Acceler8Success Cafe Friday 5.7.21

Entrepreneurship is Evolution not Architecture

Plan, plan, plan. It is drilled into the head of every business student. Write business plans, addressable market analyses, go-to-market strategies.

The idea is that a business is a structure and you are the architect. You can write a business into reality. You can tame the chaos. Every line will be translated into a living part of a vibrant business like the meticulous drafting notes on a building elevation. Every spreadsheet cell will blossom into a revenue stream or product line. Uncertainty can be tackled with contingency plans. If only things were so simple. Read more at medium.com.

The Evolution of the Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs have shaped the face of business and enterprise since the dawn of man. From the first wheel to the advent of the internet, these clever businesspeople evolved for centuries into their most recent incarnation, the social media entrepreneur.

In this infographic, we explore the evolution of the entrepreneur. We’re no longer cave-people, but we still have some things in common with our ancestors.

Instead of using the internet as a forum for their business, today’s social media entrepreneurs are reshaping it to fit their businesses. These social media entrepreneurs thrive on connectivity. View infographic at grasshopper.com.

 “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.” — Dave Thomas, Founder of Wendy’s 

5 Leadership Lessons For Entrepreneurs To Be Successful In 2021

Whether you’re a business veteran or new to the entrepreneur scene, running a business is no easy feat. Despite a challenging past year, entrepreneurial spirits are alive and well, with many Americans expanding their quarantine hobbies beyond activities like baking and exercising and starting their own ventures. Consequently, 30.7 million small businesses now currently operate nationwide, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, applications for small business owners increased 32% in the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a record-breaking 77% jump in Q2 – that’s 500,000 more Americans and counting navigating the complex world of entrepreneurship.

Building on a long, successful career as an entrepreneur, Kirk Simpson, CEO of FinTech software Wave, developed software specifically for small business owners to help them get off the ground and focus on doing what they love. As a three-time tech startup owner himself, Simpson’s unique connection to entrepreneurship encouraged him to develop his software with features that relieve entrepreneurs of maintaining administrative tasks like bookkeeping and banking, so they can focus on building their business. Read more at forbes.com.

4 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From John Paul DeJoria’s Rags-to-Riches Story

Although I’m certainly no John Paul DeJoria, I do know what it’s like to have been poor. As a kid, I lived in a run-down neighborhood, where a 1-meter-wide, open sewage gutter ran right outside our door. Today, I am a serial entrepreneur whose companies have helped tens of thousands take their first steps into the world of business.

The co-founder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products and the Patrón Spirits Company, DeJoria was homeless twice before he became a billionaire. 

When DeJoria was homeless, he was too proud to ask his mom for a place to stay; he wanted to make it on his own. Instead, he asked her for a few hundred bucks to hold him over until he got back on his feet. 

At one point, DeJoria’s friend, a motorcyclist, offered him a spare room, where he and his 2-year-old son could stay. Some of the “biker mamas” — DeJoria’s words — even helped take care of his son, allowing him to go out and hustle. DeJoria admits it was a life-changing show of support.

If DeJoria’s friend hadn’t given him a leg up, it’s hard to say for certain if he would have become the massively successful businessman he is today. 

As an entrepreneur, sometimes you’re going to need help. No self-respecting entrepreneur wants a handout. But pride to the point of blindness can prevent you from ever reaching your goals. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

6 Business Books That Will Revolutionize Your Business and Change Your Life

Books have the power to change lives. We live in a time when books are more affordable and accessible. Yet, fewer entrepreneurs read books, using the excuse of a lack of time. If you can’t find time to read, you as an entrepreneur will not grow, which will have an effect on your business.

If you study any successful entrepreneur, you’ll see one of the keys to their success is that they educate themselves through books. You can get books these days for as little as .99 cents. Many are even free through Amazon’s KDP Select program. There’s no reason not to have a Kindle full of books that can educate you and teach you strategies to grow your business. 

Here are six books that can help you create a business and life you love. This list is a good start. It’s up to you to research books that will help you and your business where you are in your journey. These books are changing lives and helping entrepreneurs grow their business. Read more at entrepreneurship.com.

How To Turn Your Idea Into A Successful Business Like Joy Mangano

We all saw her portrayed in the 2015 hit movie, Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence. Joy Mangano, a divorced working mother of three, created a self-wringing mop, which eventually became a successful business. Now she has more than 100 patents and trademarks to her name and has developed more than $3 billion worth of unique products.

Do you secretly dream of becoming an inventor like Joy? Maybe you’ve had a plethora of creative ideas over the years, but you come up with the same excuses:

  • Where do I start?
  • Who would buy this anyway?
  • Hasn’t someone already thought of this?
  • What do I know about starting a business?
  • How can I afford to get this idea off the ground?

Don’t let your doubts and fears get in the way of launching a product or service that could eventually become a successful business. Learn about some sage advice from some of the world’s most well-known inventors and entrepreneurs at forbes.com.

The Current Rise Of Women Entrepreneurial Leaders

As the positive movement for gender equality in the workplace gains significant momentum, the data not only shows forward motion, but many opportunities to be taken advantage of. Cultural progress is of little value unless there is a framework to channel mindset and behavioral transformation into actions and results.

My wife, Nicole Gleeson, and I are business partners in our latest venture, and we would be nowhere without her vision, leadership, tenacity and drive. This is also why we partnered in writing this article, which is intentionally published today – International Women’s Day. Several years ago she was an executive working in “corporate America” and was constantly plagued by harassment, salary inequality and by feelings of insignificance. She was young and working in a male-dominated industry always asking herself, “How did I even get this job?”

This female confidence challenge was also described as the “imposter syndrome” by Pauline Claunce and  Suzanne Imes. Women frequently express that they don’t feel they deserve their job and are “imposters” who could be found out at any moment.  Claunce and Imez found that women worry more about being disliked, appearing unattractive, outshining others, or grabbing too much attention. Often times, dreams and aspirations landing on the side-burner of life once getting married and having children. Read more at forbes.com.

A Message from Acceler8Success Founder, Paul Segreto

It’s been a tough few hours tossing and turning, staring at the ceiling, questioning the past fourteen months. Reading so much about people with once (recently) successful businesses closing their doors for good and others with extraordinary careers now left unemployed, it all has me questioning, Why?

Sure, we’ve been in midst of a pandemic but I’m been feeling like many just gave up, allowing themselves to have their hands tied, just waiting for the music to stop to determine who will be left without a chair. So much hasn’t made sense. Essential businesses… I don’t get how this had been determined, or even, Why?

Some had joked that the next stop would be the real version of the Hunger Games and crazy as it seems, at times I had started to envision how that could be true. At times, these thoughts remain. It’s like a big leveling of the playing field – break the legs of some while leaving others to survive only to have the would-be survivors face, yet another challenge. Why?

Does any of this make sense? Does anything make sense? Is there truly a light at the end of the tunnel that’s more than just an opening to a perilous drop akin to what Dr. Richard Kimble faced in The Fugitive when he had to make a split-second decision to jump off the dam and face almost certain death or just give up despite his convictions? Why?

I’m not looking to debate. I’m not trying to understand conspiracy theories. I just want to continue to move forward, fulfill my obligations as a businessman and work through a comeback (and reinvention) from a couple of less than satisfying years that right before the pandemic had started to show signs of promise. I want to fulfill my obligations as a friend and colleague and of course, as a husband, father and grandfather. I want to continue to work to help others achieve their dreams. But more than anything, I want to hug my loved ones, knowing they have a bright, safe future ahead without them having to experience white roses falling from the sky, and wondering, Why?

Why We Need to Include Time for Self-care on Our To-do Lists

Modern businesses have many advantages with the scope and reach technology provides. For instance, CEOs and HR directors can tap a much more diverse and global employee pool. This unencumbered reach has several other advantages, including massive growth and profitable sales. Yet, a global market also brings challenges such as language barriers and religious and cultural differences, to name a few. These challenges, however, can be overcome by employing a diverse team.

Leaders sometimes make the mistake of hiring employees who are just like them — in age, race and gender. This practice probably happens unconsciously. Think of friendships. Your obvious friends — the ones who come naturally — share your personality, likes and dislikes. But in the business world, leaders don’t need more of the same. There already is one of you. Wouldn’t you much rather employ people who have new ways of thinking and approaching a problem? Sure, it might be easier to hire the obvious friend, but the best leaders never choose ease over effectiveness. In fact, the best leaders will not tolerate the “yes person” who merely agrees, never contributes original ideas and never challenges others. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

Welcome to The Social Geek Radio Network.

Get in touch with your inner geek. Jack Monson and many special guests discuss social media and digital marketing trends for brands, small businesses, and franchises. 

Social Geek Radio was listed as one of 20 Best Business Podcasts according to Emerge and was named to the Best Small Business Podcasts by FitSmallBusiness.com. Recently, Social Geek Radio finally made the Top 25 podcasts in the Marketing category of Apple Podcasts / iTunes.

Listen, download, subscribe to Social Geek Radio!

Why Joining a Startup Could Be Better Than Launching Your Own

Too often, I see people go, “I want to start my own company,” and then months later, nothing happens. For those who take the leap, the majority either never scales into anything significant or eventually fails.

After all, 90% of new startups fail for various reasons, from product-market fit, team or cash flow problems.

The truth is, being an entrepreneur is tough work and isn’t as lavish as the media paints it out to be.

Now I am not saying it’s not rewarding or something you shouldn’t pursue. The least you get is experience within the industry, especially building something of your own. However, for many who want to work in the startup industry, I want to paint a different picture.

Instead of needing to take the reins and co-found one yourself, there is an equal amount to learn by joining the team of one that has already launched and possibly even raised a round or two.

So why is joining a startup better than launching your own? Learn some points to consider at medium.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Thursday 5.6.21

Reasons Why Small Businesses are Important

Small businesses provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, jobs for neighbors and gathering places for communities. They’re rooted in the landscape where they grow, and they give back vitality and sustenance. Although running a small business involves taking greater risks than working for a large, established company, the rewards are both quantitative and qualitative, including broad-based prosperity and a web of symbiotic relationships.

Small businesses are important because they provide opportunities for entrepreneurs and create meaningful jobs with greater job satisfaction than positions with larger, traditional companies. They foster local economies, keeping money close to home and supporting neighborhoods and communities.

Although small-business ownership is a longstanding and traditional way of earning a living, it bucks an ongoing trend of large companies consolidating, building economies of scale and spreading homogeneity. A chain restaurant in the Midwest will be virtually the same as a version of the same restaurant on the East or West coast, and a pharmacy with locations across the country will reflect the same values, wherever it is located, whether it focuses on convenient delivery of pharmaceuticals or processed convenience foods. In contrast, independently owned restaurants and pharmacies reflect the culture and needs of their neighborhoods. Local restaurants feature regional specialties, and local pharmacies may supplement their stock of pharmaceuticals with anything from jigsaw puzzles to t-shirts from area Little League teams. Read more at smallbusiness.chron.com.

America’s Small Business – By the Numbers

No doubt, small businesses are the leading drivers of our nation’s economy. The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy 2020 U.S. Small Business Profile reports on the leading indicators of American Small Businesses:

• 31.7 million small businesses (99.9% of U.S. businesses)
• 60.6 small business employees (47.1% of the U.S. workforce)
• 1.6 million net new jobs added by small businesses
• 5.2 million self-employed minorities
• 285,334 small business exporters

Visit the 2020 Small Business Profiles For The States and Territories and Small Business Facts to learn more.

