Chief cook and bottle washer
Mar 31, 2013 | 1404 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

WE HEAR much about large manufactories, retail chain incorporations, and large retail mail order companies. You’d think they are the backbone of our economy. However, I found some interesting statistics concerning small businesses here in the United States.

The U. S. Small Business Administration states that 99.7 percent of all employer firms are small businesses. They employ half of all private sector employees. They are responsible for 44 percent of the total U. S. private payroll. Another interesting statistic is that small businesses, not the government, generated 65 percent of the net new jobs over the past 17 years. Other interesting statistics concerning the accomplishment of small businesses could be given, but this should suffice.

Many a successful business began by an individual or family that was willing to sacrifice and work hard in order to get ahead. They didn’t depend upon the government or anyone else to help them get started. Some politicians think that if you were successful in business then the government or someone else provided you the initial capital for it.

This is not giving credit to those folks with little capital who started their business from scratch and slowly built it up. One such business was Hobby Lobby, a family enterprise, which began their business on their kitchen table by making miniature picture frames. It has grown to 525 stores throughout the nation.

YOU’VE HEARD the old expression: “Chief cook and bottle washer.” It indicates that the owner of a business manages it, serves as janitor, and takes care of all the jobs in-between to keep it going. Of course a person who never owned his or her own business or had the initiative to begin one cannot fully appreciate what it takes to be successful in one.

My dad had less than a high school education but was successful in more than one business, including a furniture store and a car agency. When he had the Pontiac car agency at Idabel, Oklahoma in the beginning of the 1950s I served as “auto parts chaser,” and “grease monkey.”

For those who have no idea what I’m referring to I was responsible to deliver auto parts to auto garage shops and to obtain auto parts at other car agencies and auto parts houses for our mechanics. On top of that I washed cars, changed oil and lubricated them.

Oh yeah, I swept the floors with a push broom. Late each afternoon I was relief projectionist for the movie theatre downtown. As soon as I got through there I drove out to the drive-in movie theatre east of town at the “Y” where I was the fulltime projectionists there. That was in the summer of 1953. For a kid still in high school I thought I was rolling in dough.

Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. Presently he serves as full time evangelist for the Pittsburg Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008)
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