Small Business Resourcefulness with Jenn T. Grace, Mark David Gibson, and Jennifer Brown

[00:00:00] Jenn: [00:00:00] Good morning, Jen. 

[00:00:03] Jennifer B: [00:00:03] Good morning. Denti. Grace, 

[00:00:05] Jenn: [00:00:05] how are you? 

[00:00:06] Jennifer B: [00:00:06] We need again on a Saturday. No last cause we’re kinds of dedicated entrepreneurs. 

[00:00:13] Jenn: [00:00:13] Yes. I feel like we are. I feel like we’re we’re messengers for. For information for others. So, um, I feel like we, we made a priority to say, all right, let’s have this conversation this morning because the information is relevant.

[00:00:26] It’s timely. And I think it’s going to be really helpful, which is why we’ve titled it. Small business resourcefulness with our beloved guests. Mark David Gibson. 

[00:00:35] Jennifer B: [00:00:35] Welcome Mark. 

[00:00:36] Mark: [00:00:36] Hello? Hello. Good morning. 

[00:00:39] Jennifer B: [00:00:39] Themed author 

[00:00:41] Mark: [00:00:41] greetings from Atlanta. 

[00:00:43] Jennifer B: [00:00:43] Hello. Oh, and other trade commission from the publisher purpose, press.

[00:00:49] Jenn: [00:00:49] Thanks. You know what? I appreciate the plug right out of the gate. So where, where shall we start this conversation? It is a Saturday morning that we’re having this because there’s [00:01:00] just, I think Jen, we comment on this almost all of these videos that we’ve been doing that. Every single day, something is shifting.

[00:01:05] Something is changing. There’s a new resource, there’s a resource that’s not working. Like it’s just kind of like a constant flow of things that are going on. Um, but I want to just kind of start with what Mark, what you’re up to, because not only are you helpful on the small business side of things, but you are an 

[00:01:22] Jennifer B: [00:01:22] LGBTQ entrepreneur, you are 

[00:01:24] Jenn: [00:01:24] an author, you’ve had a book tour, you helped speakers.

[00:01:27] So you’ve got all kinds of things going on. So why don’t we get an update of how you were feeling in these current times? 

[00:01:33] Mark: [00:01:33] Yeah, thank you. And thank you both for this and your, your leadership and just a, you know, your intention and being so intentional to, uh, help, right. And to help out, um, try to calm some of the, uh, the white noise and the storm.

[00:01:48] Um, you know, I, I just had a conversation this week and I really wanted to do this on Saturday with you all because the week is a, is a little bit, um, tumultuous. It they’re there it’s ups and downs and stuff [00:02:00] at work. And. I’m not immune to that. Um, just because I work at the SBA and my husband works at the CDC, I’m not immune as an entrepreneur to the panic and the fear and all of the other emotions that we’re all feeling right.

[00:02:14] And these crazy times. So, um, there’s an opportunity to stay down there for a while. If you want to, you certainly could choose that. Or, um, you can follow a YouTube, powerful resources and stay above the fray and, and try to keep your head up. And so, and plus I have clients too, and, um, that they’re looking for leadership and guidance from me as their consultant, as their strategists.

[00:02:43] So. Um, I just have been, uh, trying to keep it real, keep it positive. Um, I think that we’re runners, so you try to get out and run as best. You can get some exercise and you know, now is not the time to stock up on high fructose syrupy drinks or, uh, [00:03:00] desserts on the sofa 

[00:03:02] Jennifer B: [00:03:02] or binge and entire series series. In one sitting

[00:03:09] Jenn: [00:03:09] may not in one sitting, but maybe over a couple of 

[00:03:11] Jennifer B: [00:03:11] days.

[00:03:15] Jenn: [00:03:15] So. All right. So you’re obviously managing your, your stress by staying active physically, and I’m sure there’s no shortage of things for you to be doing right now. So let’s see, where shall we, where should we take this conversation? 

[00:03:31] Jennifer B: [00:03:31] Well, I think, you know, there’s two things. That, you know, Mark, first of all, your memoir is, you know, a really amazing story and much of it centers around like honoring ourselves, our truth authenticity, you know?

[00:03:46] So I wonder like how, how has that feeling for you? Um, how does that apply? I guess, With the, what are your predictions about that? Because I know I’ve been exploring a lot of that in my community calls I’ve been doing with DNI [00:04:00] professionals, meaning those who lead diversity efforts and organizations who are typically my, my community, my clients, my work, and we’re all kind of struggling to serve the organization right now.

[00:04:11] Make sure the organization is making the right choices and not, not getting room for bias. That that shows up. In spades in tough times in panic when things are happening fast, when we don’t have a playbook, it’s actually like a recipe for bias and exclusion. Um, but it’s also an opportunity for inclusion in some really amazing, I think of visibility and transparency for us bringing our full selves.

[00:04:36] To work because, you know, hello, 

[00:04:39] Jenn: [00:04:39] little plug. 

[00:04:40] Jennifer B: [00:04:40] So I wonder, like, what are you, what are you feeling in terms of the possibilities here? Like trying to focus on the positive, like what actual doors are opening up for us to have more inclusive organizations. However, we’re defining that company to community board, house of worship.

[00:04:56] You know, what is really possible coming out of this, 

[00:04:59] Mark: [00:04:59] you know? [00:05:00] Um, and, and thank you for that. Um, my book in served in silence, the struggle to live authentically as a memoir, I was able to, um, rip some bandaids off and get a memoir done a memoir fashion, but then I was also able to take it and craft it to a business perspective and a business point of view.

[00:05:19] And so, especially in your line of work in such a vital and. Important champion for the DNI space for leaders in, for employees and for the community at large. And I think that if we look at how far we have come because of great leaders like yourself that have been able to help companies, um, progress and move forward, this isn’t the time to retreat.