Small Business Resources

Already in business or thinking about starting your own small business? Check out these various small business resources:

Remember, you can also receive free professional business advice and free or low-cost business training from your local Small Business Development Center!

This Small Business Week, Try 8 Habits Successful People Do Every Day

The set of habits doesn’t have to be complex, though. Take Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, for example. He has two key habits that he does every day without fail: gratitude and exercise. Each morning, he wakes up and asks himself what he’s thankful for. Acts of gratitude like this are shown to improve mental and physical health. Next, Nadella hits the gym. No matter where he is, he commits to going to the gym for at least 30 minutes. He says it makes a huge difference – and he’s right. People who are physically fit have improved cognitive function.

Your mindset determines how you perceive the people around you and the situations you find yourself in. For that reason, a positive mindset will also determine your success in leadership. Approach your employees and tasks with a positive, enthusiastic mindset, and the results will follow. Approach them with a negative mindset, and you will only get negativity in return. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

A Message from Acceler8Success Founder, Paul Segreto

As National Small Business Week starts to wrap up, I’d like to give a shout out to small business owners – entrepreneurs, moms & pops, franchisees, sole proprietors – for paving the way for future generations by keeping the American Dream alive. It’s through your hard work, persistence, dedication and commitment that you continue to improve business at the local level.

With your own money and time you’re actually field testing new ways of doing business – marketing, technology and other – continuing to innovate and explore across many industry segments. Taking risks, you continue to invest in growing areas while also helping to revitalize once great areas. And, whether you know it or not because you’re often in the shadow of big business and Corporate America, you are the backbone of our nation.

You, all of you, each of you are the spirit of Entrepreneurship and free enterprise that has made our country great and will continue to keep it great for decades to come. For all of that, and for all that you do, I thank you!

#SmallBusinessWeek #ILoveSmallBiz #TheAmericanDreamIsAlive

Fransmart’s Dan Rowe on the Coming Franchise Boom in Retail

Food, not very long ago — but before folks figured out how to spell “coronavirus” — was considered the answer to the incursion of e-commerce in the shopping district, along with fitness centers. Neither could be duplicated on the web, and people loved good food and meeting their friends at the next hot restaurant.

Then came the virus and the lockdowns, and the clientele just disappeared. While many restaurants tried to stay in business with “ghost kitchens” — kitchens that cooked strictly for the take-out crowd, or by hooking up with web-based delivery services like Door Dash and Seamless — even with their lenders bending over backward to keep them alive, the last year and change has been murder on eateries. More than 110,000 restaurants have been lost nationwide to the pandemic, according to March statistics from the National Restaurant Association

That was then. Now, there’s — excuse the expression — hunger for eating out again. And Dan Rowe, CEO of Alexandria, Va.-based consultancy Fransmart, calls 2021 “the year of the franchise,” meaning that real estate professionals and consumers should expect to see a fresh growth in franchise restaurants, due to all of the eateries that didn’t make it through the pandemic, or that emerged wobbly and financially unstable. Read more at commercialobserver.com.

Are Franchises Locally Owned Small Businesses?

Most people believe that all franchises are owned by a major corporation, but this is not the case. A franchise is actually a small business that has an established brand name and must pay annual royalties to a franchisor (the person who owns all of the trademarks, processes, etc…the “major corporation”). Franchising is often misunderstood by regular people and even government officials. However, there are nearly 800,000 franchise establishments in more than 120 industries employing over 9 million people in the United States. This makes it all the more important to understand franchising and what it really is!

A franchise is often a local small business. The owner is not likely to be a Steve Jobs figure, but more likely to be a local entrepreneur. A franchise is essentially the sharing of a brand between two independent companies: one company has an opportunity to offer (the franchisor) the brand name, and the other makes the investment in that opportunity by developing their own locally-owned business (the franchisee). Read more at fundingfuel.com.

The Key Stats That Will Drive 2021 For Women Business Owners

There are some staggering statistics when it comes to the number of successful businesses that are female-owned and operated. ​Bizjournals.com​ spells this out in stark detail with the following statistics: 

“The number of women-owned businesses has increased by 31 times since the first time the U.S. Census Bureau provided data on minority-owned and women-owned businesses in 1972, from 402,000 to 12.3 million. And while the number of women-owned businesses grew 58 percent from 2007 to 2018, firms owned by women of color grew at nearly three times that rate (163 percent).” 

The country is long overdue for a conversation about how women can also be business leaders. That conversation is beginning to take root more deeply, and it is having a real impact. Women-owned businesses are in great shape to continue to expand as even more women join the ranks of business owners. They bring with them a perspective that is different from traditional male-owned businesses. As more young girls see role models in the business world that look like them, we can expect that this trend will continue. Read more at blog.pailor.org.

‘If Not Now, When?’ – Women Entrepreneurs Launch Mid-Pandemic

They say necessity is the mother of invention — it is, at the very least, a parent of many startups. While the coronavirus crisis has forever altered our lives, and has had devastating economic consequences for millions of people, it has also fostered a groundswell of entrepreneurial spirit, especially among women.

The U.S. Census Bureau saw a significant uptick in new business filings over the course of the pandemic, with more than 4.4 million new firms created since March 2020 — a 24-percent increase from the previous year. Data compiled for The Washington Post by LinkedIn found that female entrepreneurship grew 5 percent during roughly the same period, more than double the pre-pandemic average.

Much of the rise in entrepreneurship is a consequence of unemployment, which continues to run rampant, with 114 million jobs lost worldwide last year. In the U.S., rates “peaked at an unprecedented level, not seen since data collection started in 1948,” says the Congressional Research Service, a public policy institute. By December 2020, the number of permanent jobs in America lost swelled to 3.3 million. Read more at thestoryexchange.org.

Student Entrepreneurship Fuels Business Growth And Learning

recent study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers pointed to a disturbing trend. While graduates believe they are well prepared for a job, employers increasingly think otherwise.

Nick Bayer, Founder and CEO of Public Benefit Corporation and hospitality company Saxbys expressed it to me this way: “The job market demands skills like critical thinking, emotional intelligence, problem solving, cultural agility—attributes that are extremely difficult if not impossible to teach in a classroom.”  

Bayer developed the Saxbys Experiential Learning Platform (ELP), a student-centric entrepreneurship opportunity where partners with leading universities to give students the opportunity to run a business, specifically a bustling on-campus café. Read more at forbes.com.

Tips for Small Business Success: A Guide for Creatives

If you practice a creative profession, you’re likely one of the lucky people who take genuine joy in the work. According to Workforce.com, research suggests that people in creative jobs are generally happier and more fulfilled by their work than those in traditional industries. Certainly, if you want to make money with your creative pursuit, establishing it as a small business can help. This is why a few tips for your small business might come in handy.

Whether you paint or play music, there are many ways to take your artistic endeavors and leverage them to make money. Here at Musa Creativa Magazine, we help artists and creatives thrive with a dedicated community and useful resources to support their success.

This quick guide to establishing your small business as a Creative is another great resource that can help you in your path towards a successful creative business. Learn more at musacreativemagazine.com.

How Will Covid-19 Impact the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs?

Covid-19 has fostered a wave of innovation, both positive and negative, in the world of entrepreneurship. Researchers and entrepreneurs dedicate their lives to create a future for consumers and organizations. Scientific studies, along with considerable risks that entrepreneurs take, are essential for ending the Covid-19 crisis and designing new techniques to adapt to a post-pandemic world.

While entrepreneurs are optimistic and resilient, the pandemic will require them to shift their business approach for decades to come. Although some businesses may have plummeted, other elements surrounding the pandemic will build the next generation of entrepreneurs.

While Covid has drastically affected the elderly population, it has also shocked the global economy. Before Covid, there were 158 million Americans that were employed. Many people may not be actively seeking employment due to social distancing measures. Nonetheless, over 30 million Americans currently do not have a job.

Another economic issue we have seen over the past several months is the supply chain for goods and services. Most of our components come from China, where the flow of materials is significantly affected by the pandemic. A shortage of supplies has shocked our economy and may have long-term effects. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

12 Resources and Communities Entrepreneurs Should Follow for Industry Insight and Tips

Staying tuned in to the pulse of your industry is key to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Public groups, online forums and the like are among the most valuable resources for gathering and contributing industry information. But if someone is looking for in-depth insight into their business niche, locating the right groups where this discussion occurs is the first step. Learn more at smallbiztrends.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Special Edition Wednesday 5.5.21

National Small Business Week meets Mental Health Awareness Month

Could there be a more likely combination of complexity, or concern?

A recent study says generally entrepreneurs are likely to experience mental health issues frequently. On top of the 62% who say they feel depressed at least once a week, another 46% also experience low mood or feel mentally fatigued. And these mental issues interfere with their ability to work for 46% of the respondents.

We know that people with a mental illness are more likely to become unemployed, and research has suggested that less than 40% of employers would consider employing someone with a mental health problem.

According to data supplied by the American Psychiatric Association, employees with unresolved depression experience a 35% reduction in productivity, contributing to a loss to the U.S. economy of $210.5 billion a year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and medical costs.

Yet, mental health issues go unnoticed and unchecked. Some factors that lead to patients balking at getting help are the nature of mental illness often entails self-objectivity being in short supply, resulting in many patients not being aware that they need treatment or denying that fact altogether.

In this Special Edition of Acceler8Success Cafe our focus is on the crossroads of mental health and small business & entrepreneurship.

The Impact of Mental Health on Small Businesses

An employee who’s always calling in sick. A manager who just can’t hit productivity targets. Turnover rates that simply won’t stop rising. You may observe issues like these without realizing that they can be indicators of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

These symptoms of poor mental health in the workplace aren’t innocuous. Employees with unresolved depression experience a 35 percent reduction in productivity. Neither are they infrequent: The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people around the world suffer from depression, with many also suffering from symptoms of anxiety.

Small businesses may find themselves particularly at risk of taking a financial hit because of unaddressed mental health issues in the workplace. With fewer resources and employees overall, smaller organizations tend to feel dips in productivity more acutely. This means that small business owners must take a proactive approach to addressing mental health in the workplace before serious problems arise. Read more at thebenefitsguide.com.

The Importance of Entrepreneurial Mental Health

When we look at the life of an entrepreneur and hear about his struggles, we understand that he needs to be mentally balanced, stable, strong, and healthy to face vivid types of issues such as socio-economic challenges, ever-growing competition, and proper utilization of the resources.

One of the recent surveys tells us that: 

  • 29% of entrepreneurs experienced ADHD
  • 27% of entrepreneurs suffer severe Anxiety
  • 30% of entrepreneurs are struggling with Clinical Depression

As we all always believed that the life of an entrepreneur is full of unicorns and rainbows, these disturbing figures are an eye-opener to us. If you are an entrepreneur, struggling with mental issues, please give priority to your mental health, as it may be a small thing today but we all know if you take care of small things, they will take care of bigger things in later stages. 

The above-mentioned statistics explain how vulnerable entrepreneurs are in case of mental health disturbance. Their story of struggles and perseverance should be addressed with great attention so that they could get this narrow escape from the overlaying challenges of mental crisis. The vulnerability of entrepreneurs to encounter the mental blocks become high when there is:

  • Lack of self-care to manage the stress
  • Tackle the revolving uncertainty with the  business
  • Unexpected social isolation
  • A barrier to seeking professional help 

These aforementioned points might resonate with anyone among us. It is necessary to know the essence of good mental health. The looming existential void should be filled at the earliest to avoid any of the unwanted futuristic consequences. Read more at jungleworks.com.

