Month: September 2020

Find Opportunity in Failure

Documentarian and entrepreneur Soledad O’Brien on dealing with the unexpected.

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1 min read


As a news reporter, Soledad O’Brien knows that not everything goes the way you hoped it would. An interview subject bails on you, a story you traveled great distances to investigate doesn’t pan out — every day comes with new and unexpected challenges. Learning to be flexible and to pivot quickly has helped Soledad achieve great success as a reporter, and in life. Reflecting on the time that her show got canceled, Soledad shared her philosophy on moving forward: “You have to pick the pieces out of what you think went well, and cobble those pieces together into the next thing that you want to be doing.” Failure can be disappointing and embarrassing, she says, but you can’t dwell on it. “Find the opportunity you can pluck from that experience, and run with it.” Learn more at soledadobrienproductions.com.

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What Small Business Owners in Battleground States Want to Hear in Tonight’s Presidential Debates


The nation’s small businesses have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and the corresponding economic repercussions. Only a small number of those who received initial PPP funds expect to be able to maintain current payrolls without additional government assistance, according to Thomas Sullivan, vice president, Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Not surprisingly, the economy is front and center on most small business owners’ minds as they consider casting their ballots this November, according to the latest Small Business Index by MetLife & the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Tonight’s Presidential Debate

What do small business owners want to hear from President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden as they enter the home stretch of the 2020 presidential election campaign? 

The U.S. Chamber’s Sullivan spoke with owners in several battleground states to share what they will be listening for during the debates, which issues they hope the candidates will discuss in more detail, and why it all matters to their companies and their employees.

Here are excerpts of what the small business owners said about what they expected to hear tonight. Links at the bottom of each excerpt leads to a more complete response on USChamber.com


Traci Tapani

Owner and Co-President
Wyoming Machine, Inc.
Stacy, Minnesota

“The COVID-19 pandemic has identified many issues that need to be

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‘Tis the Season for Social Media to Help Small Businesses Prepare for the Holidays


While there is nothing new about large companies helping small businesses and consumers create digital online cheer (remember Elf-Yourself), expect to see even more flare this year as the creativity bar keeps growing higher and higher.


For example, Instagram Business today launched “The Season for Shops” resource featuring holiday-themed items small businesses can use to prepare for the holiday shopping season. The site also includes downloadable guides and tips for shopping tags, collections — and advertising. 

“As small businesses prepare for a holiday season with more people buying online than ever before, we want to help them thrive on Instagram during the shopping season,” according to Instagram COO Justin Osofsky. “This new digital resource features easy-to-follow guides and tips for setting up your Instagram shop, reaching customers with tags and ads, and creating inspiring holiday product collections.”

We will be on the outlook for the best free, clever examples in the coming three months.



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Square: 76% of Small Business Owners Plan to Give Their Employees Time to Vote This Year | 2020


According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research and funded by the payments company, Square, 76% of U.S. small business owners think voting in the upcoming presidential election has become more important since the pandemic. (Note: “Time off” can refer to the length of time it takes to vote.)


Here are more findings from the survey

96% | Percentage of small business owners who say they plan to vote themselves.

83% | Among small business owners giving employees time off to vote, 83% plan to give them paid time off.

26% | Percentage of small business owners who would be willing to make Election Day a company-wide holiday to encourage voting in the presidential election.

67% | Percentage of small business owners who agree it is their civic responsibility to provide their employees with educational resources to make their own informed voting decisions.

37% | Percentage of small business owners who say the opportunity to make a difference in the community is the top benefit of giving employees the flexibility to take time off to vote.


Square has partnered with the non-partisan organization, TurboVote, to help citizens get ready for the upcoming election. You can use their tool to register to vote, sign up for election reminders, learn more about voting by mail, and more.

You can learn more about

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How to Build a Brand That Contributes to a Greater Cause

When you give back or align your brand with helping the world, people notice.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Having a greater cause behind your matters — not just for consumer of what your brand does, but for your ability to do good in the world. A social impact edge isn’t for every company, but when you give back or align your brand with helping the world, people notice. Research from Zeno’s 2020 Strength of Purpose reported that when consumers perceive that a brand or company has a strong purpose, they are six times more likely to defend or protect the company if there’s ever a misstep. They’re 4.5 times more likely to recommend it to their friends and family and become a champion behind it. 

But despite this research, Carole Cone on Purpose shared that only 24 percent of their respondents reported having a purpose embedded in their business. And while it’s true that you shouldn’t add purpose or social impact for the sole purpose of resonating more with consumers, it is important to assess: What does my brand stand for? How do we help the world? How can I connect my profit with a greater purpose? Here are some things to consider in that assessment. 

Related:

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Is There Room for Intuition in Business?

Always trust your gut.

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3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Is there room for intuition in business? Yes, most definitely. Decades ago, I may have thought differently, but over the years I have changed my opinion and believe that intuition can be another tool in the business tool belt. 

The definition of intuition is the “direct perception of or facts, independent of any reasoning process; it is an immediate apprehension or a keen and quick insight into something.”

Related: How to Unlock the Full Power of Your Intuition

Years ago, I read a science fiction book that talked about “intuits,” people in their society who seemed to understand things instinctually. Intuits were thought to have this incredible ability to have immediate cognition of a situation. But the truth was, the intuits developed the skill to quickly assemble the facts, analyze the data and predict probabilities based on their field of expertise. 

Yes, the book was science fiction but it made a statement that really resonated with me. It said something that totally flies in the face of the definition above. It said intuits trained for many years in very specific fields and that it wasn’t an instinctual

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