Good small business reads #39: Staying creative and happy and making the most of networking opportunities

In case most of you are at the beach, we have a brief issue of Good Small Business Reads for July…a few lighter topics that won’t distract from your vacation fun. First up is “18 Things to Do Right Now to Be a Happier Small-Business Owner” by Laura Schaefer, cofounder of This article is chockfull of good advice that you might want to consider putting into effect when you’re back from your vacation.

I particularly liked item #4 on her list: “Lighten up. When a crisis arises, ask yourself if it will really matter in a week, a month or a year. The answer is usually no.” Ain’t that the truth! And we’re all guilty of it…turning molehills into mountains and driving ourselves and everyone around us crazy for no good reason. Stop and count to 10 the next time you feel “crisis fever” coming on. And if that doesn’t work, count to 10 again before ringing the alarm bell.

Our next read, “Don’t Underestimate the Casual Meeting,” makes the point that you never know who someone you’ve just met knows. It’s written by Adam Callinan, an entrepreneur and currently a founding partner of Beachwood Ventures, a Los Angeles-based early-stage venture capital firm. As he writes, just because someone you meet at a networking event or via a friend doesn’t immediately appear to be someone who can help you, if you listen instead of dominating the conversation, you may find their best friend or their cousin holds an important position at a company you’ve been courting for business, just go give an example. So one of Callinan’s main points is to “shut up and listen.” Good advice in almost any situation!

Finally, I encourage you to check out “9 secrets to staying creative” from In this piece, Natasha Khimji gathered ideas from nine entrepreneurs on how they stay creative. I liked this piece of advice from John Petersen, Head of Product Development at Firehawk Creative: “Repeatedly ask the question ‘what if.’ “Asking what if eliminates any constraints, unlocks the imagination, and allows you to throw out some random, completely bonkers ideas.”

That’s it for now. Look for more Good Small Business Reads in August.

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