The Perfect Storm That Led to The Lonely Entrepreneur

The Lonely Entrepreneur was born from Michael Dermer’s harrowing experience in the 2008 financial crisis. Michael watched the business he built for 10 years to over 500 employees – the first company in the US to reward for healthy behavior – nearly get destroyed in 10 days by the financial crisis of 2008. He not only survived but went on to sell his company and become an industry pioneer. Now Michael and The Lonely Entrepreneur team are committed to helping entrepreneurs learn from his experience and turn their passion into success.

Genius Instigator: Everyone has genius. And when you are an entrepreneur, you need that genius to emerge and shine. Like it or not, Michael finds the genius in everyone and brings it to life. And when he does, you can do things you never imagined.

Mission: Michael’s mission is to unlock the potential of entrepreneurs worldwide by turning the passion and pressure we all feel into success.

Unique Perspective: Michael brings a unique understanding of the entrepreneurial journey. Michael discovered unique perspectives from living through the “perfect storm” and emerging with not only business success, but with a set of perspectives that helps entrepreneurs thrive. Michael has delivered over 100 keynotes throughout the United States and the world. Learn more at thelonelyentrepreneur.com.

Mental health problems in the workplace

Mental health problems affect many employees — a fact that is usually overlooked because these disorders tend to be hidden at work. Researchers analyzing results from the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey, a nationally representative study of Americans ages 15 to 54, reported that 18% of those who were employed said they experienced symptoms of a mental health disorder in the previous month.

But the stigma attached to having a psychiatric disorder is such that employees may be reluctant to seek treatment — especially in the current economic climate — out of fear that they might jeopardize their jobs. At the same time, managers may want to help but aren’t sure how to do so. And clinicians may find themselves in unfamiliar territory, simultaneously trying to treat a patient while providing advice about dealing with the illness at work.

As a result, mental health disorders often go unrecognized and untreated — not only damaging an individual’s health and career, but also reducing productivity at work. Adequate treatment, on the other hand, can alleviate symptoms for the employee and improve job performance. But accomplishing these aims requires a shift in attitudes about the nature of mental disorders and the recognition that such a worthwhile achievement takes effort and time. Read more at health.harvard.edu.

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” — Fred Rogers

Workplace mental health: 5 ways to support employee wellness

Each year, one in five adults in the U.S. will experience mental illness. Yet only one in three who need help will get it. As a result, many people will either miss work or will get less done on the job. The latter is known as presenteeism, when people go to work while struggling with physical or mental health issues. This is why focusing on workplace mental health is so important for your bottom line.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. But WHO also found that for every $1 spent on treating common mental health concerns, there is a return of $4 in improved health and productivity. 

According to the Society for Human Resources Management, many employers are enhancing emotional and mental health benefits. Types of support can range from managing stress, to treating invisible disabilities such as anxiety and depression. Read more at understood.org.

Genius in Madness? 72% of Entrepreneurs Affected by Mental Health Conditions

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness,” said Aristotle.​

Imagine a bell curve that accurately represents the creativity of American adults. It would show a “normal distribution,” meaning it would be shaped like an upside down ‘U.’

The raised hump in the middle symbolizes those of an average level of creativity, where most of the population lie. It’s a  comfortable spot, with plenty of company and lots of good conversation, but it doesn’t inspire greatness or lethargy. Entrepreneurs would quickly become bored here.​

The lowest points on either end of the distribution represent the ‘outliers’ of our society; on the left, those who are below average in creativity and on the right, those above average.

In these polar positions, life is a little lonelier than in the well-saturated middle, but it’s also potentially more exciting. Entrepreneurs often occupy that lower right corner of the bell curve, standing out from the crowd not just with uncommon ability, but also with extraordinary weaknesses. Read more at startupgrind.com.

“I’m a suicide attempt survivor”: Entrepreneur shares her journey into business and managing mental health during lockdown

Bella Rareworld, an international business networking speaker, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 13 years ago at the start of her journey into entrepreneurship.

However, since the coronavirus pandemic, she has faced additional challenges in coping with her mental wellbeing during the national lockdown.

In March 2020, the charity Samaritans provided emotional support to callers over 1,700,000 times.

Suicidal feelings including feeling isolated, hopeless about the future and feeling trapped were expressed on more than one occasion.

Rareworld said such feelings were exacerbated by being inside all the time, and trying to balance work.

Current statistics show that one in seven people experience mental health problems in the workplace, with women in full time employment nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem than full-time employed men (20% vs. 11%). Evidence also suggests that 13% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions. Read more at voice-online.co.uk.

Acceler8Success Cafe Tuesday 5.4.21

Small Business Expo Releases “2021 State Of Small Business Trends Report”

Just in time for National Small Business Week, The Small Business Expo, America’s largest business networking and educational event for business owners, start-ups, and entrepreneurs, has released its 2021 State of Small Business Trends Report.

According to Zachary Lezberg, CEO and Founder, Small Business Expo, “There are 30.2 million small businesses in the US according to the Small Business Administration. This means 99.9% of all businesses are, in fact, small businesses. Yet the struggles, concerns, and issues facing small business in America are rarely talked about. With access to over a million small business owners, we wanted to take a pulse of how they are feeling post COVID, determine their outlook on the future, and other key factors which impact doing business circa 2021.”

Through our biannual survey implemented by the Small Business Expo, small business owners weighed in on everything from governmental regulation of small business to their opinions on the minimum wage increase, employee diversity, and work from home policies going forward. Read more including the report at prnewswire.com.

As small businesses slowly recover, financial help becomes more targeted. Here’s what’s available

 Almost 98,0000 businesses closed permanently during the pandemic, according to September data released by Yelp. That represents 60% of closed business that won’t be reopening.

In general, about 20% of small businesses fail within a year and about half survive five years or longer, according to the SBA.

Now, optimism among small business owners is starting to creep back up, according to a number of surveys.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of entrepreneurs now say their business can survive more than a year under current business conditions, up from 55% last quarter, according to the second quarter CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.WATCH NOWVIDEO01:34Music venues fight for survival amid the pandemic

In addition, Yelp found that there were more than 500,000 new businesses that opened in the past year, down only 11% year over year. New business openings in the first quarter of 2021 reached their highest levels in the last 12 months. Read more at cnbc.com.

Black Entrepreneurs – 2021 Trends: Who are Black Small Business Owners in America?

The largest subset of People of Color (POC) small business owners in America, Black entrepreneurs are an essential part of our small business economy.

With women making up 46 percent of Black entrepreneurs, this group shows one of the highest percentages of female small business owners in any segment – 53 percent higher than white small business owners. The plurality (33 percent) of surveyed Black small business owners had Bachelor’s degrees. The next most common level of education was Master’s degrees, at 26 percent.

Black small business owners skew younger than their white peers. Twenty-seven percent of Black entrepreneurs are boomers, compared to 46 percent, 49 percent are Gen X compared to 43 percent, 21 percent are Millennials compared to 11 percent, and three percent are Gen Z, compared to less than one percent of white small business owners.

The majority (36 percent) of Black small business owners decided to go into business for themselves because they were ready to become their own boss. Twenty-four percent wanted to pursue their passion, 17 percent were inspired with a new business idea, and 17 percent were dissatisfied with corporate America. The plurality (42 percent) of Black entrepreneurs are very happy as small business owners. Read more at guidantfinancial.com.

“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” — Madam C.J. Walker

How Female Hispanic Business Owners are Fueling the Economy

Latina-owned small businesses are the fastest-growing segment of the business community in the United States, playing a key role in fueling the nation’s economy. How do they do it? With perseverance, education, and a lot of guts.

There are over two million Latina-owned businesses in the country, a growth of more than 87% since 2007, according to the National Women’s Business Council. These businesses are helping to fuel the U.S. economy. Nonetheless, many potential Latina business owners—and even those who already have a business—aren’t sure of the options available to help them get started or to reach the next level. Read more at legalzoom.com.

Hispanic businesses hard hit by the pandemic, but key to the recovery

According to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, there are over 4.7 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the US, which, combined, contribute over $700 billion to the American economy each year. One in four US small businesses is Hispanic-owned, and 75% of new businesses in the US are being started by Hispanics, according to Cesar Conde, Chairman of NBC Universal Telemundo Enterprises and NBCUniversal International Group. 

It has been widely reported that Hispanics and Latinos have been impacted by COVID-19 at a greater rate than the general US population. But the virus has also affected Hispanic businesses disproportionally. According to a recent report by McKinsey, the five business sectors most affected by COVID-19-related shutdowns (leisure and hospitality, retail, transportation, construction, and ‘other’) generate almost 50% of the revenues of all Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses. Sixty-five percent of Hispanics and Latinos work in these sectors. 

With Hispanic businesses making up such an integral part of the US economy, their recovery is closely linked to the economic recovery as a whole. 

According to the McKinsey report, “Hispanic and Latino population growth means the country’s long-term recovery is inextricable from the recovery of Hispanic and Latino families, communities and businesses. Indeed, the community’s unique assets—such as its relative youth and above-average rates of entrepreneurship—can contribute to more equitable post-pandemic recovery and growth.” Read more at hiscox.com.

Covid-19 Has Turned More Millennials Into Serial Entrepreneurs

As the world starts to look towards a COVID-free future with the introduction of vaccines, the nine months that have passed since the start of the pandemic saw significant disruption to industries and attitudes, particularly in relation to work.

Millennials have reflected on their career choices, adapted to remote working, and made decisions on where they want to live and how they want their lives to be. They have also been tapping into their entrepreneurial side and launching new businesses and pursuing their passions.

Pre-pandemic, it was thought that around half of millennials in the United States had some kind of side-gig, whether that be to make ends meet or because of an entrepreneurial flair that drove them to develop new things. Common examples include developing a website, selling homemade products such as jewelry or art, or working a part-time job in something unrelated to their main income stream. These side-hustles saw millennials generate additional income that outpaced other generations, earning on average an additional $10,000 per year from their extra work. Read more at forbes.com.

“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” – Thomas Watson Sr., chairman and CEO of International Business Machines

39 Entrepreneur Statistics You Need to Know in 2021

Small businesses and ambitious enterprises are at the heart of every industry. Not only do they immensely contribute to the overall revenue of a country, but they also have a beneficial effect on the workers themselves. 

Employees who decide to make the switch and become independent employers feel more fulfilled and motivated to work. There are a lot of inspirational entrepreneur statistics out there that show us the US is still the best place in the world to become your own boss and start something new.

Now, young entrepreneurs are mostly concerned about the risks that come with new businesses, including funding, staff, and success rate. Indeed, a large number of business owners rely on loans to keep the company operational and often have to use their personal funds to tie some loose ends. 

However, loans also help them expand their business and achieve more within their industries. Finding high-quality staff is no easy task, which is why many owners decide to go it alone, at least for a while. It is necessary to understand that the entrepreneurship failure rate has never been lower, with only 22.5% of businesses closing after a year. Read more including statistics at smallbizgenius.net.

