Acceler8Success Cafe Thursday 3.18.21

The Pandemic Sparks an Entrepreneurial Boom

When the pandemic hit, Eric Girouard ’08 had a decision to make.

For two years, he had been working on his venture, Brunt Workwear, a seller of work boots, clothes, and accessories. The launch date of the business was approaching, but some of his early investors wanted Girouard to push it back a year because of the pandemic’s uncertainty.

Girouard wasn’t convinced. “They didn’t understand my customer,” he says. Girouard knew that Brunt’s core customer, construction workers, were still on the job, and that Brunt’s more affordable prices for work gear would be more appealing during a time of economic recession.

Brunt ended up launching in September. “We pushed forward even more aggressively than we had originally planned,” says Girouard, Brunt’s founder and CEO.

Brunt is just one of many, many businesses that have launched during the pandemic. Despite the tumult of the past year, entrepreneurs have not been scared away from pursuing their startups. On the contrary, entrepreneurial activity has seen a sharp uptick. Read more at

4 Tests Your Startup Must Pass to Win Capital

Is it too difficult for CEOs to persuade the right people with money to invest in their companies?

Leaders struggle with many questions:

  • Can they find investors who can best help them realize their vision?
  • If so, what is the best way to frame their business strategy to persuade them to invest? 
  • If not, how should they change their business strategy to attract capital?

Leaders can answer these questions in a way that streamlines the capital-raising process if they can pass four tests. In this article the author describes the tests and present examples from recent interviews he conducted. Read more at

2021 Poised to be the Year of the Franchise Entrepreneur.

2020 was nobody’s year; we’re all glad to see it in the rear view mirror. But 2021 promises to be a much better year for almost everyone, especially business owners. Economists predict a booming economy for the second two quarters of the year as vaccinations allow reopening and pent-up demand for goods and services roars to life.

If you’ve ever considered leaving your job and starting up a business, this could be your year. Many executives leave their corporate careers to start new ventures, and 2020 certainly made many of them rethink their life plans for the future. Some are seeking more autonomy; some are looking for a way to take charge of their own long-term financial security. Read more at

Houston-based Pepperoni’s continues to grow through the pandemic with 16 locations now open and an additional 17 franchises in development. The brand projects 50+ franchises awarded in 2021 as it expands beyond the Greater Houston Area to all corners of the Lone Star State including major cities, smaller markets and college towns.

Initial investment from $153k with a weekly flat-fee royalty payment. Efficient real estate footprint. Area Development opportunities available. Low equity partnership opportunities for the right individuals. Text PIZZA to (832) 797-9851 to learn more.

Three Ways Post-Pandemic Customers Will Permanently Change the Restaurant Industry 

People have been both eager and hesitant to venture back out into the world as stay-at-home orders have lifted. However, a surge in hot spots means the dining experience will continually evolve. Maintaining strict social distancing protocols is more important than ever. Some of these changes have been a long time coming, while others surged in popularity at the height of the pandemic.  

Restaurants have adopted a delivery/pickup model to meet the needs of their customers. In fact, 70 percent of consumers are ordering takeout directly from restaurants amidst the pandemic. As consumers cautiously begin to eat out at local restaurants, this new model will likely remain popular. This has created an increased demand for food running and delivery jobs that didn’t exist before. Read more at

Daily Message from Acceler8Success Founder, Paul Segreto

We certainly have had a lot of time to think as the Coronavirus changed life as we knew it. It has made us realize that life is too short. As we [finally] emerge from this experience our outlook and perspective may have changed along with our goals. We may end up making promises to ourselves that’ll help spearhead our motivation. We may actually better understand our Why(s) in life and what is truly important to us.

Quite possibly, we may become better individuals as a result of the time we’ve spent alone… a forced sentence of sorts, to truly understand what it is we actually want out of life that previously may have seemed to be on the back burner because we believed we didn’t have or couldn’t make time. It’s often said, things happen for a reason. Well, there may be more truth to that than we’ve ever realized before. I guess, it’ll come down to what we make of it.

The ‘New Normal’ Is Now: How to Adapt Your Business for the Future, Focusing on Today

In more than one article referring to The Crisis we have read about how we should adapt to a new normal, as if it were a stage that begins when the crisis ends. While it is true that there are stages in the development of crises (resolve, resist, return, reimagine and reform, according to McKinsey), it is also true that today, even with the current crisis, things are very different from just a year ago and we must adapt to a world in which, for now at least, the only constant is change.

It is time to let go of the past and actively address circumstances, aware that this will require continuously transforming our companies to adapt them to new market conditions.

To help you do this, focus on the following five key actions outline by the author. Read more at

A Heartwarming Story About Opportunity in America (Shared from Jesse Iwuji on Linkedin)

My mom used to fetch water from rivers at age 11 to bring home to help provide water for her family in Nigeria. My dad brought her to America from Nigeria with 0 dollars to her name and she was a hotel maid at age 23. My dad came to America with barely any money in his pocket and got essentially robbed by a crooked Cab driver immediately when he arrived. But just because you start with nothing, doesn’t mean the rest of life will be nothing…Since then they’ve had 4 kids, excelled in their career fields, and owned small businesses on the side. After coming to America years ago with nothing, my parents just closed on this house. If you tell me there’s no opportunity in America I’m going to tell you my parents story.

Some will say “Nice story, but hard work is not always rewarded”. I challenge you with this: Understand that desire is different than Ambition. We all desire success, but do we all have the ambition to achieve it? Denzel Washington once said we often confuse movement with progress, and that just because you’re doing a lot doesn’t mean you’re getting a lot done…toward your dream.

The Surprising Power of Growth Mindset in Reducing Stress

Stress is the defining affliction of modern life — ubiquitous, unending, and seemingly unavoidable.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. By understanding the neuroscience of how it operates, we can learn to target stress at its source. At NLI, one part of this involves helping leaders develop a growth mindset – the belief that challenges are opportunities to improve, not threats to status or identity.

When employees develop a growth mindset, research suggests they’ll enjoy a much greater advantage when stressful situations come their way. Read more at