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30 Things I Learned Running a Small Business

The Motley Fool Logo By Daniel B. Kline of The Motley Fool | Slide 1 of 31: In my 20-plus-year career, I've run a giant toy store, managed a retail and rental operation owned by my family, and partnered in a company that developed websites. At each stop, I've learned some lessons about running a small business, but I learned the most during my days running a well-loved toy and model train store in Connecticut. In that job, I worked for a highly involved but generally off-site owner, and I had full responsibility for our profit or loss. I was charged not only with making money, but also with serving a devoted clientele and staff. Through this experience, as well as my other small-business management positions, I learned countless lessons that helped me grow as a manager and a person.

It's not a job -- it's a lifestyle

In my 20-plus-year career, I've run a giant toy store, managed a retail and rental operation owned by my family, and partnered in a company that developed websites. At each stop, I've learned some lessons about running a small business, but I learned the most during my days running a well-loved toy and model train store in Connecticut.

In that job, I worked for a highly involved but generally off-site owner, and I had full responsibility for our profit or loss. I was charged not only with making money, but also with serving a devoted clientele and staff. Through this experience, as well as my other small-business management positions, I learned countless lessons that helped me grow as a manager and a person.

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