I was sitting around with some other Freelancer's earlier this week and we were waxing about business stories we always hear about.
You know, the legends, the celebrity businesses, the pop businesses, down to the I like the sound of my own voice and here is my interview in the evening standard that is still pinned to the top of my Twitter profile three years later type businesses.
Small Is The New Big
Every week there is another stat about 140% of the UK workforce is independent, freelancing, creative, working remotely, retiring early not retiring, eating more cheese.
So from our discussion came this somewhat obvious point, the stories that are useful to us are the little businesses, the micro, the indie workers, the independent economic agents.
On one project I worked on in 2011 we used Companies House data that showed there were over 250,000 businesses registered within a one-mile radius of Kings Cross Station.
What Do You Know?
Which made me think that stories about how we were doing were more useful than Gates eating white chocolate as he worked on Windows or Bezos driving from somewhere to San Francisco and coming up with the idea of Amazon.
However, what helps less than you think is another Steve Jobs, Larry and the other Google guy or Richard Branson started with a thimble, an Oxo cube and a plane ticket story.
What Is It With The Apple Stories?
When people whine on about the Apple, Google, Virgin, Facebook example I suspect really they are hoping we'll associate these examples with their own work, like "Bernie wrote about Apple so he must be able to create a World dominating cash-rich company – clearly I can't which is why I am writing snarky blogs for a coworking space in Euston.
It's What You Know That Will….
There is no point in knowing more about Zuckerburg and Jobs than you know about yourself unless you want to write a book on them.
I know of more than one author who tells how often they get asked what pen, computer or type or paper they use.
The theory being that if we use the same equipment as the 'celebrity' we will sync with their creative energy and enjoy equal, if not more success.
Peer To Peer
What gets me to the edge of my seat is people in my world sharing how they built a life by working for themselves.
This is what I am working on, and what these people reveal I am more likely to be able to right now in my day.
This is why small support groups work amazingly well for people, the peer to peer learning and accountability are so valuable.
Absolutely we will learn from people outside of our own world, but examples from peers present us with actionable insights we can apply faster to our work than yet another legend.
Or think of it this way, if it has been made into a movie you are probably too late.
*Written on an Apple Computer using Google Apps.