Older Small Biz Owners Tell AARP How They Survived 2020

Many entrepreneurs age 45 and older turned to government resources to help their businesses survive the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research from AARP and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

After using data from the Federal Reserve’s Small Business Credit Survey to identify trends among older entrepreneurs, AARP conducted in-depth interviews with 25 small business owners over the age of 45 between November 2020 and January 2021.

The discussions revealed that these business owners were resourceful in finding government programs that could offer financial assistance. Eighteen of the business owners had received a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan (which could become a grant), six had received a Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and five had secured some other federal, state or local loan or grant.

Most of those interviewed said managing their businesses during the pandemic has been very challenging, requiring them to pivot swiftly in order to stay afloat. In addition to the increased use of teleconferencing technologies such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams to stay in contact with their employees and clients, many of these entrepreneurs also said they have had to launch or upgrade their digital marketing strategies, websites and online sales techniques. Read more at aarp.org.

99 Black Women-Owned Brands and Entrepreneurs to Support Now and Always

Over the past year, women started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day in the U.S., and Women of Color account for 89% (1,625) of those new businesses. In fact, according to the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, Black women-owned businesses represented the highest rate of growth of any group in the number of firms between 2014 and 2019 as well as between 2018 and 2019.

When looking at specific minority groups over the last five years, growth in side-entrepreneurship is up 99% among Black women. They started an impressive 42% of net new women-owned businesses, which is three times their share of the female population (14%).

This study calls the women behind these rapidly-launching businesses “necessity entrepreneurs” because, due to higher unemployment rates, long-term unemployment, and vast gender and racial pay gaps, women of color start businesses out of the need to survive. And these Black female entrepreneurs are changing the game but they’re not the first. Read more at creatcultivate.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Monday 5.3.21

Small Business Week May 3-7

Recognizing their outstanding service, innovation, and development, Small Business Week celebrates small business owners around the country.

Small businesses account for half of America’s workforce, and more new jobs come from small business than any other source. They are vital to keeping America running.

Visit www.sba.gov to nominate your favorite small business and to find out more. Support local small business or find out how to give your small business the boost it needs. Use #SmallBusinessWeek to share on social media.

The United States Small Business Administration has recognized the contributions of entrepreneurs and small business since 1963.

“When you support a small business, you support a dream.” – Anonymus

The Importance of Small Business to the U.S. Economy

Small business constitutes a major force in the U.S. economy. There are more than twenty-seven million small businesses in this country, and they generate about 50 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP).Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration, The Small Business Economy: A Report to the President, Appendix A (December 2010), http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-economy-2010 (accessed August 28, 2011). 

The millions of individuals who have started businesses in the United States have shaped the business world as we know it today. Some small business founders like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison have even gained places in history. Others, including Bill Gates (Microsoft), Sam Walton (Wal-Mart), Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Michael Dell (Dell, Inc.), Steve Case (AOL), Pierre Omidyar (eBay), and Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), have changed the way business is done today. Still millions of others have collectively contributed to our standard of living.

Aside from contributions to our general economic well-being, founders of small businesses also contribute to growth and vitality in specific areas of economic and socioeconomic development. In particular, small businesses do the following:

  • Create jobs
  • Spark innovation
  • Provide opportunities for many people, including women and minorities, to achieve financial success and independence

In addition, they complement the economic activity of large organizations by providing them with components, services, and distribution of their products. Read more at saylordotorg.github.io.

10 Ways Small Businesses Benefit Their Local Communities

Imagine your hometown or local community. Go to the main street or shopping district in your mind. Now imagine it without any small businesses. Instantly, the area loses everything that makes it unique and brings charm.

Small businesses provide character and individuality to a community. It is neighbors helping neighbors ― friends helping friends. However, small businesses are more than that. They benefit their local communities in many concrete, quantifiable ways.

Small businesses are the backbone of their local communities. More specifically, if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays within your local economy. Read more at medium.com.

Small Business Trends You Need To Know About For 2021

Many small businesses closed in 2020, and 2021 looks like it’s going to be a challenging year, as well. Aside from lockdowns and restrictions due to Covid-19, rapidly changing technology is putting pressure on businesses to adapt and meet consumer demands. Let’s look at some top small business trends that can help you respond to these challenges and find success in the coming years. 

Unlike many other industries, e-commerce actually grew in 2020. Small businesses of all kinds need to expand their mindsets and seek ways to cash in on this massive trend. Even if you don’t typically sell physical products, think of what you can sell online to supplement or even replace your in-store offerings. 

Sell products related to your industry that your customers will appreciate. You can also sell helpful information in the form of e-books, white papers and reports. If you don’t want to create or stock physical products, consider affiliate marketing opportunities, where you earn a percentage of sales on other people’s products. 

Having a strong online presence helps shield you from not only lockdowns but also ups and downs in the local economy because you have access to a much larger customer base. Read more at forbes.com.

When you buy from a small business you’re not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy his team jersey, a mom put food on the table, a dad pay a mortgage or a student pay for college. – Anonymus

[SURVEY] 2021 Small Business Trends: A Look at the State of Small Business in 2021

Each year, Guidant Financial and the Small Business Trends Alliance (SBTA) surveys business owners to learn about small business trends and life as a small business owner. A founding member of the SBTA, Guidant Financial is proud to be part of this group of companies dedicated to supporting small business in America with data trends and insights. The SBTA reports on data to help small business owners grow their businesses as well as bring transparency to small business ownership by giving prospective business owners the information they need to be successful.

This year, Guidant and the SBTA surveyed over 2,400 current and aspiring small business owners nationwide with our annual Small Business Trends survey. We asked small business owners questions ranging from their experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to their confidence in business given the current political landscape to their biggest obstacles as business owners. Read more at guidantfinancial.com.

Women and minority-owned small businesses aren’t sharing in the U.S. recovery

Minority and women-owned small businesses are struggling even as the U.S. economy shows signs of recovery, according to a report by Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable.

The report, which surveyed more than 35,000 small business owners across 27 countries and territories in February, found that in the U.S. 22% had closed their businesses, up from 14% in October. That’s just a one point improvement from May 2020, in the middle of widespread lockdown, when 23% of businesses were shuttered.

But the problem is especially bad for minority-owned businesses where 27% were closed compared to 18% of other small businesses. In the group of minority-owned businesses, Black-owned businesses were the most likely to be closed by a large margin.

A major cause of this disparity is that Black-owned businesses have access to less capital in general and even more so during the pandemic, said Vickie Gibbs, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Center at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Many of the government-funded PPP loans were funneled through large banks that required a lot of paperwork, so small Black-owned businesses without a dedicated accountant or an account with a big bank struggled to get the funds they needed to stay afloat, Gibbs told Fortune. Read more at fortune.com.

”The glass ceiling that once limited a woman’s career path has paved a new road towards business ownership, where women can utilize their sharp business acumen while building strong family ties.” – Erica Nicole, who left Corporate America to start YFS Magazine.

Women entrepreneurs making progress, but gender gaps remain

New reports suggest the entrepreneurial landscape is becoming more gender equal, but a revenue gap between male- and female-owned businesses remains. 

A recent report from tech company UENI found women make up 45 percent of all small business owners in the U.S. Additionally, women account for 52 percent of sole proprietors. 

UENI surveyed 39,008 businesses; about 17,560 of those are owned by women. 

In the U.S., women are the owners of most businesses related to consumables, hair and beauty and domestic services. There’s lower female representation among owners of businesses related to restaurant and building maintenance. 

States like Mississippi, South Carolina and Georgia have a greater number of female business owners than California does, per the report. 

But the report also found that the bigger a company, the less likely a woman runs it. Among businesses with four or more employees, women owners comprise about 33 percent. Read more at bizjournals.com.

The Future of Small Businesses

It has been a hard year for small businesses. Social distancing restrictions have been disproportionately damaging to the travel, retail, events, and food service industries, where small businesses tend to concentrate. In July, the House Small Business Committee reported that 110,000 small businesses had closed permanently and another 7.5 million were facing the same fate. The latest survey from Tech.co found that 80% of small business owners say that COVID-19 has hurt their businesses.

However, things are taking a turn for the better as states gingerly reopen and ease restrictions. In addition, support for local businesses is surging following the hardship caused by the pandemic. At the end of July, some 64% of small business owners reported they are confident that they can survive for more than a year under current conditions, up from 34% that held this optimistic view in April, the latest CNBC survey revealed, although the level of optimism varies by industry. Read more at medium.com.

What Does Diversity Mean to Small Businesses?

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) can play an important role in a workplace regardless of size. While large companies like General Motors and even the U.S. Department of Defense have developed strategic plans to increase D&I, small businesses can also do their part. After all, these businesses employ nearly half of the private-sector workforce, so ramping up diversity efforts can have a profound impact.

In fact, recent studies have shown that employees of companies that embrace D&I are able to make better, faster business decisions and are more likely to spur revenue growth through innovation.

While “diversity” and “inclusion” might be familiar terms, it’s important to clearly define them. Diversity not only refers to race, but also age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, education, national origin, as well as marital and socioeconomic status. Inclusion refers to an organization’s ability to value these differences so that diverse individuals are accepted, welcomed, feel a sense of belonging, and are treated equally. Read more at thebalancesmb.com.

Today we celebrate side hustles that became main hustles, dreamers that became doers, maxed out credit cards that became thriving businesses, big fails that became big wins, and individuals with ideas that became teams with visions. – Anonymus

Op-ed: The financial outlook for the Hispanic small business community in 2021

Often hailed for higher-than-average rates of entrepreneurialism and new business formation, the Latino community has been struck particularly hard by the Covid-19 crisis.

The Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative reported in May that 86% of Latino business owners had felt immediate negative impacts from Covid, a rate higher than other ethnic groups. Help was also harder to come by for Latino business owners, who had less cash on hand when requesting Covid assistance in the form of PPP loans, and were only half as likely as their White counterparts to receive the federal loans.

Still, the pandemic tells only half the tale of where Hispanic businesses stand today, because prior to the crisis, Latino entrepreneurs were making great strides — increasing their funding, improving their credit, and their revenue growth. That means that there is underlying strength in the Latino business community that can help in their emergence from the ravages of Covid-19. Read more at cnbc.com.

Asian American Businesses Owners Are Battling the Pandemic on Two Fronts and Searching for Answers at the Same Time

In 2005, Jason Wang’s father founded Xi’an Famous Foods in Flushing, which, by then, had slowly become one of the largest satellite Chinatowns in New York City. The mission was simple: Wang’s father would promote the food that he had known in central China, especially when Chinese food in America seemed to be only a watered-down version of Cantonese cuisine. 

“He simply wanted to make a small living for himself while sharing his food with people who would enjoy it, and, at that time, he thought only Chinese immigrants like him would enjoy it,” Wang said of his father.

Over time, the shop’s success — thanks in no small part to an appearance by the late Anthony Bourdain — led to an expansion. Seven more chains opened up in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Along the way, the restaurant received accolades, even earning a glowing review in Zagat for its “banging” hand-pulled noodles and “insanely good” cumin-lamb burgers. 

Last year, however, operations came to a screeching halt. As the pandemic began to take shape in the U.S., restaurants and bars were forced to shut down indoor dining. While many struggled to continue to stay alive, none were, perhaps, more heavily impacted by the global health crisis than Asian-owned businesses. Not only have these establishments dealt with financial losses, they’ve also become unfairly stigmatized as carriers of Covid-19.

