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Never Underestimate the Power of Adversity: How Hardship Builds Resilience

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Never Underestimate the Power of Adversity: How Hardship Builds Resilience

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

“I walked 10 miles to work…in the snow…barefoot.” I’m sure you’ve heard this adage before from your parents, or even jokingly said it to your children. I recently read an expanded version of this story.

My grandfather walked 10 miles to work every day; my father walked five.

I’m driving a Cadillac; my son is in a Mercedes.

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My grandson will be in a Ferrari, but my great-grandson will be walking again because:

Tough times create strong men

Strong men create easy times

Easy times create weak men

Weak men create tough times

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This quote is from the 2016 science fiction title “Those Who Remain: A Postapocalyptic Novel” by G. Michael Hopf. It has been often re-quoted and sometimes misattributed on social media.

It speaks to the circularity of life (do you hear Lion King in your head when you read that?) My point is not to debate whether life is circular or linear, but simply that struggle and hardship can create opportunities for growth. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Related Article: Ten ways successful people push through adversity

When we face difficulties, we can use those challenges to learn and grow. If you have to walk through the snow, barefoot, you can choose to react with anger and sadness at your plight or you can try to change it. The struggle will be an incentive to figure out a better way. You may wonder why this happened and what you need to do to get snow boots or a vehicle. This unleashes opportunities for creativity and motivation.

Are you a snow plow parent?

As parents, we may intellectually understand this concept, but sometimes we are tempted to act as “snow plows” for our children. This is where we try to remove all obstacles from our children’s paths so they don’t suffer any pain or discomfort. Wanting to remove painful obstacles is a natural response by parents yet, in doing so, we are depriving them of learning and growing from their struggles.

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Allow an optimal amount of stress

This is not to say, we can’t pass on our wisdom to our children. My colleague, David Meltzer, urges us to learn from our mistakes so we don’t continue paying a “dummy tax”. Our children can learn from our mistakes too, but we shouldn’t try to shield them from making their own mistakes. This is where resilience begins and then gains momentum. However, there is an optimal amount of stress or struggle that produces productive results. Too much stress can create trauma, which prevents us from learning and moving forward. This is the ultimate challenge: to balance an optimal amount of stress for the greatest growth opportunity.

Related Article: The Six Principles for Overcoming Entrepreneurial Adversity

In her book Grit; The Power of Passion and Perseverance, author and psychologist, Angela Duckworth, explains, “the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” Grit is defined as courage, resolve, or strength of character. These are all qualities that we admire and want our children to have. We don’t become gritty or resilient when our paths are smoothly paved. It is the pebbles or rocks or even mountains that we climb that give us strength of character.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it

Once we understand that a certain amount of stress and struggle are needed for growth, we can move onto figuring out how to turn that stress into something positive. Charles R. Swindoll says, “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

Successful people respond to adversity differently. For example, everyone may encounter job loss at some point in their life. Some people become discouraged and depressed. This is one side of the traditional fight or flight reaction to trauma. Others become energized and look at it as a “one door closes, another one opens.” That small shift in attitude can create big results.

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Successful people have developed tool kits from previous bumps in the road. They learn from their mistakes and move on. When they hit a new bump, they recognize it and react accordingly. They believe they have control over their life and make adjustments going forward.

Five things to teach your grandchildren

What are five things you can do now so that your great-grandchildren are not walking the same ten miles barefoot in the snow as you did?

  • Let them fail. This is hard to watch sometimes, but it is the most important part of learning resilience.
  • Help them learn coping skills to handle that failure; things like meditation, working out and breathing exercises.
  • Show them the value of having a supportive family and community around them. Let them know that they are loved regardless of success or adversity.
  • Teach them to understand boundaries so they know what they can and cannot control.
  • Encourage them to work on building resilience. Building resilience is a life-long exercise. If you want to get big muscles, you need to lift weights regularly. Similarly, if you want to build resilience, you need to experience adversity, learn from your struggles and move forward.

