Small Business Reality Check

Faris Alami
2 min readOct 3, 2023

The last thing an entrepreneur needs is to live in a fantasy that has no checks or balances.

For many years I paid no attention to what, how, or when I said what I said. I was careful, but didn’t totally understand or appreciate the insights I had gained in working with thousands of entrepreneurs around the globe.

I’ve come to realize that those insights have allowed me to share my reality, and to offer “reality checks” to ensure that conversations stay real and relevant, and can be utilized by those listening, countering, or facilitating with me.

In the early 2000’s people started telling me I was the “Reality Check in the Room.”

I share this because I am blessed that the people around me are willing to share their insights… so I can learn from them.

I share it because as you continue on your entrepreneurial journey — whether as a start-up, a small business development, or a medium business growing — you need to make sure you are not speaking hypothetically about concepts and ideas that can be implemented.

One of the first questions I ask is Who is Your Customer? In the past, I was one of the people who thought “everybody is my customer.” What I’ve come to understand is that while everyone is welcome to buy my product or service, I go after specific customers that would benefit the most from my product or service, and from whom I would benefit in having them as a customer.

While that’s not an easy pill to swallow for many entrepreneurs, it’s important to know that having someone who provides a reality check when needed and ensures that you are supported when you are challenged, and even when you are comfortable, is key for your success and that of your business.


We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.

  1. What checks and balances do you have in place to ensure you are dealing with the reality of your business?
  2. What systems are in place to support your business as you develop and grow?
  3. Who are the people around you and how do they keep you going every day?


Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.



Faris Alami

Global Entrepreneurship ecosystem, SME and leadership development in local communities