In the weeks following news of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, Asian-owned businesses across the water — especially in the U.S. — began to feel the ripple effects of growing xenophobia and racism. Between February 2020 and April 2020, approximately 233,000 Asian-owned small businesses in the country closed, according to a UCLA study. By April of that year, half of the nation’s Chinese restaurants had shut down “as a result of consumer prejudices and misperceptions,” Read more at entrepreneur.com.

How to Take Your Small Business Growth to the Next Level

Many small businesses go through an early growth stage. But after that, you may need to change up your strategies to take the next step. Members of the online small business community have been through this stage and know how to navigate it. If you’ve hit a plateau in your small business growth, consider these next steps.

In the early stages of running a business, you’re likely to rely on organic growth. But at a certain point, you may hit a plateau. Martin Zwilling discusses what to do when you reach this point on the Startup Professionals Musings blog.

When your business starts growing, there comes a point where you can’t do everything yourself. It’s not always practical to grow an official team. But outsourcing provides a practical solution. This Borderless Mind post by Rishi Khanna includes signs it’s time to start outsourcing. You can also see commentary on the post here.

Blogging is a popular marketing strategy. And it can even be a main source of revenue for a business. But off-the-cuff blogging can only take you so far. If you want your efforts to get to the next level, you need a plan. Moss Clement of Moss Media explores that concept here. Read more at smallbiztrends.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Friday 4.30.21

Why All Entrepreneurs Should Rethink Their “Why” in 2021

Adaptation has always been a natural consequence of problems and chaos. A change comes, and organisms are tasked with an option: fight or disappear. It’s a system that has worked within nature for billions of years.

In a big way, the Covid-19 pandemic has been this sort of change catalyst. All of the parameters by which we operate are different now. Entrepreneurs who want to survive and become stable again must evolve their goals, aspirations, and the methods through which we achieve them. Instead of seeing a challenge, you have to see an opportunity and proactively make the right game plan. At the center of this entrepreneurial evolution is an incredible opportunity to reevaluate your “why.” 

Having a reason “why” is what lights the flames of your eternal purpose. It’s what gives you the drive to succeed and motivates you to take action. A good “why” will keep you working, even when the odds seem stacked against you or whatever’s in front of you is emotionally tough. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

Entrepreneurs, you could be making this fatal mistake in your startup pitch

If you’re still trying to win startup pitches with an exuberant handshake, a big grin, and boundless positive energy—you’re doing it wrong, says a new study.

Instead, you should be glad, but also mad. Just don’t be sad.

That’s according to research published in the Journal of Business Venturing, which found that entrepreneurs whose facial expressions shifted between three varied emotions—happiness, anger, and fear—during funding pitches had investors more likely to reach for their wallets than those with constant smiles plastered on. As lead author and Washington State University assistant professor Ben Warnick explains, getting angry can demonstrate “how much you care about something, instead of just smiling, which on the extreme end can come off as insincere or overoptimistic. It’s good to balance that out.”

Warnick and his team delved into roughly 500 pitch videos from the popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter, using facial analysis software to code presenters’ expressions for five states: happiness, anger, fear, sadness, and neutrality. Then they calculated the percentages of each pitch for which presenters showed each emotion, and compared those ratios with the ultimate success of the pitch in terms of whether the entrepreneurs met their stated funding goals, how much was raised in total, and how many individuals contributed. Read more at fastcompany.com.

Inclusive Entrepreneurship: A Roadmap for a More Equitable Future

Imagine an ecosystem where entrepreneurship is open and accessible to everyone.

Then picture a space founded on the belief that entrepreneurship can level the playing field by giving all entrepreneurs an equal opportunity to start and run a business – irrespective of gender, race, and so on.

Sexism, racism, and other forms of systemic inequality have long meant that conventional entrepreneurship was ill-equipped to unlock the full potential of women and people of color, who often lack access to critical resources for business growth. That is, until now. 

Enter inclusive entrepreneurship.

“Most business ownership doesn’t really look like America – in gender or ethnicity,” says Maura O’Neill, distinguished teaching fellow at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. “If it did, we would have 1.9 million more businesses, 19 million more jobs and add 20% to the U.S. economy.” Read more at nasdaq.com.

The Necessary Social-Emotional Skills For Successful Entrepreneurs

While scrolling through social media, you will notice that most business leadership coaches and teachers focus on the hustle, grind and grit it takes to build a business from the ground up. Few address the social-emotional skills necessary to create a sustainable company with passion, purpose and meaning. Truly successful entrepreneurs are the ones who create a brand that resonates emotionally with consumers while investing in a triple bottom line: the needs of people, the needs of the planet and profits.

Those who are designing products and services for Generation Z — the next group of consumers — must first understand the mindset of this generation. Because Gen Z’s extensive influence ranges from social media trends to household spending across global markets, it will become increasingly important for brands to understand how to communicate effectively and establish lasting relationships with these consumers. Read more at forbes.com.

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek

Startups With This Type of Founder Make 151% More in Revenue

In 2020, the share of venture funding going to female founders shrank to a mere 2.3%. In a world where having access to capital can make or break your company, that means only two women for every 98 men get that opportunity. I am one of those two women.

This month, my company, Spekit, announced our $12 million Series A round of funding to disrupt the way that employees learn in the workplace. It’s an accomplishment we could only dream of three years ago, as we brainstormed product ideas on elevator rides and lunch breaks. The road to Series A was for us, as it is for all women, paved with obstacles. I didn’t attend an Ivy League school. I wasn’t a serial entrepreneur. And, above all else, my co-founder and I are female. 

Statistically, the cards were stacked against us and will continue to be as our company scales. You’ve heard the statistics, but allow me to share a few: When all-female teams actually get the opportunity to pitch, venture capitalists (VCs) spend 30% less time on the fundraising ask, 50% more time on the traction section and 24% more time on the product slides. Essentially, we’re scrutinized harder and longer, and in the end, we raise 30% less than male founding teams on average. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

11 Lessons for Entrepreneurs From Jeff Bezos’s Tremendous Success

Given what we know now, the trajectory of Jeff Bezos seems almost inevitable. The founder and CEO of Amazon has been relentless in his pursuit of building the most dominant, customer-focused enterprise in modern history. It’s fitting, considering he first thought to name his company Relentless.com.

“The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’” – Jeff Bezos

Looking backward, however, it can be easy to forget that relentless did not mean inevitable, at least not in the early years. But as Amazon’s execution began to match Bezos’s vision, an extraordinary company emerged–one that changed our lives. Bezos leaves his CEO role as one of the most important business leaders of his generation, having taken his company from zero to nearly $1.7 trillion, the market value of Amazon today. Along the way, the man behind “The Everything Store” gave us some of the most important lessons on entrepreneurship, innovation, and customer experience. Here are 11 principles every entrepreneur can learn from Jeff Bezos. Read more at inc.com.

15 Productivity Tips to Help Small Business Entrepreneurs Succeed

Small-business owners tend to realize almost immediately how different their businesses are to run from large corporations. For success, a small business needs to adopt its own strategies that work with limited available resources.

From figuring out how to find and develop new talent to discussing how to expand the business’s reach, small-business entrepreneurs have to think creatively about solutions they can implement to improve operations and increase productivity.

That’s why we asked 15 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

“Small businesses aren’t run like mega corporations, and so require different strategies for success. What’s your best productivity tip for helping small-business leaders succeed?” Read more at smallbiztrends.com.

3 Challenges Every Solopreneur Faces and How to Overcome Them

As a solopreneur, there’s a lot riding on your shoulders. You are a staff of one, so how many clients you have, how many hours you work, and how much revenue you generate is completely up to you. You are your own boss. You set the rules and reap the rewards.

But those rewards only come after putting in the time and effort to set your business up for success. After all, creating a full-time, long-term business involves more than just having a couple of clients from time to time. Being a successful solopreneur requires planning, follow through, and having reliable partners and services like VSP® Individual Vision Plans on your side. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

The Benefits of Working Remotely

As we emerge from a year of working remotely, a new study commissioned by Canva, the global visual communications platform in collaboration with Fingerprint for Success, reveals the numerous benefits Americans gained from working remotely this past year.

In general, American workers say they’re more productive, collaborative, and confident in their roles due to the shift to remote work and have managed to develop stronger connections with colleagues while staying physically apart.

While businesses decide if they’re going to stay remote, return to the office, or create a hybrid work environment (perhaps working in the office two or three days a week), business owners face the challenge of maintaining that productive, collaborative work environment whatever option they choose. As Rob Kawalsky, Canva’s head of product, says, “The need for both visual communication and online collaboration has never been more universal.” Read more at score.org.

Who Is Guiding The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs?

As industries advance, so too does the knowledge base and practical instruction that is passed down to the next group of young professionals. In the medical, computer, or engineering fields for example, you can actually see this evolution as technology improves and impacts our lives.  But when we talk about something like entrepreneurship, who is actually leading and guiding the next generation of entrepreneurs? Have the academic institutions kept pace with the rapidly changing realities of running a business in today’s world?

My oldest son is graduating high school this year, and like many parents in America, our family has been hyper-focused on preparing him for college. But as we get closer to that day, and his prospects (and my investment) become real, I wonder if I should be questioning the system more.  My son has been dabbling in business on his own since grade school, and I can see the entrepreneurial fire growing within him. Yes, a business school with a communications, management or economics degree etc would build a great foundation, but if being an entrepreneur is his ultimate path, is four years or more in this conventional system the best way to equip him for the world ahead? Read more at forbes.com.

5 Important Steps Every Young Entrepreneur Must Take When Starting a Business

In September 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that over 3.2 million applications for employer identification numbers had been filed that year. Business formations in 2021 continue to ride the filing momentum wave. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau has revealed that there were 440,165 U.S. business application filings in March 2021—up 3.4% from the previous month.

What explains this increase in business formations? The Peterson Institute for International Economics says changing customer preferences emerging from Covid-19 that create opportunity for entrepreneurs is one reason for the growth of new businesses. Another is being located geographic areas where it is easy to file formation paperwork can make it easier to start new businesses. Read more at allbusiness.com.

How Businesses are Handing the Reins to the Next Generation

According to PwC’s fall 2019 Family Business Survey, 62 percent of family business owners expect to pass the baton to the next generation. But many businesses lose their way when making the transition from startup to a more structured, complex organization.

Despite solid intentions, only one-third of family businesses are expected to last beyond the founders’ generation while even less—an estimated 12 percent—will make it through the second generation to a third.

A confluence of factors make succession planning more urgent. The enormous baby boomer generation will retire en masse by the end of this decade. But according to the PwC research, over half of family businesses are unprepared for the transition to the next generation. Read more at americanexpress.com.

Cannabis entrepreneurs, celebrity investors light up as legalization blooms

Driven by a surge in cannabis use during the COVID-19 pandemic, industry entrepreneurs and investors are gearing up for even greater growth as legalization spreads and the economy reopens.

So far, 36 states and the District of Columbia have approved medical use of marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of them,15 states and D.C. have approved recreational use of pot.

Cannabis technology startups, including those enabling home delivery of pot, got a big boost during the pandemic as more Americans partook, igniting investor interest in companies that provide everything from cultivation management tools to compliance and e-commerce software for an industry that still operates in a legal gray zone at the federal level. Read more at reuters.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Thursday 4.29.21

What “Done” Looks Like When You Are Living at Work

We are conditioned over the course of our lifetimes to believe that in order to overachieve, we must always “go the extra mile.” Doing exactly what is required of us – and nothing more – feels lazy. It feels unambitious. We fear falling behind.  

