One of the things I have noticed since I have been involved in business networking is the variety of people I have met who are self-employed or involved in small businesses. I have noticed a similar spread among those involved in network marketing, especially in the Utility Warehouse, of which I am a distributor. There are plenty of women and people from ethnic minorities. I have also noticed a lot of successful young businessmen and women, as well as a number of old ones, like myself, who do not seem to have gone stale or fallen behind modern developments.
I have not carried out any kind of statistical analysis, but I do not need one to make these observations.
Of course, you might say, “Why not?” given the proportion of women and ethnic minorities in Britain as a whole. I would be only too happy to agree, were it not for the fact that we hear a lot about discrimination and “glass ceilings” in many areas of our Society, which is borne out by simple observation of the make-up of the workforce and then of the management in a lot of organisations.
What does any of this mean or prove? Well, if women, young people, old people, Asians, Black people, and all the rest of us, can run our own businesses successfully, any argument that it is lack of ability that keeps us from succeeding in the corporate world looks pretty lame.
It means those responsible for selection, recruitment, and promotion need to have a long hard look at their policies and practices. If you think it is not your fault, because you just do not get many applications from some particular minority, ask yourself “Why not?” and look at your image.
Finally, while we are waiting for the corporate world to catch up, I strongly recommend the world of self-employment and the world of network-marketing to all those who feel they might be held back in the world of big business or whatever other sector you were concerned about. In the world of self-employment, the saying is usually true: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are probably right!”