inevitable and it affects the health of our businesses.

Go ahead, set off a few fireworks in the office. Challenge your conclusions out loud, and ask for input from customers and employees. Dare to try one or two ideas and watch for positive results. No matter how your new experiment turns out…congratulations. It’s much better to try out new fireworks than to continue to burn your old fireworks at both ends.