[00:05:47] Right. This is the time to continue going forward. And these are the times to, in my opinion, take all that you have done to cultivate these DNI relationships within your [00:06:00] organizations. And that is the strength and the bonds of your employees that you’re cultivating. Because at the end of the day, COO COO CFOs, the C suite, you’re not actually going to be able to solve all of the company’s problems.

[00:06:18] So you’re going to be relying on your problem solvers. And that is the, um, the, the amazing work that companies have been doing to, uh, recognize that when we allow our employees to bring their true, authentic self to the day, They have more problem solving power. So I think that more than ever, it is time to reach out and lean on, um, the, these, uh, particular champions.

[00:06:52] Jennifer B: [00:06:52] Cool. We just got a little 

[00:06:54] Jenn: [00:06:54] to me to manage comments and then

[00:07:04] [00:07:00] Mark: [00:07:04] publishing a book I’m

[00:07:09] Jennifer B: [00:07:09] is capable of magical things. But Mark, when he just said is so important and really supported by what I’ve seen and read about and researched, which is. And you want your diverse talent. And I mean, diversity in so many ways, right? You know, veteran identity is a diverse lens, right? That helps with problem solving.

[00:07:26] And we need to right now, more than ever, we need those diverse voices around the table. And then we need those voices once we’re at the table to be listened to. And that’s important, that’s an important distinction, right? It’s the difference between diversity and inclusion. Diversity is being asked to the dance and inclusion is being asked to dance.

[00:07:45] Both of those things have to be present in order to unleash the power of what you’re talking about. And, and you’re right, like now more than ever, we need you talk about needing out of the box, thinking how are we going to innovate through this and, and still [00:08:00] maintain some kind of cohesion between people who need to get tasks done together?

[00:08:05] You know, how has that trust fostered when we are, um, in many ways kind of operating. Professionally, you know, with our hands tied behind our back in some ways, right? Because we have kids crawling all over us. We’re not comfortable with technology. We may not have digital access. Um, 

[00:08:24] Mark: [00:08:24] I mean, 

[00:08:25] Jennifer B: [00:08:25] you name it so, so emotional, you know, intelligence, you know, an empathy quotient has to go way up.

[00:08:33] I think in order to and leadership needs to be, I think we defined. Right for this new world that I don’t think we’re going back to the old way. I mean, I just keep seeing things on Twitter, about companies realizing as they will, that people can be productive virtually. They don’t need the big office spaces that they’re paying so much for.

[00:08:51] The commutes are onerous for many of us, you know, who imagined like living in LA and wasting two hours of your day. Like, it’s just doesn’t make sense [00:09:00] anymore. And so this is going to be really interesting. I’m kind of focusing on. What’s going to go up in terms of inclusiveness in this new environment.

[00:09:08] My, also my theory, somebody said, um, who identifies as gender fluid on one of my calls this past week said, I am, I am being mis-gendered much less. In the spiritual world. And I just was like, yes, yet another way that showing up in this, this new realm is enabling us to bring our full selves in a different way.

[00:09:29] Conversely though, there’s less of a barrier. I think, to protect some of us that feel have always felt very vulnerable traditionally. And so some people are experiencing. That vulnerability, every time they turn their video on people see where they live. You know, it’s very difficult to hide the truths of who we are as well in this world.

[00:09:49] Um, so we’re being forced into this level of transparency that I think is, is perilous for some of us and very uncomfortable, but ultimately so important because if we can rip the bandaid [00:10:00] off of here’s all of who I am, you know, I can’t hide it anymore. I don’t want to hide it anymore. Like, you know, deal with it.

[00:10:07] And let’s talk about it. I think there’s a tremendous opportunity for education and, um, and then the trusts and all the, sort of all the enablers that could get built through that reality as uncomfortable as it is for a lot of 

[00:10:19] Mark: [00:10:19] us. Absolutely. And I think that now, uh, no pressure on you, Jennifer Brown, but you have it, it’s on your shoulders to be guiding leadership in these companies that they might not be thinking about, that they might not be thinking about the vulnerabilities of their employees.

[00:10:37] And I think that when you have a, a leader that’s running top cover and that’s providing not only the safety net, but providing the accessibility. To that leadership element that they’re going to be okay. And we’re going to get through this then that just creates a greater synergy for the workforce to solve [00:11:00] these problems.

[00:11:01] Jennifer B: [00:11:01] Hmm.

[00:11:05] I hope though, because the other thing that could happen is that as I was sharing earlier, you know, DNI, people getting furloughed, um, and I know about eight people in my network so far that are no longer at their companies. And it does concern me that this will get sidelined as a priority because it’s, it’s not, you know, yelling the loudest, you know, in terms of.

[00:11:26] Just staying afloat. Um, you know, we go to this place of sort of that primal part of us when we’re in we’re panicking. And I think businesses are doing the same. And we, on the best of times, we’ve had kind of a tenuous seat at the table. Um, and we spent a lot of energy trying to say, well, this is why this is important and your workforce really needs and wants it.

[00:11:45] And you know, it has everything to do with recruitment and retention and innovation and resonating with clients and customers. But, you know, I’m just not sure. I think we, we need to rebrand ourselves in a way as well to say, look, we have what you [00:12:00] need right now. Like we actually have the secret sauce to address your pain points, but we need, we need to be really good marketers right now.

[00:12:07] We need to be very on message. We need to be as good marketing does very centered around the pain points of our stakeholders, you know, and be speaking that language so that we can make sure we’re viewed as one, some as people with the solutions. Um, so anyway, I, I hope we have a seat at the table to influence leaders.

[00:12:27] We’ll see it’s the, some companies are going to remain committed to this, that work in Midland. And then I think the companies who were sort of just getting started may not have gotten far enough to keep this. And bot embedded, right? Yeah. I think that’s kind of what I’m seeing. 

[00:12:44] Mark: [00:12:44] Yeah. And, you know, um, I loved your show yesterday with Jack.

[00:12:48] Um, and you know, Jack was also talking about the same thing about messaging during this time in COVID and that’s, I think that resonates to what you’re talking about there too, is, um, you know, the, these [00:13:00] leaders and these, these, these companies. You’re right. The ones that have it, they get it. They’re solid.