Related: Passion, Grit, Resilience: The Formula for Success

Let’s face it, we all face adversity. It’s unavoidable. No one chooses to walk barefoot in the snow! It’s understanding and applying the tools to move from adversity to resilience that is invaluable. So what steps can you take now to build your own resilience, and how can you pass those skills on to those under your influence?

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SBA Administrator Releases Statement on Reversal of Roe v Wade

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SBA Administrator Releases Statement on Reversal of Roe v Wade

Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said that last week’s Supreme Court ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade decision would “jeopardize the civil liberties of millions of women.”

Guzman said that the reversal would create ripple effects across communities and our economy, “particularly for women entrepreneurs pursuing the American dream of business ownership.”

Guzman reasoned that deciding when to start a family is important to women entrepreneurs and reiterated that the SBA is committed to doing all it can to support women.



SBA Administrator Issues Statement on SCOTUS Dobbs Decision

The landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling in 1973 established a woman’s right to seek an abortion for an unwanted pregnancy.

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Since 1973, according to statistics provided by LinkedIn, women’s participation in the workforce has increased from 40% to 60%. But can that gain be attributed to Roe v. Wade? Or an evolving economic climate?

Where Will Roe v. Wade Reversal Have Greatest Impacts?

Politics at State Level – The abortion rights issue is returned to the states, where people’s elected representatives will decide which path a state will take. Current estimates say that about half the states would ban abortions. Candidates and those already in office will be pressed to state their standing on the subject.

Human Resources Decisions – Small business owners will have major decisions to make in employee benefit plans. Will an employee health plan include benefits to help employees seek abortions in other states (if not available in their home states)? Large companies including Tesla, Patagonia, Amazon, Levi Strauss and Co, Yelp and others have already indicated that they will do so. Most employee benefit plans do cover reproductive health services, including birth control and/or pregnancy leave. Employers and employees should review existing plans.

Women Entrepreneurs – Entrepreneurs and other self-employed individuals attain health insurance through Healthcare.gov and other insurance companies. Some insurance companies cover “reproductive services” but may not cover the costs of an abortion. According to statistics from April 2022, the average cost nationally for an abortion in the first trimester is $600 and in the second trimester, $900.

Little Common Ground

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Emotions and opinions are strong, with little common ground, as evidenced in Michigan. The issue appears split strictly on party lines. The Roe v. Wade reversal is condemned by abortion rights supporters and praised by Pro Life supporters.

Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said “How we personally feel about abortion – not politics – should drive important medical decisions.”

Michigan’s Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said, “Life wins! Debate not returns to states.”

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6 Proven Ways to Create a Company Culture Worth Bragging About

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6 Proven Ways to Create a Company Culture Worth Bragging About

By Beth Doane, an award-winning writer, speaker and entrepreneur. She is the CEO of Main & Rose.

Over the past two years, we’ve undergone a reckoning, attitudes toward work shifted and values changed. As companies grapple with returning to offices old practices aren’t working. 

We spend one-third of our lives working, and people want that time to matter, not be sacrificed for a paycheck that comes at the expense of their happiness. This has catalyzed a mass exodus from the workforce. The number one reason for quitting–culture. 

Now, there are more open jobs than at any other time in United States history. To attract the best people, you need to create a workplace that isn’t only focused on output but thrives from the inside.

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At Main & Rose, we’ve spent almost a decade building our culture, learning what our team needs to feel fulfilled, and making sure our values are ingrained in the DNA of everything we do. Here are some of my insights into building culture at your business.

1. Clearly define and share your company values.

Your company’s values are critical for your culture. They provide a guide and a measuring post for all employees, impacting how they treat others, their work, and themselves. Clearly define those values and share them with everyone, and don’t settle for what some other brand could claim. They should be specific to you–why you exist and what you care about. It’s okay if they’re hard to write and require revisions, this will make your culture stronger.

