Christopher Columbus is accredited with the discovery that the world is round, not flat, as can be assumed by being at any one place. It was in the same era that ideas were being strongly put forwards that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way, as was accepted and strongly defended by the authorities. These instances of improved awareness created significant changes in thinking in many areas of science and geography.

Have you ever sat in a meeting, whether as a participant or observer and see it going nowhere?

Have you ever listened to an employee - supervisor exchange and felt lucky that your future or fortune does not depend on the outcome?

This is the magic of awareness.

I was in a meeting where the participants discussed the future of a small business. They argued back and forth about making the product and when they smugly “wrapped” things up, I pointed out that the business was in trouble because they had no cash, no plans for cash and no hope of any progress without cash.

They relented and then started another meeting about cash!
This next meeting soon turned to one about sales and it became frightening clear that they were not prepared for the business – its challenges and opportunities.

One grasps these insights by being aware.

I have discovered that not many people can get their hands and minds around multiple and sometimes conflicting issues and outcomes. Individuals might be good at linear thinking where they are, for example, good accountants, good marketers, good sales people, etc., but where they require what I call spatial thinking – where there are multiple issues and multiple impacts on the business, from different directions in the real world situations, these aspiring entrepreneurs struggle. This spells big trouble for the small business, because, by definition, the small business has a scarcity of resources and usually depends on the versatility, insights, and creativity of the entrepreneur to achieve success. It depends on their awareness.

So awareness of what is necessary, not what is convenient, makes a big difference. Spatial attention is necessary. The typical linear approach used by most people will not work and will cause or exacerbate crises. It is this paradox that causes a department to be well run by someone who turns out not being able to run their own business. He or she is not aware of how to “bring it together”.

I must confess though, that I am not sure how this awareness comes about. Is one born with the rudiments of what is necessary to have awareness, or can it be taught? Is lack of awareness the result of laziness or some genetic factor? I don’t know. What I know is that it is necessary. And it does not mean that the person who is aware has to do, personally, that which he or she recognizes is necessary to get done. It means that he or she sees to it that the task gets done, knowing that at most times, there is a necessary bridge that the entity must cross before moving on to success.

So, the general manager must be aware. He or she must not be jack-of-all trades but must be able to direct the flow of things, drawing the requisite expertise at the right time to make the whole succeed. This is the aim of The Small Business Survival Guide.

Its insights provide awareness of things that must be done. Many of these things are not taught in a classroom and they are not all relevant at the same time. So, it becomes a handy reference book for persons, particularly in small businesses, because not all operators are gifted with this magic of spatial awareness. But they need to succeed.

Increase your awareness with your copy of The Small Business Survival Guide – Insights into the First Two Years.

Author's Bio: 

Alrick Robinson is the author of The Small Business Survival Guide: Insights into the First Two Years. I invite you to download a free chapter and introduction to by book at You may also visit my blog at where I share small business resources and survival tips weekly.