[00:13:05] They’re going to continue to move forward. And those it’s two steps, two steps forward, three steps back kind of thing with the seat at the table. But it’s conversations like these it’s conversations with you and your company it’s resources and publish your purpose. Press that help maintain. It’s easy to continue to go forward.

[00:13:25] To continue to keep moving forward. 

[00:13:28] Jenn: [00:13:28] You know what I want to chime in and kind of pivot our conversation to is similar. You’re hovering around it right now, but thinking about, you know, there’s obviously those that are employed in, in workplace settings. There’s those of us who are small business owners, entrepreneurial doing the employing.

[00:13:44] But I think that what I would imagine that there’s going to be a bigger need. To know what your purpose is. And of course I’m always biased to the, the phrase purpose, but to know what your purpose is, to know how to articulate that purpose in all [00:14:00] of these settings to either. May I help you stand out in whatever business it is that you have, or in the corporate setting to also help you stand out to maybe be the thing that helps you maybe maintain or keep, keep your job or move positions.

[00:14:15] And I know before we hit record, we were talking about a wonderful mutual friend of ours, Erin, and her process around kind of digging people and getting to the bottom of people’s 

[00:14:25] Jennifer B: [00:14:25] truth. 

[00:14:27] Jenn: [00:14:27] Now is the opportune time. To access a resource like that, because I think, and I’m a big believer of just really understanding who you are and, you know, self help, self development, all that kind of stuff.

[00:14:38] I think more people are going to need that now. Well, more than ever, because of just kind of how everything is changing on us. 

[00:14:47] Jennifer B: [00:14:47] We’re going to give ’em the Aaron’s link too. She actually is running a Facebook live tomorrow, Sunday, two o’clock Eastern. Don’t miss it, get on her mailing list, but we’re all fans of Aaron many, many [00:15:00] years.

[00:15:00] Um, but the, again, I think you’re so right. You, and I’ve talked about this, you know, that many people are going to be in career transition. Um, coming out of this, whether it’s solo preneur to hopefully a corporate job or a corporate job losing the corporate job and becoming sort of by maybe not by choice that business owner, and then thinking about what can I sell like and who would buy what I sell and what I know how to do.

[00:15:24] And it’s a really great opportunity, I think, to slow down and really focus on what have I always been. Wanted to do, you know, maybe I’ve, maybe I’ve hesitated to bring that into the world. Maybe I haven’t known how maybe I haven’t had the support and Jen and I have been talking, you know, spoiler alert.

[00:15:39] We’re, we’re trying to come up with some kind of program where we can help share how we’ve built our businesses from our purpose. Right. Really very I’m in all three of us have businesses that are, that are so aligned with MP, more closely aligned, right. It just feels like perfectly. Aligned. Um, and it’s, and it doesn’t even feel [00:16:00] like work because when you’re working from that place, you have sort of endless, I think, energy to put towards what you’ve created.

[00:16:07] So there is potential to have be a thriving business owner and a happy business owner. Right. Even through, even if it is thrust upon you or perhaps you already own a business, but you’re thinking of shifting. Right. And that’s also going to be a transition. We’re all in. I mean, I know the three of us are literally like.

[00:16:25] What, what is this going to look like and what am I going to sell? And I used to be a training company and a keynoter. And now it’s virtual. My prices may need to, they may get squeezed because you know, you’re not speaking for big audiences anymore. And maybe the perceived value is shifting. So it’s, it’s, anyone’s guests.

[00:16:43] We know how we are all going to need to pivot, to adjust to this. I mean, Mark, I wonder if you, from a business owner perspective, like, what are you thinking about? Uh, if you morph into something that’s going to be. Useful and hopefully lucrative enough to 

[00:16:59] Mark: [00:16:59] pay your [00:17:00] bills, keep the lights on. 

[00:17:01] Jennifer B: [00:17:01] Have you been thinking about that?

[00:17:02] Mark: [00:17:02] Oh yes, absolutely. And you know, this is why I love being a member of the PYP family, because having a foundation that was built on words, like purpose and being able to wake up and okay, what is my purpose? Got it. Right. Okay. Next. And then you keep moving right? Erin does such a great job and not only helping you define what that purpose is, but then getting you to a place with the dig process and getting your North star word that really operates your, um, your, your inner operating system.

[00:17:40] It’s all of that. That will stand the test of time through these crisises, the, these challenges, because it’s in here, it’s in our makeup. It is the purpose of our authenticity as an entrepreneur. And so I think. That when [00:18:00] you, how did you get there while you relied on those that, that development of your, your power and your inner power and your purpose.

[00:18:08] So that’s going to get you to the next step. And I think that that is going to be, you have your feet on solid ground. And if you’re not right now, those of you that are watching it’s okay. There’s resources out there that are going to get you there. And that’s why you have, um, events like these. And, um, you, you, you, you seek the assistance of.

[00:18:25] And plus she’s just really cool and a lot of fun to be with. 

[00:18:30] Jennifer B: [00:18:30] He lives in the most beautiful place to visit Boulder. So if you haven’t been in Boulder in like spring or summer or any season, really, but like, it’s literally like the sound of music, the Hills are alive. Like it’s quite magical. 

[00:18:44] Jenn: [00:18:44] Uh, there’s so much there.

[00:18:45] I feel like this might be a good kind of place to pivot a bit. Cause I feel like we’re also kind of talking about. No, there are some business owners that are doubling down on what they’re doing. There are others who are bettering their heads in the sand. [00:19:00] And I would imagine that’s probably similar with employees as well.

[00:19:02] Right. So, and I feel like we’re all of the ilk of doubling down and producing and getting more things done as much as we can. But I also know that resources are really tight for so many people. So Mark, I would love to get your insights. For you to kind of switch hats for us, if you will, because you have your LGBTQ entrepreneurial hat, you have your author hat, you have your speaker hat, but the big reveal for those that do not know you is that you also work for the small business administration, which are essentially heroes wearing tapes right now for many of us in a small business world.