The problem is, when we are constantly pushing ourselves to go the extra mile (then one more mile, and one more mile…), we never actually reach the finish line. 

At a key moment in my career, a client at a high-profile technology company asked me to give three presentations on leadership. They told me that if all went well they were prepared to hire me for the next year or more. It was exactly the career break I needed. I under­stood their needs well. I had ready-made content they had already approved.  

The afternoon before the first presentation, I decided to add some finishing touches. It already looked good. But I worried it didn’t look good enough. I decided to scrap it all and start over. Read more at thriveglobal.com.

Entrepreneur Insomnia: 12 Things to Try When You Keep Waking up at Night

It was 1am and I was sleeping just fine, and then I got up to use the bathroom and it happened….

….entrepreneur insomnia.

I got back in bed, thought I could totally fall back asleep…but I was awake pretty much from that point on.

The thoughts just started flowing:

  • “I should totally use this kind of audience for X client’s next Facebook ad”
  • “THAT topic would be a killer blog post”
  • “Wait – did I actually send that email, or is in just sitting my drafts folder?!”
  • “It’s been 13 hours and we haven’t gotten a single Facebook lead. WHYYYY?!”
  • “Am I sharing enough to help people on Hustle to Startup? Maybe I should change my approach.”
  • “Ohhh, another good blog post idea.”
  • “Okay, now it’s 2am, only 2 hours until I have to get up anyway. I should just get up now and start writing.”
  • “NO stay in bed. You can’t work efficiently if you’re exhausted you idiot.”

And on….and on….and on….. Read more at hustletostartup.com.

5 Nighttime Routines of Successful Entrepreneurs

America’s fascination with entrepreneurial productivity is endless — just look at the waves of books published each year to the ongoing obsession with finding ways to wake up earlier each day. But it’s not just optimizing your morning routine or the approach to structuring your work day that’s important. In fact, one of the most overlooked productivity and schedule hacks is the entrepreneur’s nighttime routine.

Ben Franklin was famous for his rigorous routines and schedules. He ended each carefully mapped day by asking one single question, “What good did I do today?” The sentiment is right, but as an entrepreneur take a slightly more structured approach to examining your day. Take time to review your schedule, projects and insights. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

10 places moonlighting entrepreneurs love to burn the midnight oil

Call it a side business, a second shift, or a night job. For entrepreneurs with a typical nine to five — whether that’s as a student or a full-time employee — moonlighting is a challenge. Not only are moonlighters launching a startup after traditional work hours and often on little sleep, but they’re also building a dream without a dedicated office space.

And they’re not going away anytime soon. Moonlighters make up 27% of the 53 million Americans who freelance according to a recent study released by the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk.

Working outside a typical office environment is exciting, but finding a location with solid Wi-Fi, plentiful outlets and a good vibe — plus food and coffee — isn’t as easy as it sounds. We asked a few entrepreneurs to share their favorite tried-and-true moonlighting spaces and here’s what they said… Read more at mashable.com.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

How to Make Yourself Indispensable as a Freelancer

It’s no surprise that the gig economy is skyrocketing. More than one-third of the American workforce turned to freelancing during the pandemic, and not necessarily because they lost their full-time jobs—some workers are simply filling extra time by making extra money, or supplementing their incomes to bridge the gap between stagnant wages and a nationwide rising cost of living. Others are willingly turning to freelancing for flexible hours and less stress. 

The rise of the gig economy dispels the long-held idea that an army of full-time, salaried employees are essential to running a business. In fact, the opposite is true—slim core teams with a wide network of freelancers will likely be the standard business model of the future. 

This world has become possible because technology has democratized what companies can achieve with fewer resources. Affordable SaaS solutions have replaced major infrastructure investments; lightning-fast 5G and fiber internet speeds allows remote teams to work from anywhere. Elon Musk’s Starlink project, for example, will connect users in remote areas around the world. All this underscores the shift toward individual talent without physical barriers. It’s a golden age for freelancing. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

Launching a Business Post-COVID

There is truth that the small business economy can – and will – lead to our economic recovery post-COVID.

While the US takes small steps toward a new normal, small businesses have been taking great leaps forward.

There was a temporary dip in new business applications in between February and May 2020 but came back strong during the remainder of 2020. Overall, there was a 24.18% increase in applications from 2019 to 2020, and this year the numbers are looking even better. The US Census Bureau Business Formation Statistics show that in the first quarter of 2021, over 1.55 million new business applications were submitted. Read more at benetrends.com.

Up For Grabs: The Best & Worst States For Business 2021

Despite a global pandemic, near-economic collapse, civic unrest, just-plain-insane election cycle and everything in between during this crazy Covid year, when it comes to the places CEOs like to do business, the old saw is true: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

For the 17th year in a row, Texas tops Chief Executive’s Best and Worst States for Business list. Number two? Florida, once again. When it comes to the three criteria CEOs tell us they value most in site selection—tax policy (37 percent rank it first), regulatory climate (35 percent) and talent availability (25 percent)—Texas and Florida outclass all comers. (Find out why, despite the February storm and power collapse, businesses are still flocking to the Lone Star State.)

And once again—yawn—California, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts pile up at the bottom of our rankings (based entirely on polling of the nation’s CEOs) where they have dwelt for most of the list’s existence. Read more at chiefexecutive.net.

Meanwhile… Deep in the Heart of Texas

With many individuals, families and corporations relocating to Texas, it’s no wonder Texas is a hotbed for entrepreneurship and business ownership.

If you’re interested in exploring the business landscape and opportunities within the Lone Star State, please contact us for a complimentary consultation. Text “TEXAS” to (832) 797-9851 or send an email to info@franchisefoundry.com..

We are Texas-based & Texas-proud and here to help! Please visit us at www.Acceler8Success.com and www.FranchiseFoundry.com.

Five Tips For Growing A Multi-Unit Franchise Empire

As the world’s economy slowly starts to return to normal after the roller coaster that was 2020, many franchise owners are exploring their next steps. The International Franchise Association’s Economic Outlook report projected that franchising’s impact on the economy would grow by 7% this year.

In fact, the report forecasted that an additional 26,000 franchise locations would open in 2021, which would bring the total number of franchises in the U.S. “higher than the 2019 pre-Covid level.” This would add about 800,000 jobs and up to $477 billion to the GDP of the U.S.

With these promising predictions in mind, if you currently run one franchise location, you might be tempted to branch out and grow a multi-unit franchise empire. Read more at forbes.com.

Franchises Join Virtual Restaurant Brand Craze

The explosion of virtual brands in the last year has been nothing short of amazing to watch. Whether it was out of desperation or innovation that restaurant operators looked to add more food items out of the kitchen, the trend is not likely to go away completely when customers can return to dine-in routines.

While coming up with a brand might sound fun, building a virtual concept is not a simple task, and creating a successful one with strong branding, crave-worthy food and synergies with the core business is even harder. Read more at franchisetimes.com.

How to Fund Your Franchise

After years of working for someone else and having gone as far as you can, it’s time to move on. You know it, and your employer knows it. You’ve decided that running a franchise is the best way to go, because not only does it give you the flexibility and independence of being a small business owner, but you get the support and infrastructure of a larger business behind you. It’s an ideal opportunity, and it’s time for you to seize the day and take a chance at being the boss. There’s only one thing left to decide however, how to fund it.

Like opening any business, opening a franchise requires a significant investment of capital. From the initial franchise fee to the ongoing royalties, working capital and advertising costs, an entrepreneur needs cash to get things rolling. While not everyone has immediate access to the kind of money needed to open a franchise, there are plenty of options available to them. Here are some of the most popular. Read more at franchisegrade.com.

6 Tools to Help Entrepreneurs Build Better Credit to Access Financing

Entrepreneur Sharita Humphrey knows firsthand how important it is to build and maintain positive personal credit. Several years ago she hit rock bottom financially, which resulted in her and her two small children being evicted from their apartment. A motel became their home for almost a year. She knew that she had to rebuild her finances and personal credit because two of her goals required both. She was determined to secure a new home for her family and to get a job working for the government.

By building her credit, Humphrey was able to accomplish both of her goals, and her government position gave her the financial stability that she never had before. After a few years of working, she struck out on her own as an entrepreneur, helping others through financial coaching and education. Her business ventures would lead her to be recognized in 2020 as the National Financial Educator of the Year, to become a brand partner and media spokesperson for fintech company Self Inc., and a contributing writer to America’s SBDC, among other accomplishments. Read more at allbusiness.com.

“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” — Howard Schultz (Starbucks)

What’s Hot in Franchise M&A for 2021, Plus Seller Advice

The first thing Boxwood Partners looks for when working with a new franchisor is franchisee profitability, according to J. Patrick Galleher, managing partner at the boutique investment bank which has closed more than 35 transactions since launching in 2008. Factors such as the quality of each location and territory plus the health of the franchisee network come into play, including both retention of franchisees and tenure and new franchise development and validation.

“Franchisors, even if their financials are good, if franchisees’ financials aren’t fantastic, it’s going to have trouble during the process of doing good diligence,” Galleher said. “So the franchisors we see getting the highest multiples and the most interest when taken to market are the ones that truly have very strong franchisee financials and quality franchisees.” Read more at franchisetimes.com.

Will Your Business Make A Successful Franchise?

Every business owner enters their new venture with a vision. Though success is certainly a mix of objective targets and subjective value in the eye of the beholder, every business owner wants to see growth in some form or fashion, and there are many ways to achieve that goal. One of them is franchising.

While franchising allows the possibility of growing your business regionally or even nationally, the decision to go this route requires diligent and objective long-term thinking. When we chose to make my business a franchise, the decision came after months of evaluation.

Franchising means essentially running an entirely different business than the business being franchised. For that reason, you should consider several factors in your decision-making process and determine whether the franchise route is not only your best option but one that is viable in the first place. Read more at forbes.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Wednesday 4.28.21

It’s Time to Reclaim the Meaning of the Word ‘Entrepreneur’

Two hundred and ninety years ago, when the French-Irish economist Richard Cantillon first defined an entrepreneur as anyone who worked for unfixed wages, he noted that the one thing that linked all entrepreneurs—from wealthy merchants to beggars—was the risk they shouldered as the price of independence.

That cost is clearly visible on the faces of entrepreneurs everywhere today. Shut down by necessity and starved of customers, many small businesses are bleeding money and fighting to stave off failure. Forty-four percent reported a decline in revenue during the second week in June because of the pandemic, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on June 18. As the boarded-up shops, restaurants, and stores around our neighborhoods already hint at, many won’t survive the crisis.

As a journalist, I’ve devoted my career to writing about entrepreneurs in the pages of this and other magazines, as well as in books, the latest of which is The Soul of an Entrepreneur. I know they’re a resilient bunch. And that gives me hope, because while Covid-19 is ending many small businesses, it’s already creating scores of new ones. The pandemic might have brought American entrepreneurship to the breaking point, but it also holds the key to its revival and a more equitable renewal—if we can get it right this time. Read more at bloomberg.com.

Reasons to Become an Entrepreneur in 2021

The financial troubles surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have left many industries in dismay, and millions of workers around the world had to face uncertainty regarding the future of their job. Unfortunately, protecting yourself from such circumstances is not an easy endeavor, but there are some things you can consider to improve your current situation and keep yourself safe from black swan events in the future.

