Irony, Hypocrisy, or Just Good Business?

I love learning about small business. I talk about it all the time. 90% of the books I read are on the subject. And, of course, my site is focussed on it. I try my best to shop at local stores when I can, although not as often as I should.

Despite all of this, I had an epiphany yesterday. I realized just how few small business I rely on in order to learn and write about small business. Here's what I mean.

  • I buy all of my books from Chapters and Amazon

  • I buy all my audiobooks from Audible, a company owned by Amazon

  • I bought my domain, and host my site with GoDaddy

  • All of the gear I use to get this blog out (and all my other work) was bought from Dell, Apple, and Wal-Mart

Furthermore, you’ve probably noticed that I have ads on my site (hopefully not too many). While I only advertise and link to products I use and pay for (when applicable), they are all large businesses.

Am I a hypocrite?

Is it wrong to promote small business, and then profit by helping out big business? In some ways, yes. I really hadn’t thought of it before yesterday, so I’m a bit torn at the moment.

On one hand, the majority of small businesses require the help of a bigger business. Small town tire shops make money by profiting off of products from Michelin or Goodyear. How is that different from a blogger making a commission from selling products for Amazon or eBay?

On the other hand, it would certainly show a lot more “walking the talk” if I were to only promote and shop with other small business owners. Even better if I were to sell something I made or wrote myself.

The wheels are spinning on this one. I’ve got quite a few ideas on this, and plan to write a few more posts to tackle this issue. However, before I do that, I’d like to hear from you (providing there actually are people out there reading this).