[00:19:39] So can you just share a little bit or anything that you can with those that are watching that are. No, maybe in some place of desperate need for the resources that the SBA 

[00:19:51] Jennifer B: [00:19:51] has. 

[00:19:52] Mark: [00:19:52] Yeah, absolutely. And thank you for that. Um, in, in my house, I already told you that, you know, the, the, the upstairs is SBA [00:20:00] and downstairs is the CDC.

[00:20:02] Uh, cause my husband works at the CDC. Um, here, here we go. Here’s some good news. Okay. So, um, think about your business. And you are having a great year and you are just performing and it’s kicking on all pistons and you take that great year and overnight. So when tells you to increase your business by 500% and we’ll see you tomorrow.

[00:20:30] Good luck with that. That’s what we’ve done in the SBA to give perspective. Last year, the economy, the world 2019 was a banner year for entrepreneurs and we are a Testament. We are a temperature gauge to that by the number of loans that we service. And the, the amount of backed loans that the SBA backs.

[00:20:55] So in perspective, we processed and approved [00:21:00] 63,000 loans last year. It’s a lot of loans to the tune of about $28 billion. As of this morning, we have process over 500,000 loan applications. And today. The money is flowing today and to the tune of $130 billion economic injury disaster alone is flowing.

[00:21:27] The advanced loan is flowing the PPP, the, the payroll protection program. It is all flowing. So we had a garden hose. This little garden hose, and we’re coming along and we’re watering the lawn and we’re doing a great job along looks great. And then we’re told because of a crisis called COVID that no, you’re going to shift.

[00:21:47] And now you’re going to plug into a fire hydrant and hope that you don’t blow a gasket. Hopefully you don’t blow up the hose and hope that you’re still able to service the entrepreneurs that you need service. So I am so honored and I am [00:22:00] so proud to be working for a, I love my agency anyway, because our agency, the very core foundation of our agency is to help people’s dreams come true.

[00:22:11] What will, who can’t get behind that? I mean, that’s like just a great job to have on a daily base. Talk about purpose, Jen and. Then to see how, um, our, uh, my teammates have really stepped up to the plate and, you know, Jen Brown and talking about how do we pivot and how do we shift and how, how do you remain relevant and important?

[00:22:32] These are the times that, yeah, the hair isn’t looking good, but I got to get on that video and I’ve got, you know, process and we all play a vital, vital role in the jobs that we do. Maybe not to this capacity. We don’t have the treadmill running this fast usually. And, um, so that’s the good news and the other news that I wanted to share and I wanted to make sure.

[00:22:57] Just as a public service announcement. [00:23:00] Okay. Um, either as an entrepreneur, as an LGBT certified business or, uh, an SBA, uh, employee, as these are not the times to get duped or to get scammed, you know, it’s hard enough out here, folks. Okay. So if you are doing any type of relief, Or any type of government backed programs, it will never be on full-stop so it will have to be, the

[00:23:38] There, there will be Okay. The other resource, Jen, um, that, that we were also talking about before we hit live is I really encourage you all. Um, for those of you that are in the United States, that you go to your, go to and then drill down to your local SBA office. And get on their mailing [00:24:00] list, go, go and register and just get on their mailing list.

[00:24:04] They’re not going to spam ya. It’s Um, but this is really valuable just in time information. It is changing hourly. Um, th this morning, uh, we’ve already have updates and changes from this morning and it’s all good news. I know it never comes fast enough when we are in a time of crisis, but I, I wanted to share that with, um, with us to, to let our community know that help is on the way the money is flowing and it started flowing and it’s hitting the accounts now, as we speak.

[00:24:42] Jenn: [00:24:42] What is so, so exciting and what’s great is that we have a, a comment that came in saying that the, uh, the PPP loan application was really easy. And I agree, I found it to be like, I was able to do it really quickly. And I honestly expected to have to spend like a half a day figuring out what information was [00:25:00] needed and how to do it, but it was genuinely easy.

[00:25:02] And then the, I don’t know what the other one was, the $10,000 one. That took like two seconds. It was so fast. 

[00:25:10] Mark: [00:25:10] Another, another thing I wanted to mention that, um, so those of you that are watching and you have been busy over the last month, keeping your business afloat, and you’re trying to figure things out.

[00:25:20] You may be just coming out, scratching your eyes. Like it’s a little fuzzy out here and it’s a little foggy. It’s okay. We’ve got you. Okay. Don’t panic. You can still go to It would like Jen was just talking about, it’s very easy to fill out the application I will recommend. And if you didn’t it’s okay.

[00:25:39] But I will recommend that you do a screenshot or write down the confirmation number that you get at the very end. Um, you’ll see. That’s a very big number. Um, we’re servicing not, not hundreds, not thousands, but millions during a time. Last year when we had a banner year of only 63,000 applications. [00:26:00] But what we have done is, uh, in times of adversity, um, the public and the private partnerships of people stepping up and saying, you know, Hey, how can we help?

[00:26:11] How can we bring our infrastructure that has a secure component for, um, people that take social security and banking information, keep it secure and assist the, So we can open up that valve a little bit by a little bit, by a little bit, a little bit to push all of those applications. So to your point, then, yes, it is easy.

[00:26:33] One other thing I wanted to add that when you go and you, um, you, you, you get to and there’s the economic. Injury disaster loan, the idol loan. That is just that it’s a loan, it’s a low interest loan. Um, I think Jen, we can maybe share, uh, the FAQ, the talking points, um, with the group. Um, and that is also changing on a regular basis, but.

[00:26:58] That loan now will [00:27:00] automatically merge to the advance loan as well. So when it comes time for the approval process, it’s going to ask you, someone is going to ask you, okay. In addition to the economic injury, disaster loan, are you also, do you also need or want the advance? And I don’t want to get into the nuts and bolts of this right now, but the, there, there are, um, defining qualities.