At Main & Rose, we have a strict “no ego policy”–there are absolutely no exceptions to this rule, and all of our team members know that. The policy starts at the top, and leading by example is crucial to establishing a positive workplace culture that celebrates its values and team members. We go into every space and meeting with an open mind, an eagerness for feedback, and respect for all voices.  

2. Encourage healthy conversations.

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Most of us like to hear that we’re doing a good job. Positive affirmations and reinforcement have been proven to boost a team’s morale and confidence. 

Address any issues that may arise, whether interpersonal conflicts or a decreased quality of work. Tackle them when they emerge and do so privately. Show everyone respect and give them an opportunity to speak for themselves. 

Healthy conversations don’t look the same for everyone. They can be uncomfortable. We all have different communication and conflict resolution styles. Personality tests are an effective way to learn more about your team members and can help reveal various triggers and motivations to effectively guide discussions.

3. Incorporate mindfulness into the everyday.

More than 75 percent of workers have experienced burnout. And 61 percent of remote workers say they find it difficult to “unplug” after work hours. Especially if you’re a remote company, you’re more at risk of employees feeling over-stressed and under-motivated. But your team is only strong because of those individuals, so prioritize them.

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  • Encourage people to step away from the desk. Normalize setting a Slack status to “getting some fresh air.”
  • Host monthly mindfulness or breath work sessions.
  • Provide subscriptions to mindfulness apps–like Headspace or Calm–or fitness services. 

4. Offer mental health days, no questions asked.

As advocates of mental health, we aspired to create a company that rebelled against traditional “agency life,” where self-care was an afterthought to productivity. Whether an employee is having one bad day or dealing with an ongoing struggle, we work with them to take a mental health day or even a mental health week. 

In a study by the American Psychological Association, 68 percent of workers said their mood was more positive after taking time off. It invites them to pause, get off email and reconnect with their motivation when they’re back.

5. Implement Get Stuff Done days.

We implemented Get Stuff Done(GSD) days a few months ago and they’re universally beloved at our agency. Fridays have no calls, no meetings and no distractions, so our team can finally tackle everything on their to-dos lists and reach a stress-free place before the weekend.

To help sustain productivity and focus on days without anything on the calendar. We created a GSD playlist for our team, where everyone could contribute their favorite songs. We also provide access to time management strategies and resources.

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6. Ensure there’s really an open-door policy.

In a remote workplace, promoting clear, transparent communication becomes even more important. Our leadership is easily available via Slack, even just to chat or offer advice. Our team members check in with their managers at least once a week to discuss any issues or concerns, as well as what’s going well and each team member’s goals. We encourage people to write out talking points ahead of time. 

Your company is your people. You’re only going to find the right fit when you treat them with respect and compassion and offer growth opportunities–and if you don’t, someone else will.

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What Is a Business Credit Score?

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What Is a Business Credit Score?

Small business credit scores are similar to personal credit scores – except they are specifically ratings for businesses. A small business credit score is important to a business owner, and to the businesses which interact with that small business, such as vendors and suppliers.



What Are Business Credit Scores?

Small business credit scores put a number value on credit worthiness. Lenders, vendors, suppliers, customers, and others can check business credit scores. They often do so before deciding to conduct business with a company.

There are three main business credit reporting agencies: Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax. Small business owners can check their business credit reports, as well as the business credit scores of other entities. Vendors and suppliers often check business credit scores before extending credit, especially to a new customer.

How Do Business Credit Reports Differ From Personal Credit Reports

You keep your personal and business finances separate. Business credit scores and personal credit cards are also separate, with one exception:

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FICO SBSS (Small Business Scoring Service)

The FICO SBSS uses business credit reports and an owner or owners personal credit report, and additional financial data, to determine credit worthiness. The FICO SBSS is required by the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as banks, credit unions and other lenders. You need it to get an SBA 7 (a) loan. If you’re going to apply for the SBA 7 (a) loan, you’ll need a personal credit score of 600 or better. The FICO SBSS will be a number from 1-300, with 140 needed for the SBA 7 (a) loan.

