Entrepreneurial spirit was everywhere during a trip to the Cotswolds with my siblings a few years ago. We rented a charming house from the enterprising Berrisfords, who have several guest cottages on an old farmstead.
About three miles from our temporary home was the tiny hamlet of Awre which boasted a few houses, a large church and the Red Hart Inn. We decided to have dinner there on Father's Day.
A friendly woman named Marcia sat us at our table and explained that she was one of the owners and didn't usually wait on tables. "I decided to give some of our staff the day off so they could be with their dads," she explained. Then she charmed us with a story about the pub's resident ghost.
It was obvious, after we'd participated in a great lunch, that the Red Hart had attracted a talented chef-and a pastry chef who made the best brownies we'd ever eaten. When we returned for a second visit and didn't find the brownies on the menu, Marcia was sympathetic. At the end of our meal, the shy young pastry chef appeared with a handwritten copy of his brownie recipe.
We kept encountering small business owners in all the villages and small towns that we visited. These experiences reminded me once again how much I enjoy dealing with small businesses-and how I cringe when I hear "Go Big or Go Home."
Another Englishman, author Charles Handy, clarified something important, but seldom mentioned in his book, The Hungry Spirit. He writes, "'How much money do you earn?' I used to ask my friends in my competitive days. I was brought up short by one who replied, 'Enough.'"
His friend went on to explain that he gave serious consideration to how much money he needed and made sure that's what he earned. Handy goes on to point out that most of us have never determined what enough means and think, like John D. Rockefeller, that enough is just one more.
But, Handy says, we realize in many areas of life more isn't better. It we eat more than enough or drink more than enough, we feel worse, not better. Yet when it comes to achievement, we haven't figured that out.
"My wife and I, since we became self-employed portfolio people," Handy writes, "have regularly sat down each year and worked out what we need to live on. This process has freed up a lot of our time, because once the enough is guaranteed, there's no need or desire to spend time on making more than enough."
Creating your own definition of enough is a challenge worth taking on. As Handy learned himself, once you figure it out, "the sooner you will taste abundance and the freer you will be."