[00:27:24] That makes the eligibility and all of those types of things, but it is relatively easy. And it, I know that our phone lines and our emails and everything is jammed up, but, um, don’t pay attention to the white noise and all the crazy that’s going on. Stay calm, just stay focused and just read everything thoroughly.

[00:27:44] And you know, like you said, Jen, it took you maybe what under five minutes, maybe. 

[00:27:49] Jenn: [00:27:49] Insanely fast and I don’t expect anything from the government to be quick. So I was, I was pleasantly surprised. And what I would also say is that. [00:28:00] Leaning heavily on your business banker right now is so critical. I banquet citizens bank, which is like a regional, I think Northeast type of bank.

[00:28:09] And they’ve been amazing. Like my person Jill has been on it. She responds immediately. Any questions I have, she has answers to. And I feel like having that relationship. So pivotal and we had a great relationship before, but, and I know a lot of people don’t have a direct contact at their bank and I’m realizing how valuable that is now.

[00:28:29] Um, so for those, you know, I would encourage, cause I can’t imagine I’m sure there’s going to be another crisis at some point. It’s just a matter of maybe how long that is. So if you have that relationship with a business banker now, um, you know, well, now’s the time to create it for whatever might come in the future.

[00:28:44] Mark: [00:28:44] Okay. So I’m sub recording that you’re now going to work for the SBA. And we’re going to put that out all over our networks because spot on full stop. Absolutely. You need to have, you just need to folks. You need to have a [00:29:00] relationship. With your community lender. Yes. You do need to pause, hit the brakes once a quarter, go out and have coffee, go into the branch office because they have the resources and they have more resources than you even know that they have to help you.

[00:29:16] So for example, um, I heard, uh, that this is another success story, but we have some community lenders out there that aren’t SBA approved. That’s a challenge. What we did is once again, talking about the garden hose to the fire hydrant, we, we said it’s one form. Those lending institutions are able to become approved SBA lenders with one form, and then they’re able to service their clients.

[00:29:43] We need that to happen across a much wider field than just the, the, the, um, SBA approved lenders that we had on the bench. But now we needed more. So now is the time. So now if you have a big bank and a big box, um, that’s okay too, [00:30:00] because you probably have a great relationship with them, but just realize.

[00:30:04] That their valve gets shut down a little bit. That creates a little chaos. Oh my God. They’re not taking any loans. Now, what they really meant to say was that just shut the bell for a minute. They’re taking a breath or they’re processing everything there to open the valve back up. But, um, I think it’s going to be interesting, especially, um, Jennifer Brown in the DNI space.

[00:30:23] For doing, um, the autopsy and what we do as communicators and, and what did we do as entrepreneurs? And, uh, alright. I’m adding that to my checklist of my, um, my emergency bailout bag or, or book or whatever. Um, I, I want to have my community lender on. Speed dial. I want to know that I can reach out to them because it’s a lot easier for Jen grace to reach out to your local citizens bank person.

[00:30:54] And you know, so. Very well said, that’s one of my talking points. 

[00:30:59] Jennifer B: [00:30:59] I [00:31:00] love it. You don’t wait until a crisis to put these things in place. I’ve always thought about this in with the lines of credit, right? When I meet a business owner and all, we sort of get into that financial discussion and I say, so, you know, do you have a line of credit?

[00:31:13] And they’ll be like, Oh no, you know, or I don’t want, or I have one, but I never use it. You know, use it a, because lines of credit are meant to be used in banks actually like to see a lot of, uh, activity. In those, right. That actually is a metric. They like the frequency of activity, but also apply for it when times are good.

[00:31:31] And so, I mean, I guess the times are not good right now, but, but I always knew that, um, that in my business, I was so grateful to have that because there are sort of these ebbs and flows of business ownership and cashflow that can be rather alarming. When you have any kind of payroll to meet, um, like right now, right?

[00:31:50] Mark: [00:31:50] And I learned that for the first time. I mean, people take, they assume that I know all of these different things about entrepreneurism. Cause I work at the spa. I work in [00:32:00] the communications aspect of SBA, but I actually learned to your point, Jennifer is in the PYP Academy when it was when Jen, you were teaching about access to resources.

[00:32:13] And, um, when I was getting ready to launch my book, I just went and started my relationship with my local bank. And, um, they want to champion you. They love this. They, they want to get behind that spirit of entrepreneur is, um, and they, they understand that nine out of 10 net new jobs start and that small business community.

[00:32:35] And that that’s the community bank. Those are nine new, a checking account savings account. And so when I launched my book at the Fox theater, I had a line of credit. Jay that I just applied for six, eight months prior to, we didn’t have to use it that much. We did use a little bit because it’s a little expensive to launch a book at the Fox theater, but it was that time that we were able to, we weren’t getting ready to print the [00:33:00] tickets and like, Hmm.

[00:33:01] Maybe we should start a line of credit process that takes a little while. Um, now for those of you that don’t have a, a, you know, for those of you that you’re on the flip side of this, and maybe you didn’t need. Cash at that time, maybe you didn’t need to have a relationship with a bank. It’s okay. There are, um, you, you, you are afforded a seat at the table wherever you are in this process or this journey.

[00:33:25] It’s just, we’re trying to give you some heads up of, um, maybe ahead of you a turn or ahead of you. A couple of terms, 

[00:33:33] Jenn: [00:33:33] you know, I’m curious along similar, kind of along these lines. I feel like number one, having you as a friend and being in the SBA, like clearly that. Has its benefits, especially now, like in the past, you’ve been able to say like, go talk to this person, go do this thing.

[00:33:49] And you were kind enough to invite me to be the keynote speaker for an SBA event a couple of years ago, which was amazing. And I feel like, I don’t know, I’ve just felt like government agencies in and of themselves don’t [00:34:00] always get a good reputation, but I feel like the people at the SBA, like, and small banks, big banks, like most people really, if they’re serving.