One thing to consider as a solution for troubles of this type is becoming an entrepreneur. Of course, this is not an easy task, and it will require a lot of planning, time, and money – but this should not discourage you. If you are still wondering whether this is the path you should take, then we have some additional advice for you. We will guide you through the top reasons to become an entrepreneur in 2021. Read more at ventsmagazine.com.

The Startup Surge? Unpacking 2020 Trends in Business Formation

The COVID-19 crisis plunged the U.S. economy into its quickest and deepest economic recession in modern U.S. history. In the near-term, how and when the country gets out of the disaster will primarily be determined by its public health response and the efficacy of rolling out the vaccine. 

Yet if history is any indication, the strength of the longer-term recovery will be determined in part by the vitality of American entrepreneurship. New business formation traditionally powers economic recoveries, as entrepreneurs and new growth companies take advantage of new market opportunities and the resources freed up by firms that contracted or failed during recessions. That mechanism broke down somewhat in the wake of the Great Recession, and the depressed startup rates that persisted throughout the 2010s may have contributed to the slow and uneven nature of the recovery that followed. 

A new Census Bureau dataset allows us to track early-stage entrepreneurial activity in almost real-time. For the duration of the pandemic, the Bureau’s Business Formation Statistics series has provided a detailed look at the number and character of new business applications on a weekly basis. Its findings suggest that the pandemic delivered a massive shock to American entrepreneurship that has seriously altered established trends in new business formation. Counter to expectations, 2020 shaped up to be the best year for business applications on record. Read more at eig.org.

Contrary to popular belief, middle-aged entrepreneurs do better

Bill Gates was 21 when he and Paul Allen registered Microsoft. Steve Jobs was 22 when he and Steve Wozniak launched Apple. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in his Harvard dormitory.

The biographies of these tech billionaires who achieved great success in their twenties has helped cement the perception that entrepreneurship is a young person’s game.

Not true. Such stories are the exception rather than the norm.

Starting young can have some clear advantages. For one thing, it gives you much more time to fail the several times most entreprenuers do before they put it all together and succeed. But overall, the research suggests, older age is associated with higher levels of entrepreneurial success. Read more at theconversation.com.

 “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” – John Maxwell

8 Surprising Traits of the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs

We can all think of the names of some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Warren Buffet and many more.

In my interviews and studies of these successful entrepreneurs, I’ve come to notice several key traits that most share in common with each other. What makes them successful? Why do these people succeed at business when so many do not?

Every successful entrepreneur has their own individual quirks and idiosyncrasies, developed over years of experience within their own unique environments. Here are the 8 most surprising traits of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. Read more at thebalancesmb.com.

10 Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs on Overcoming Self-Doubt and Launching Your Dream

As an entrepreneur and established businesswoman, I’m often asked if females still have to face the sort of obstacles and hurdles that males do not have to contend with. In other words, is it still a struggle for a woman to succeed in the world of business, an environment that many still consider to be male-dominated?

As is often the case with big questions, the answer is complicated. We’ve made positive progress in recent times when it comes to equality in the workplace. Still, the adversaries and struggles a woman has to contend with, particularly while growing a startup, cannot be underestimated. Having said that, I’m a firm believer in the adage that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. 

An entrepreneur of any gender needs a determined belief in what they’re doing and a cast-iron resolve to get things done if they’re to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace. Unfortunately, the evidence still seems to indicate that if you’re a female, you need that little extra something to break through the proverbial glass ceiling. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

Small Business Week 2021: How to Celebrate It (and Capitalize, Too)

National Small Business Week 2021 is an opportunity not only for celebrating your team and boosting employee morale, but for building your business. 

If you didn’t celebrate small business week last year, now is the year to start building your own annual small business week traditions.

Hosted by the Small Business Association (SBA), National Small Business Week is a celebration and appreciation of small businesses. With an emphasis on local shopping and supporting local entrepreneurs, it highlights the role small businesses contribute in the nation’s economy. 

It’s been going on for more than 50 years, with small businesses leveraging the opportunity to influence their local community, reward loyal customers and partner with other small businesses. Read more at fastcapital360.com.

Thinking It Is Too Late to Chase Your Dream? Then You Are the Killer

We all have dreams, thoughts on things we want to do or have in life. Most of us reflect on them often, imagining and wishing they could become reality. More often than not, people sit in their cubicle or on their couch in their pajamas daydreaming and then formulating reasons to keep those dreams just that: dreams.

Here are some of the thoughts that have run through my head as I contemplated pursuing my dream:

  • People will think I’m crazy
  • My life will be screwed if it doesn’t work out
  • I’ll have to sacrifice too much to make it happen
  • I’m too young
  • I’m too old
  • I’m too busy
  • I don’t have enough money,
  • I’m not smart enough, knowledgeable enough, tough enough…
  • I’m not ready yet.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. I worked to relegate my dream to “someday”. Read more at lifehack.org.

10 Tips for Setting Your Greatest Goals

I’ve told people countless times that they’ve just got to ask for what they want. The problem is that most people don’t know what they want. You can’t ask for what you want unless you know what it is.

So I’m going to start you on a wonderful path of painting your dreams into reality. I’m going to teach you the secrets behind setting—and achieving—your greatest ambitions.

Before we set off on this path together, let me make one thing very clear: The word “goals” can be intimidating. It can feel so overbearing that it keeps people from even beginning the process. Instead, think of goals as a to-do list with deadlines. Read more at success.com.

10 Most Popular Small Businesses (2021)

Working for yourself can be a tough gig, but yet many Americans do just that. In fact, the US government estimates that there are over 32 million small businesses in the United States- about 99% of all businesses in America!!

This is because many Americans view small business as the key to financial and personal freedom. Here we’ll be taking a dive into the most popular kinds of small businesses, taking inspiration from a list created by the Small Business Administration, both so you can get a picture of what’s what, and maybe so you can get inspired to run a small business of your own!

And now really is a good time to consider opening your own small business. The economy is booming, the population is expanding, and potential clients are ready to spend dollars. Every single day new small businesses launch. Read more at mightycall.com.

Pros & Cons of Non-Brick-and-Mortar Service Brands

One thing franchisees learned during Covid is that recession-resistant brands are not necessarily pandemic-resistant. Not even service brands, unless they’re declared essential. Any service business requiring a physical, brick-and-mortar retail site – from hair salons to gyms – was severely affected by mandated closures and occupancy restrictions in 2020.

And while sit-down, dine-in restaurants were similarly afflicted, those able to quickly adapt by adding or expanding their takeout or delivery services managed to get through relatively unscathed, although buffet-style restaurants were hit hard with many closing permanently. And by now it’s common knowledge that in the “Year of the Drive-Thru,” QSRs and other food concepts were able to surf the pandemic wave successfully in 2020.

No matter how they fared in the past year, franchisees in all sectors took a step back to consider their fate in a future pandemic, which many predict is inevitable. Many are now exploring investments in “essential” businesses, many of which are non-brick-and-mortar service brands. These include home repair and maintenance, moving, junk removal, mobile pet care, senior home care, travel services, and many more. Read more at franchising.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Tuesday 4.27.21

How to Stay Relentless and Competitive as an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is probably one of the biggest hypes in the 21st century. From Snapchat and Youtube stars to the all-famous, Mark Zuckerberg, who dropped out of Harvard to found Facebook… we’ve seen the successes. But it is for sure, not a rosy path with the numerous statistics of the failures that occur along the path. The term, “survivorship bias”, also suggests that we are often only aware of those who survive (and thrive) but not, those who failed often in the shadows.

As we celebrate the successes of these “survivors”, let us also be realistic to know the necessary sacrifices and costs that one has to pay in the road of entrepreneurship. Read more at huffpost.com.

How to Stay Ahead of the Competition

In a business world, competition is one thing that cannot be overlooked. There is a high possibility that your business is not the monopoly in the market as there are many other businesses that have the same product as you or they offer similar services as yours. Staying ahead of the competition might require more than just business skills. Here are some of the tips that can help you survive in a competitive business environment.

The first thing that you should do is to study and analyze the competition environment. The competitor may be an individual or a large company but that shouldn’t matter to you.  The knowledge gained at this stage will be help you determine other steps in relation to the competition. Knowing your competitor is important. As an entrepreneur, you will face off with different types of competitors so it’s crucial that you are agile enough to make a move in a different direction if needed.

Don’t feel intimidated but instead be ready to tackle them head on. Find out what they are providing and also look at the unique tactics that they use to sell their products. Also find out about their relations and reputation to the customers and the external community. This will help you to lay out the best strategies that you will employ to emerge the best. Read more at startupmindset.com.

These Entrepreneurs Launched Startups During COVID-19 — Here’s Why You Can Too

Recently, there has been a huge spike in applications for business tax numbers. The unusual economic environment brought on by the pandemic has led to a renaissance of America’s business dynamism, which had been lagging for some time. The recent crisis appears to have begotten a new class of entrepreneurs that, either through necessity or another compulsion, is set to fill the decimated ranks of the small business sector. A study by the Federal Reserve found that 9 million US small businesses fear they won’t survive the pandemic.

The capital markets were unaffected by the trials and tribulations affecting broad swaths of the population and the economy. The S&P 500 rose around 16% in 2020. Another anomaly was the rise in entrepreneurial activity. New business starts rose at an unprecedented rate, judging by Employer Identification Number (EIN) data. New business entities (e.g., LLCscorporations, and sole proprietorships that intend to have employees) must apply for an EIN. There were 4.3 million EIN applications in 2020. That number represented a 24% increase over the same period in 2019. High-propensity applications, those filed by entities very likely to have employees (restaurants, for instance), are of particular focus. In 2020, these increased 16%.

This is a welcomed development. A recent study had warned that US business dynamism, as measured by new business starts, job creation and destruction, and worker flows, was on the decline. More jobs are being lost in unproductive industries than are being replaced by the ones in newer, technologically advanced industries. Read more at startupsavant.com.

The 5 Signs of an Unskilled Entrepreneur

In my early twenties, I was simultaneously going to college and running a business I’d started called Pufferfish Software that made apps for autistic children. As part of the local startup community, I found myself at a lot of local pitch contests and networking events, listening to people struggle to find funding for their startup.

While it can be hard to predict which entrepreneurs will succeed over the long run and which will fail, it was always easy to tell which ones weren’t going to succeed anytime soon. Everyone who isn’t going to succeed anytime soon always makes the same mistakes. Read more at entrepreneurshandbook.co.

Are you ready to own your own business?

Are you thinking of going into business for yourself and learning how the choice of a franchise can “jump-start” the process and your earning potential?  Well, Franchise Foundry can help. Working with in-house franchise professionals you will work one-on-one in determining if you’re right for franchising and whether it is right for you.  If you determine that franchising is a path to consider, you will be introduced to various industry segments and ultimately, brands that could be a “right-fit” situation . . . all to help ensure your future success! Read more at FranchiseFoundry.com.

How Many of the 10 Characteristics of Young Entrepreneurs Do You Have?

Visualizing your own business or company is the dream of thousands of young people, doing what they like, without neglecting their personal life, in addition to achieving success accompanied by unforgettable experiences has become the goal of many students today.

