NFIB Answers the Question: What Is Small Business? Answer #1 - Risk Takers

Date: June 10, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Lauren Horn at 202-314-2062 or

Answer #1: A group that understands meaningful reward is not possible without risk.

In anticipation of National Small Business Week, the nation’s largest and oldest small-business advocacy group is seeking to provide answers to the question: What is small business?

Today’s installment takes a look at the special economic and cultural role small-business owners play as risk-takers.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10, 2013 —
In an increasingly risk-averse society, America’s entrepreneurs stand out today more than ever before as an example of the positive outcomes that can come from risk-taking. Their willingness to take the enormous financial and personal risk involved in starting a business distinguishes small-business owners.

“Small-business owners’ willingness to take risks is a big part of what makes them special,” says NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner. “They aren’t like everybody else, and that’s a good thing.”

A look at an NFIB member in Austin, Texas exemplifies the risk-reward relationship that is uniquely obvious and attractive to entrepreneurs:

When they decided to open Carlot-Solutions, Aimee and John Marnell put everything they had on the line. They risked and invested both personal savings and invaluable time and energy. They knew they were taking a big risk, but that still didn’t stop them from pursuing the dream of business ownership by following John’s passion of auto mechanics and utilizing Aimee’s business savvy from years of working in the mortgage industry.

“The first two years were tough,” says Aimee. While building their customer base, Aimee and her husband lived on extremely tight cash flow, dramatically changed their lifestyle and postponed other personal goals.

Aimee describes the motivations for the Marnell’s to start a business – and stay in it through the tough times – as a desire to “spend more time with each other” and their family, the ability to have “freedom,” and to be “independent.” She explains the pros and cons of independence as: “There is no fall guy, if someone doesn’t like your business, then they don’t like you, so it can be difficult. However, at the end of the day, the rewards far outweigh the risks.”

For the Marnells, the rewards include the joy of working together as a couple, their relationships with their customers, and the pride that comes with creating jobs and employing people. “We made tons of sacrifices, but it’s not as hard of a sacrifice when you know who you’re supporting,” Aimee says when talking about their five employees and John.

The Marnells are now in their fourth year of business and are consistently growing. They are proud to have started their business and hope to pass it down to their children. Aimee says “We want our family to have the opportunity to live a good life with the freedom do what they love and the flexibility to spend time with the ones they love.”

To arrange an interview with Dan Danner or any of the small-business owners featured in this week’s press releases, please contact Lauren Horn at 202-314-2062 or


NFIB is the nation’s leading small business advocacy association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 to give small-business owners a voice in public policy-making, NFIB’s policy positions are set by its 350,000 business-owner members, who send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through NFIB’s unique member-only ballot. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information is available online at

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