[00:34:08] Entrepreneurial communities. They want to see people succeed. Like, I feel like that it seems so obvious that that like, that’s part of what they do is they want to see you succeed. But I think a lot of times we don’t, we just think of them as like, Oh, this is the person that cashes the checks, or this is the person who sends me whatever application when there are so much more, more than that.

[00:34:27] But what I want to just get, I’m curious if either of your perspectives. So I have noticed a ton. Of information coming out from the national gay and lesbian chamber of commerce. Um, we bank the USB, LN, the veteran organizations, all of the different organizations that, you know, NMSDC, like all of the big organizations that certify minority business owners, whatever that minority status might look like, they have all.

[00:34:55] Really in my opinion, I’m curious what your thoughts are, but I feel like they have really stepped up [00:35:00] to be so communicative to say, listen up folks. This is the new thing that you need to be paying attention to. And I feel like for me, it’s helped me kind of drown out the noise because as a woman owned certified business and an LGBT owned, certified business, I know that I can trust those two bodies to guide me in the right direction.

[00:35:18] And I’m wondering, and I’m kind of curious, like, How are others who are not certified or part of this community, whether it’s a woman owned business, community, disability owned community, LGBT owned, like where, you know, like, are they getting the same access or are we all really that. I don’t want to say, I don’t wanna use the word privileged, but I feel like in so many ways, like we have access to amazing people and I’m curious, cause obviously I’m, you know, I can’t not be a minority.

[00:35:43] It is what it is. Um, so I don’t know what it’s like on the other side, but I’m kind of curious if, if either of you have kind of noticed that too, that you’re not getting the communication. From other sources it’s really coming from these, these communities that we’re part of as minority business [00:36:00] owners.

[00:36:00] Any, any thoughts? 

[00:36:02] Mark: [00:36:02] The one thing I have noticed, and I agree with you, kudos. I mean, they are. Stepping up, they’re stepping out. Um, they, they are paving the way, but that’s what this whole notion of certification to begin with. Um, all three of us know the power of certification and you know, maybe we’re not in line for government contracts or maybe we’re not in line for.

[00:36:27] Um, what other, uh, aspects that certification can bring. But this right here is what is in line. We are a networking, we are powerful, powerful networkers that get together and elbow to elbow. We’re gonna, we’re gonna, we’re going to shoulder through these hard times. Well, the, the sort of the certifying bodies.

[00:36:49] They, they have been, uh, for years talking about, um, how they, they have increased entrance to a seat at the table. It’s up to [00:37:00] you to accept the invitation. 

[00:37:03] Jennifer B: [00:37:03] That’s very true. You get, you get out of it. What you put into it as, as phrased another way, you know, that it’s. Um, it is, it is. But I agree with you.

[00:37:13] It’s powerful, Jen. I mean, I I’m in some other CEO groups, um, full of white men, white, straight men. So not those who can take advantage of these kinds of communities. I mean, I find the, the, the privilege and the access for those folks is what you would expect it to be, which is the whole point of why.

[00:37:32] We’re not in those worlds. Right. Which historically we’re not we’re in, in these supplier diversity communities where we can really be seen and support each other. Right. So it’s interesting. It’s interesting to see where people are sort of accessing. Who has access to what? And, um, you’ve got to look out for yourself as a diverse owned company.

[00:37:51] You know, it’s just, it just underscores that we are a bit more vulnerable traditionally or a lot more vulnerable. We’re less likely to start businesses. You know, we are [00:38:00] less likely to have access to capital. We are, we are, as I always say, under mentored. And sort of outside of the, you know, Hey, you know, you might want to look into this or the advice or the call, my friend or all of it.

[00:38:15] So you, you have to, and this is preaching to the choir, of course, on the side to this audience, but maybe not, I mean, you don’t have to have any revenue by the way, to get certified with some of these entities too. I think that’s a common, um, barrier or perceived barrier because you don’t have to. And also, um, Yeah.

[00:38:34] Yeah. I mean, you don’t, you very, I don’t know what their documentation requirements are and whether they’ve been changing and it’s sort of a low document requirement. I hope it is. But you know, today’s solo printer is tomorrow’s job creator, like we’ve been talking about. So I love what you said, Jen, that we make the assumption that nobody wants to talk to us and support us.

[00:38:54] But I think that it’s really true that banks are super enthusiastic, but it’s hard. I know for some people listening to [00:39:00] this, maybe you have tried to get a line of credit or build a relationship and you haven’t been able to. And I, I was there for a long time. I remember those days and, and. Somehow, we finally got big enough as a company that our relationship was with chase, but they wouldn’t take a look at us for years.

[00:39:17] Like they didn’t want anything to do with a company that had nothing, for example, to collateralize, like I’m all a people business, right. There’s nothing, there’s, there’s just air according to them anyway. And they’re in analysis. So I knew, I knew that I would be a great investment for them. But, um, it was difficult to get through their metrics, right?

[00:39:35] So I ended up, I ended up doing banking with BB and T actually, which is the Southeast bank regional bank who would talk to me who I, there was a number I could call and I could get a human on the other end of the line. But honestly it was through a connection. That I actually got them to even look at us.

[00:39:51] So, you know, it’s hard. I just want to acknowledge. It’s really, it’s hard in the best of times, and I hope I help. One of the ways we look at [00:40:00] equity coming out of this of course, is that we make all of these things more equitable, that we increase access, that we, that this isn’t true going forward, you know, on so many levels, we’ve been shown a lot of things through this crisis that I think we have to not forget.

[00:40:14] You know that we can’t unsee and we have to address it like, you know, dr. Fowchee and Cuomo, and everybody is now starting to talk about the racial disparities about who, who is dying from COVID-19 proportionately, disproportionately black and Brown communities. And people are acting as if this is a surprise and a newsflash and sorry, I’m going off on a tangent, but it’s like, it’s not, some of us have been telling the truth for a long time, but it has not been heard.

