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A Small Business that Could Sink Its Teeth Into YOU

By Ty Kiisel

FORBES– As a little boy, I used to have nightmares about this kind of thing.

If you’ve ever watched the Gator Boys on the Discovery Channel, you’ve learned a couple of things from Paul Bedard and Jimmy Riffle about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. These two small businessmen regularly risk life and limb to capture and remove live alligators from backyards, swimming pools, garages and bedrooms all around the Florida Everglades.

Wrestling live alligators isn’t for the faint of heart, but neither is running a small business. Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned from the Gator Boys:

  1. Love what you do: At the recommendation of a friend, I’ve tuned into a couple of episodes and have been impressed with these guys. They seem to be having a good time rolling around in the mud, swimming in a pool or otherwise facing danger every day. Although most small business people I know don’t face the loss of life and limb, they do have to face the challenges of entrepreneurship with a smile on their face. Do you love what you do? Is it obvious to your customersand employees?
  2. Be willing to do what it takes: Like the Gator Boys, most successful small business owners get stuck with all the jobs nobody else likes to do. I would never admit this to my wife, but I have cleaned my fair share of toilets and scrubbed the floors more times than I can count—it just wasn’t at home. Sometimes that’s what it takes to run a small business. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wrestle with a gator or jump into a swimming pool with a sharp-toothed killing machine (a monster that has successfully survived as a carnivore for thousands of years).
  3. Be the expert in your field: The Gator Boys seem to know what they’re talking about. Their customers trust them to get the job done. Small businesses that successfully establish themselves as the “expert” in their field tend to achieve more success, as their customers trust them to do what they say they will do. What are you doing to establish yourself and your business as the thought leader? If I lived in Florida and had a “gator problem”, I’d likely call the Gator Boys—wouldn’t you?

The Gator Boys are great examples of being passionate about what you do, a willingness to do whatever it takes to be successful—and definitely seem to know what they are talking about. Do you know of any other businesses that meet this criteria?

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