According to the 2015/16 National Report of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor , the majority of entrepreneurs around the world are driven more by opportunity (as a voluntary alternative to entrepreneurship) than by necessity (as a forced decision due to lack of employment). In Mexico, 79% of early-stage ventures pursue an opportunity reason and 56% do so motivated by an expectation of improvement in their income or quality of life. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

43 Ways to Improve Yourself in Just 10 Minutes

We use the word busy way too much. We say it when friends ask us how we are doing, as if being busy is an emotion. We use it as an excuse to procrastinate on unpleasant tasks. We use it to sound important at work, because being busy somehow equates to being successful.

But you’re never too busy for 10 minutes, which is all it takes to improve yourself just a little each day. You can de-stress using meditation, yoga or reading. Track your unhealthy spending habits. Learn a new language. The possibilities are endless. Stop prioritizing the busy parts of your life and make time for the important things, such as the constant development of your mental, physical and emotional well-being. Read more at success.com.

Why Most Startups Fail, and How to Avoid a Similar Fate

Almost every entrepreneur and new business owner I mentor is certain that his or her idea has a very high probability of success, and all find it hard to believe that only about half of businesses with employees survive at least five years.

They always ask me for the key reasons that other people fail, but because I’ve seen so many different situations, I’m have been reluctant to generalize the failure patterns.

Thus, I was pleased to see my own insights covered in a new book, Why Startups Fail, by Tom Eisenmann, a Harvard Business School professor who has mentored entrepreneurs and authored more than a hundred HBS case studies from real-world startups.

I realize that he and I see several common patterns that account for a large percentage of new venture failures. I paraphrase these for you here, not as a deterrent to you moving forward with your new venture, but as a guideline for how to do it better, avoid the high-risk elements, and enjoy the challenge and ultimate success of your innovative initiatives. Read more at inc.com.

What This Young YouTube Millionaire Can Teach You About Entrepreneurship

Age is an axis of diversity every bit as significant as gender or ethnicity. While most of the focus in the age category tends to be on the 50+ end of that spectrum, there are plenty of lessons to be learned by studying those who entered the world of business in their lemonade-stand days.

Internet advertising leader Aleric Heck wasted zero time trying to find himself in college. His YouTube channel was already being approached by serious players in the online ad market. By the time he landed at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Heck’s channel was pulling in six figures — more than enough to pay his tuition and treat his buddies to a pizza or two. Read more at forbes.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Monday 4.26.21

What Does Success Really Mean to You?

Before we can pursue success, we need to understand what success isn’t. If you spend just a few minutes on social media, you’ll realize how many people hold a very narrow definition of success. They think it’s about building wealth, having the perfect relationship, launching a billion-dollar business or amassing a large social media following. And a lot of times, they attach famous people to their image of success.

None of these things or people is wrong, but being like them doesn’t necessarily make you successful. Many people have fought and struggled to the top only to feel miserable and burned out once they get there. They’re unhappy because they pursued the wrong definition of success—one that didn’t match their values.

Throughout childhood and early adulthood, we learn various ideas of success from our parents, teachers and friends. Everyone has their own agenda and idea of who and what we should be. Although it’s OK to value the opinions and hopes of others, we shouldn’t necessarily adopt them as our own. No one can impose their version of success on us. No one can tell us what it means to live the good life. Read more at success.com.

Successful People Who Worked Through Failures

If there’s one thing in life that’s guaranteed, it is that you will fail. If you haven’t failed already at something in your life, rest assured that, somewhere, somehow, you will. This is not a bad thing, simply a fact of life.  The sooner that somebody realizes and becomes comfortable with that fact, the sooner they can move away from the negative side of failure. What you fail at, ultimately is not important. What is important is that you’ve worked through failures, and what you take from those experiences.

If you don’t get back on that horse just because you’re afraid you’re going to fall again, then you’ll never get anywhere. Some of the world’s most influential people mastered failing before they saw their first successes. Fortunately for them (and for the rest of the world), these gifted individuals never gave up. Instead, they worked through failures and become some of the most successful people in recent history. Read more at peopledevelopmentmagazine.com.

19 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore

What is success? Is it wealth? Is it happiness? Is it fame?

The late Zig Ziglar was one of the most respected modern day experts on success, motivation, and leading a balanced life. In his book Born to Win!, he argues that success cannot be defined in one sentence, but instead it is comprised of many things. One could argue that the definition depends on the individual and that one size does not fit all[1].

Here are 19 different definitions of success. Not all of these will resonate with you, but chances are at least a few of them will. Use these or find inspiration here to create your own definition of success that can be applied to your unique life. Read more at lifehack.org.

Savoring Success

Check out virtually any review of Fisher Vineyards and the results are invariably similar: The winery, located in Santa Rosa, Calif., is renowned for producing premium varietals — but unlike many of its competitors, it operates with what appears to be a willful resistance to the spotlight.

“We do win some competitions,” says Rob Fisher, general manager of Fisher Vineyards, “but we don’t make our wines for that purpose. As we’ve worked through this over the decades, we think our mission and our wines are entirely about enriching life.”

That perfectly captures the essence of the vision Fisher’s parents shared when they decided to get into the winemaking business. “They didn’t come to Napa to be scored on wine,” Fisher says. “They did it as a sort of enrichment, a confirmation of their own life view. There’s a story behind every wine. Slow down and savor that time. I think for my parents it was all about slowing down.” Read more at dbusiness.com.

Join us in SUCCESS Achievers Community. If you’re interested in personal and professional success, we’re certain you’ll find it very beneficial. It takes less than a minute to join and together we’re sharing our stories, experiences, and ideas. Learn more at achievers.success.com.

Dear entrepreneurs, you’re not lazy. You’re scared.

The alarm goes off, slicing through the quiet darkness of your bedroom. It’s 5 a.m. Outside, the air is damp and cold, but your bed is soft and warm. There’s nothing in the world that sounds less appealing than getting up, fumbling for your running shoes, and heading out the door. 

What do you do?

If you’re like many of us, you make excuses. You need more sleepIt’s too cold. You don’t feel 100 percentYou just really, really don’t want to run today

Now, imagine the same scenario for an elite athlete. It’s 5 a.m. It’s cold. They’re tired. Their bed, like yours, is nice and warm. But when that alarm buzzes, they’re up. Day after day, month after month. What’s their secret? What do they think about? The answer is:

They don’t. They—to quote a certain brand’s catchphrase—just do it. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

Why Entrepreneurs Need To Talk About Their Mental Health

72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues compared to just 48% of non entrepreneurs. That’s according to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health. 49% of entrepreneurs deal with mental health issues directly while only 32% of others experienced them. Similarly, 23% of entrepreneurs have family members who face these issues compared to just 16% of others with family members who face these same types of issues.

I’ve been an entrepreneur now for almost a decade (9 years and counting). I’m just one of 500 million entrepreneurs; we make up about eight percent of the global population, amazingly. As a category – we are exponentially more likely to suffer from mental health problems, and yet, people don’t talk about that enough – it is fetishised and glamourised, so here’s an attempt to share some data and personal experience to show the other side.

In my 9 years, I’ve failed 4 times, and had 2 successes, and am currently scaling my latest company, Heights, which launched to the public in January of this year – 2020, great timing indeed. During this time, I have suffered from 3 major mental health problems. Read more at forbes.com.

Feeling Overwhelmed? These Little Tips Will Help You Take Control of Your To-Dos and Prioritize the Right Way

Between work, meetings, household chores, and — for some — parenting duties, we all have a lot on our plates right now. And as the to-dos pile on, it can be hard to know what to tackle first, which leads to feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Taking a moment to pause and prioritize isn’t always easy, yet research tells us that trying to constantly multitask only ends up backfiring and adding to our stress.

Questions were asked of the Thrive community to share the little ways they prioritize when they start to feel overwhelmed. Which of these will you try? Read more at thriveglobal.com.

Welcome to The Social Geek Radio Network.

Get in touch with your inner geek. Jack Monson and many special guests discuss social media and digital marketing trends for brands, small businesses, and franchises. 

Social Geek Radio was listed as one of 20 Best Business Podcasts according to Emerge and was named to the Best Small Business Podcasts by FitSmallBusiness.com. Recently, Social Geek Radio finally made the Top 25 podcasts in the Marketing category of Apple Podcasts / iTunes.

Listen, download, subscribe to Social Geek Radio!

4 Ways to Actively Reprogram Your Thoughts

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to form new neural pathways, interconnections between parts of our nervous system. This happens after injury but also in response to our environment, thoughts and emotions.

As with building muscle, the more we “work out” certain neural pathways, the stronger they become. Robust pathways become our favored psychological “highways.” We can generate more happiness, calm and kindness in our life simply by practicing these emotions.

Throughout our lives, we have unwittingly used this technique to program negative emotions, but we can do the same for patience, love, passion and joy.

How many of you know something intellectually but fail to apply that wisdom? You know jealousy will push your partner away, but you get angry when they talk to the opposite sex for too long, anyway.

“When judgment or negativity comes up, it means your internal dialogue is off,” says Thais Gibson, a personal development expert. Read more at success.com.

12 Signs You’re Destined to Be an Entrepreneur

Some people think they’re born to be an entrepreneur; others see it as a skill anyone can learn. Regardless of where you stand on this debate, you can’t argue with the fact that some people just know they’re destined for entrepreneurship. 

You’re constantly reaching for new achievements: Having a restless spirit that’s never satisfied with “good enough” is one sign that you’d make a great entrepreneur. Being a business owner means continually improving on your success and never resting in your comfort zone. If you love achieving, entrepreneurship might just be for you.

You like to be in control: If you’ve ever been in a bad relationship with a controlling partner, you know that needing to be in control isn’t always an entirely positive trait. That said, every entrepreneur needs a team to be successful. If you like being in charge and people have an easy time following your vision, you could make a very good entrepreneur.

Read more at inc.com for signs that you’re destined to be an entrepreneur.

If You’re the Lifeblood of Your Business, Then You’ve Doomed It to Failure

Netflix turned heads when the media giant announced that Reed Hastings would no longer be CEO. Instead, he became co-CEO, sharing the title with former Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. Netflix isn’t the first company to try the atypical arrangement, but it’s easy to imagine why it might be tough to have two leaders at the top.

Whether they’re running a small business on Main Street or an S&P 500 heavy hitter, business owners and CEOs often have a hard time ceding control. Part of that sense of ownership stems from being the visionary, but the other half is that business leaders also think of themselves as quality control.

Many businesses have two general camps: the promise makers and the promise keepers. Making a promise is a big deal for leaders with integrity, and they want to hold up their end of the bargain. As a result, they spend a significant amount of time making sure that the promise keepers (i.e., their operations team) deliver on the business’s promise to the leader’s exacting specification.

This sentiment of wanting the final say comes from the right place. But it can also have unintended consequences. Read more at entrepreneur.com.

A Message from Acceler8Success Founder, Paul Segreto about “The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur”

Recently, I’ve decided to once again work through, “The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur” by John Jantsch. It’s a daily journal that I have found poses very direct questions… ones that we most likely wouldn’t ask AND/OR answer ourselves, but should. For only 15 minutes a day, you’ll find it to be an eye-opener in many ways.

Google Books refers to the book as, A guide for creating a deeper relationship with the entrepreneurial journey The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur offers overworked and harried entrepreneurs, and anyone who thinks like one, a much-needed guide for tapping into the wisdom that is most relevant to the entrepreneurial life. Check it out here.