[00:40:40] So. You know, let’s make access to capital. Something that we democratize in a much more meaningful way coming out of this, based on what we’ve learned about how difficult it is for people. I mean, we’ve learned how close to the edge and most people live from a day to day basis. And I [00:41:00] think we’ve just learned so many things, uh, that we really need to act on coming out of this.

[00:41:04] So I deeply hope that we don’t go back to the no quote, unquote, normal. I really hope we. We keep all of this in mind so that we can build a better world for all of us. 

[00:41:14] Mark: [00:41:14] I think so. And you know, Jen, um, grace, what you were talking about the certification and, um, so maybe we can learn from this, uh, Jennifer Brown about not getting so close to the edge because certification is power it’s power and knowledge.

[00:41:29] Power networking, it’s power and resources. Another thing that I’m a resource that I can offer and I strongly recommend it. Um, Jen grace, you, you met it. Uh, you, you met this organization when you were at the SBA headquarters. Eugene Cornelius did a great job at paving the way. For the federal agencies to consider ways to be more inclusive.

[00:41:51] And we’re now seeing the rewards of that. He’s no longer with the SBA, but, um, he would be very proud to see that the [00:42:00] fabric of our organization is brought together, but with the threads of that certification and those resources. So with that, I also want to recommend on that we also have, um, a great.

[00:42:16] A team of leaders in the small business development center, the SBDC and score score is our senior, um, counselors of retired individuals and they help. So you can bring all of this with your certification in your knowledge together, the small business development center, um, Jennifer Brown, they would take that bright idea.

[00:42:39] That that may be chase. Wouldn’t be that interested in because to them, it’s just a bright idea, but they could really start to be that private, um, counselor, that private board of, um, exac uh, that, that private member of your board of executives that will help you. And then those are times that would create the [00:43:00] force multiplication of those certifications and those resources.

[00:43:07] Jenn: [00:43:07] Yeah. I feel like if anything, our takeaway should be to leverage the resources that we have accessible to us and be, you know, be cultivating those relationships before we need them. I think that’s just a big, 

[00:43:20] Jennifer B: [00:43:20] you. 

[00:43:23] Jenn: [00:43:23] Um, as we kind of are concluding here, are there any, I guess, final parting thoughts, anything that we didn’t cover that you think would be valuable for those watching?

[00:43:31] I feel like we’ve had a good number of people watching this whole time and some good comments coming in. So, you know, it was there any, any final parting 

[00:43:38] Jennifer B: [00:43:38] words of wisdom? 

[00:43:42] Mark: [00:43:42] Yes. Uh, okay. We already covered and That’s real important folks. Please don’t get scammed out there. Um, and if you have a question, uh, reach out, do a Sandy check, uh, ha have your, your buddy or your business partner, um, take a review.

[00:44:00] [00:43:59] Um, the other thing I wanted to mention, um, Jen grace is thank you. For here we are in the middle of a crisis. And overnight you flip a switch, you create a program, you launch it. And we have authors now that are able to plug in and daily tips on, uh, getting, uh, their words out and writing their books. And, and the reason why I mentioned that is because, um, maybe now is the time that if we’re not getting out as much, we have some time you can either binge watch Ozark.

[00:44:27] Or you could create your methodology and create an online course program, or you can consider how are you going to service your customers and your clients. As we get out of, as we pull out of this, we will pull out of this. But when we do. Hopefully you’ve journaled and you’ve taken some notes along the way, uh, ah, community bank relationship.

[00:44:48] Yeah. I want to do that when the dust settles are, Oh, I want to get certified. I want to, I want to plug into these networks and then it’s not just like your plugging into a fire hydrant [00:45:00] with your garden hose. Now you are just moving along and your. Simply just taking the ebbs and the flows of either the crisis of the day or because as entrepreneurs we don’t take.

[00:45:12] No, we hear no, but it doesn’t compute. We reevaluate, we repackage it. We reset it back up until the world into the universe. So we don’t take no. And these hard times, it’s, it’s difficult. Of course. And you can bury your head. Yes, it’s very easy to bury your head, but, um, when you can plug into these powerful networks of people that hold you up, lift you up, you’re going to be there to hold somebody and lift somebody up.

[00:45:39] So. I guess that would be my pro my, my parting thoughts. Um, I am in the process of, uh, doing, building my own, take my own advice, and I am building an online coaching program. And, uh, if people need any assistance or if you’d like some help, you can hit me up at, uh, Mark David [00:46:00] for slash time, um, that, that you can jump on my calendar and, um, we can do a TimeTrade there, or you can simply email me.

[00:46:09] Jenn: [00:46:09] Beautiful. And Jen, do you want to chime in about your community calls? 

[00:46:13] Jennifer B: [00:46:13] Yeah. Um, thank you. Um, for anyone that’s listening to this and is in the DNI world, either employee resource, group leader, or a LGBTQ plus, or ally, a voice. In your organization. That’s really my, where I live and we have community calls Tuesdays and Thursdays.

[00:46:31] And I’ll post Jen the, I think in the show notes, the link for registration is there Tuesday, Thursdays, noon, Eastern, uh, come on and find out, you know, hear what everybody is doing about. For example, the fact that pride. This year is going to look completely different and hear directly from what other companies are doing.

[00:46:52] These are the, that, and also all their DNI programming, you know, whether that’s unconscious bias training, whether, you know, there there’s one company that came on and [00:47:00] shared about how they’ve repurposed their parenting and caregiving and generations network to build a 30 minute module for parenting. In a time from a we’re in a work from home environment and like best practices for, you know, wrangling with like school and curriculum.

[00:47:16] And I mean, just really innovative ways. I think that we are maintaining our seat at the table and we’re directing our energy, redirecting our energies. Um, that’s the kind of stuff we’re generating. So, um, anyone who needs to know that kind of information you should come and just listen and lurk on the chat, say a few words.

[00:47:34] Um, I always have an amazing co-hosts. I tend to invite people in my network and also some of my consultants for my team. So you can get to meet some of those folks that normally have their heads down kind of doing this very. Amazing rewarding and difficult work, lovely executive teams that we sometimes don’t get it for really want to, uh, so come and meet some of my team members that, that, uh, represent JVC and the whom I, from [00:48:00] whom I’ve learned so much as well.