Why Does a Business Credit Report Matter?

Credit scores are hugely important in the business world. Here are places where good business credit scores have an impact:

  • Getting financing – you can get a higher loan and a better interest rate with good credit.
  • Getting credit extended from vendors’ and suppliers’ credit reports.
  • Businesses can check the business credit scores of other businesses.
  • Insurance providers evaluate your credit risk, which is another reason to build strong business credit.

READ MORE: Better Credit Gets Your Business Up to 20 Times the Loan Money, Report Says

What Factors Affect a Business Credit Score?

The same factors that affect personal credit scores affect business credit scores. You can keep your personal score in the high/good range by keeping your personal finances in line. As a small business owner, you can keep your business credit file in the good/low-risk range and get a good business credit score with these practices.

Good Payment History

Build your business’s credit. Pay bills early or no later than the due date. That includes any business loan, your business insurance bill, and your business expenses, such as utilities.

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Use Credit

Use various types of credit, such as small loans and business credit cards, to establish separate credit records with a mix. Build business credit but don’t over-extend your credit limit. Small businesses need to keep tabs on the ratio of what’s owed versus how much is available to borrow.

Establish Trade Credit

Small business owners should start to build a good history with vendors and suppliers with small purchases that are paid off early or on time.

Keep Personal Credit Scores Good

Your business’s financial history isn’t impacted by your personal credit scores, except with the FICO SBSS rating, as previously discussed. That’s when the personal FICO scores range impacts a business owner’s FICO SBSS rating.

Stay Out of Legal Trouble

If you have any reported tax issues, such as failure to pay state taxes and/or employment taxes, that could impact your business credit report. The big three business credit bureaus look at a business’s payment history and other financial records, and also look at public records. If there are tax issues or legal matters such as liens on a property, that will impact a business owner’s credit and the business credit risk score.

What Is a Good Credit Score for a Small Business?

Business credit reports have a few key differences. Personal credit scores range from 0 to 1000; a business credit profile will typically have a score of 0 to 100.

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Business credit scores differ by the value of the number assigned. Typically, business credit scores range on a scale from 0 to 100, with 0 to 10 a business failure score. The FICO SBSS score will be a number from 0 to 300.

Dun & Bradstreet assigns a Paydex rating from 0-100. When a business pays bills on time or early, the business credit history would be 80 points and higher. If a business pays 60 days or more late, the rating would be from 0-49.

Experian uses business data to establish a business risk factor called Intelliscore Plus, also on a 0 to 100 scale. Business credit grades higher than 76 are considers “low risk” for lending or extending credit. Scores 1 to 10 are considered “high risk” and poor.

The FICO SBSS score is on a scale of 0 to 300. To get the SBA 7 (a) small business loan, you’ll need a score of 140 or higher. Other small business lenders will want a score of at least 160.

In short, when you’re looking at your own or other business credit scores, you need to know what the number means. How is the business credit score calculated and what does it mean? A successful business will have a credit rating – to matter what the number – that translates to a “good” rating.

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READ MORE: Why Your Business Credit Score Matters When Applying for a Small Business Loan

How to Check Your Business Credit Score?

You can check your business credit score by going to any of the big three – Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and/or Experian. You can also check your FICO score. All of that can be done with no fee.

If you want to check another business, you’ll pay a nominal fee.

How to Build Your Business Credit Score?

Building business credit takes attention to detail, especially keeping track of due dates for bills. With a bad payment history, you’ll have a tough time getting business loans and building your business.

Build your business credit score by making timely payments and establishing credit. Keep your personal score high by making timely payments if you have a personal loan, such as a car or credit card payment.

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In short, build good credit habits in both business and personal finances.

READ MORE:

  • 8 Business Credit Cards Without Personal Guarantee Required
  • How to Get a Business Loan with Bad Credit

Image: Envato Elements


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