My Cool Neighbors

One of the perks of working out of Abul Haj Building in Amman is the really cool neighbors you have.  Innovators, original, and ready to go off the beaten track.  Many of them actually paved the beaten track that others follow.

I am not socially active per se, but every ride up or down into the elevator is a chance to bump into one of them.  Today, I invited one of them, principal at an IT company, for a cup of coffee early morning.

One of the key things amazed me during the enriching conversation was how eerily similar are the challenges and opportunities surrounding the Jordanian small businesses.  Staffing, Regulations, Regional Markets, Economic conditions, succession planning, and many other topics are so relevant and similar between our companies.  I started wondering if I got a chance to sit with other owners, managers in the building how enriching that would be, and how much we can help each other with ideas, opportunities, services, etc.

One thing I always felt about businesses in the region is that we are solo hunters; tigers, not lions. We do not like to hunt in groups, and we do not want to share leads, ideas, or opportunities and challenges with each other. With some, you feel that even the information they give you is propaganda to lead you off the hot business trail they are pursuing. I contrast that to my experience in the United States where I worked mainly for consulting companies.  We used to readily and easily lend fierce competitors resources for a project where they are understaffed, and vice versa.  We did not do it only out of the goodness of our heart, such a thing would be too civilized for the business world.  But we did it because we would get paid for it, and when we needed help, the other competitors would oblige.  Do not get me wrong, we had our bitter fights and even law suits, but we still cooperated.

My guest today was very open, friendly, thought provoking, and fun to be around. I know there are more like him in the small business world around me. I just have to look up to see them.  So, I am thinking seriously of starting a social group for company managers in the building.  A monthly get together, maybe an informal reception to chit chat and shoot the breeze.

Maybe this can grow into a business community for small business, a real one, not just a facade.  Enough dreaming and back to work 🙂

Comments (2)

  1. the most i liked about your article is
    “I always felt about businesses in the region is that we are solo hunters”
    this is very true, and it seems to be in our roots. The following poetic verse reflects this
    نحن قوم لا توسط بيننا لنا الصدر دون العالمين او القبر

    1. Thank you Ammar for your contribution. For the sake of better understanding, someone must write about the mentality of small business owners in the region. I think that would be a valuable yet fun research. I wonder if anyone has already done that.

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