[00:48:01] So, um, thank you for the opportunity to talk about that, Jen grace, and, um, it’s just so lovely to be in community with other LGBTQ plus business owners, professionals, advocates, champions, like both of you. So. 

[00:48:16] Mark: [00:48:16] Yeah, I think we have a lot to look forward to for Vegas. 

[00:48:21] Jennifer B: [00:48:21] Vegas is going to happen. 

[00:48:23] Jenn: [00:48:23] I can just cross.

[00:48:25] I know I don’t, I don’t want to miss it. It’ll be my 12th year in a row. I can’t be 

[00:48:30] Jennifer B: [00:48:30] the reason I can’t go. Yeah, we need that. 

[00:48:34] Mark: [00:48:34] Yeah, definitely fond, fond memory. That was my first time I met you. Jennifer Brown is you and I shared an Uber on our way to the attic to go, um, have a book signing with Genti grace 

[00:48:45] Jennifer B: [00:48:45] with auntie grace.

[00:48:48] You don’t know about NGLCC you think about getting certified into it? Don’t let the paperwork scare you. 

[00:48:55] Jenn: [00:48:55] It’s not that bad. They have changed so dramatically over the years, like when [00:49:00] I got certified back in Oh nine, it was very different than what it is now. So do not let that be a barrier. And there’s plenty of companies and services out there that can help you with that process.

[00:49:09] So the pros far outweigh it. 

[00:49:12] Jennifer B: [00:49:12] The paperwork 

[00:49:13] Mark: [00:49:13] comes. Oh yeah. And the value add. I always, I always want the value add, right? I want a coupon. I want to get the best deal. Well, think about this. You’re going to your local chamber anyway, because you’re a part of a network in your local chamber when you belong to your chamber certification is free.

[00:49:27] So that’s just like, uh, just plugging your business into steroids when you get into. The powerful networks that places like the NGLCC that are on the front lines every day that are just working hard for you as an LGBT que entrepreneur, 

[00:49:44] Jennifer B: [00:49:44] or 

[00:49:44] Jenn: [00:49:44] we could swap out LGBTQ and put in many other different minority 

[00:49:48] Jennifer B: [00:49:48] groups.

[00:49:50] Asia Pacific, I want to point out is we’re all intersectional. You said there’s tremendous diversity within the diversity within the group of entrepreneurs. So [00:50:00] it is a really welcoming space. And really inclusive space 

[00:50:04] Mark: [00:50:04] when we pull out of this thing, my goodness, the NGLCC is a pretty big party to begin with, but whew, we are going to raise the roof.

[00:50:10] Jennifer B: [00:50:10] Yes, we 

[00:50:11] Jenn: [00:50:11] will. 

[00:50:14] Mark: [00:50:14] So, Jen, what day are you on with the, uh, the tip? 

[00:50:17] Jenn: [00:50:17] Uh, I’ve been doing daily tips. So if people are not sick of my face yet I have five more days of tips to go. And on Fridays at 1:00 PM, I’m doing office hours. So people who have writing, publishing, editing, marketing, anything related to book, book, type questions, I am live and available on Fridays at one, which has been so much fun, just helping forward.

[00:50:38] And then I will be starting a marketing series. In a couple of weeks, there will be daily tips around marketing of your books. So that’ll be helpful for both 

[00:50:47] Jennifer B: [00:50:47] of you because you already have books. 

[00:50:48] Jenn: [00:50:48] And then, you know, so both for those that are thinking about a book that they need to be marketing now, and then those who have had a book for however long.

[00:50:55] So I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. So my face, you might be tired of it [00:51:00] after, you know, 25 days in a row, but. Still coming. So, 

[00:51:03] Mark: [00:51:03] no, that was actually my favorite section in the PYP Academy was the, the, the, the marketing, the marketing aspect, because that’s the fun stuff, right? That’s when you get to do, uh, uh, the, the back matter and the spine and the ball, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

[00:51:19] Well, that’s what you have a publisher for. Let them take care of that. I want to get into the sexy, fun stuff. Like the marketing stuff. That’s going to be great. I can’t wait for that. 

[00:51:27] Jenn: [00:51:27] I feel like the three of us are biased to marketing. We 

[00:51:29] Jennifer B: [00:51:29] love marketing, marketing 

[00:51:33] Jenn: [00:51:33] related, and many people are like cowering and fear over the thought of having to market a book.

[00:51:37] So we might be outliers, but hopefully that provides inspiration for someone who’s, you know, maybe on the fence of, should I, you know, should I tell someone I’m writing it? Cause there’s all that fear around it. It’s 

[00:51:47] Jennifer B: [00:51:47] like 

[00:51:48] Jenn: [00:51:48] throw it away, get out there, tell people you’re doing it regardless of what you’re doing.

[00:51:51] Writing a book, doing, you know, running a marathon training for something starting a new business. Tell people, 

[00:51:57] Jennifer B: [00:51:57] right. 

[00:51:58] Jenn: [00:51:58] Which is what it’s all about. 

[00:52:00] [00:52:00] Mark: [00:52:00] And thank you again for the LGBTQ plus, uh, professionals, Facebook group. I mean, I think that’s just been a wonderful resource for, uh, hundreds of entrepreneurs.

[00:52:11] So thank you. 

[00:52:13] Jenn: [00:52:13] Yeah. And I’ll make sure we put a link to that below this video too. So if you aren’t in that group yet we have, I think, close to 600 people. So please join in. There are allies in there too, so you are welcome. So yeah, this has been good. This is a great way to have a Saturday morning 

[00:52:28] Mark: [00:52:28] reckons back to almost a year, three years ago, Jen T grace met on a Saturday morning when I was interested in learning more about publishing my book.

[00:52:45] Jennifer B: [00:52:45] Awesome.