AUSTIN, Texas — We know so many small businesses have been forced to close down during this COVID-19 crisis, and a lot of others are struggling just to stay afloat.
She joined KVUE's Terri Gruca for a live interview on Wednesday:
Question: Can you tell me a little bit about the new web series? Can you talk about these webinars and who they're intended to help?
Answer: Yes, of course. It's a webinar series, the likes of which you've not seen before. It's called Business Unusual because that's what's needed, big ideas for small business, and it's sponsored by AT&T Business. It's really a dream partnership from where I sit because I love small businesses. I love my entrepreneurs. I will do anything to help an entrepreneur because I think it's taking the world into their own hands and building a whole new life for themselves. But they've been going through really, really tough times. And AT&T Business shares that love of small business as well. And they're lending us all the technological support and the technological advice that will help these businesses come through the bad times. And the kickoff is Wednesday, July 22, and it's 1 p.m. Central Time in your neck of the woods.
Question: Love that you're doing this, and I know so many people look up to you. We watch "Shark Tank" religiously, I know, in my house. What kind of advice do you have for small businesses that may be struggling right now?
Answer: A lot of people think business is about dollars and cents and, certainly in tough times, you need the money to see yourself through. And there's been a lot of help offered by the government with the PPP loans, but that's running out. People who will use those monies up already don't know where to turn. So most people envision business as a, I guess, as a challenge of getting through to produce when you don't have money. But I don't find that to be the case at all. I think it's about how you use your money wisely, which you use it on, and how will you collaborate to come up with new ideas to reinvent your own new business. So for those people who are out there, two out of three entrepreneurs are sitting and sort of working, not learning new skills and waiting for times to change. And they think they're going to come out the other side. I say they're not. Two out of three businesses will not come out the other side unless they take on the mantra that's needed on a situation where you don't know what the finish line is. And that is what we're going through today. So for these small businesses, they have to have the headspace in the right space to think, 'What can I try that's new and how many different things can I try every day? How can I stay in touch with my customers to see what they're going to be expecting next week versus this week? How could I stay close to my employees or my team? How can I reeducate them as to what skills they're going to need for this new economy?' There's so much work to be done. And yet I find that two out of three entrepreneurs out there are actually waiting it out to a large degree. And those are the entrepreneurs that will give way to the successful ones and not be a competitor when we come out of this pandemic.
Question: The thing that I love about this webinar series is that you're actually allowing business owners to ask questions. Why do you feel like that's important?
Answer: It's so important. I speak to business owners every day of the week. The ones I've invested in, strangers. My cab driver asked me advice. This one, I tentatively jumped in a cab in New York City, and I can tell you people are all concerned about the same things ... repetitive questions. But you never know what question opens a giant box in a box of riches. And so I love hearing directly from a small business person who's down and out, a small business person who's given up their hope. And I also like to hear from small business people, say, 'Hey, I tried this. What about that?' Because see, if you exchange that information among people of the same commonality, which is love of their business, you have the best chance of something sticking because you're talking to like-minded souls. I'm one of them. AT&T loves small business. Someone calling in is in love with a business. So we're all in the same club. And so we're going to get the best stuff by hearing the individual questions and conversations. I have no doubt in my mind.
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