Latest podcast episodes
21 Hats
My Employees Are Not Thrilled to Be Back at Work

This week, in episode 15, Jay, Dana, and Laura talk about the process of reopening—the precautions, the risks, the consumers who might not show up, the dilemma of asking employees to accept less in pay than they were getting in unemployment, and the possibility of a second coronavirus wave that could bring a second shutdown: “I don't have the luxury of just saying, ‘Oh, I'll tell you what. Maybe we'll open in six weeks, eight weeks.’ I mean, there's some point where I'll be out of business.” Plus: Dana got her PPP and an EIDL.

Why Not Us?

This week, in episode 14, Karen, Dana, and Laura share their experiences building businesses as women entrepreneurs: “It's like, ‘Well, you can tell me I can't do this, but it looks like I did.’” Plus: Has the legalization of recreational cannabis had an impact on your business?

Three Owners. Two Loans. One Emotional Conversation

This week, in episode 13, Karen, William, and Dana talk about why some businesses got the Paycheck Protection Program loans and why some didn’t: “The independent grocers. The hair salons. The small restaurants. They didn't get the money,” says Dana. “I have a staff who are single mothers, single black mothers, who are hard-working and who didn't have the foundation to go to college and are doing what they can. I'm up every night trying to help them, and I need help helping them. And I'm not getting it.”

The Money’s in the Bank

This week, in episode 12, Jay, William, and Laura talk about the status of their CARES Act loans, and to everyone’s surprise (including his own), William reveals not only that his Paycheck Protection Program loan has been approved, but he’s already got the cash. Was it divine intervention? Plus: Jay offers up a stress test for businesses in crisis—five ways to assess whether your company is positioned to survive.

Warrior Mode

This week, in episode 11, Jay, William, and Dana talk about their prospects for landing a Paycheck Protection Program loan, what they think business will be like when shelter-at-home ends, and why they decided to lay off people even though they expect to get forgivable loans: “The bottom line: we cut 40 percent of our payroll yesterday. My decision was, I would rather cut deeper, fewer times. So I'm going to do this once.” Plus: the daily routines of business owners stuck at home.

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My Employees Are Freaking Out

This week, in episode 10, William, Dana, and Laura and their businesses are having very different coronavirus experiences. While Dana and William are expecting little in the way of revenue, Laura’s online yarn business is thriving. But they’re all facing challenges in managing their employees: “It's been amazing to see just how hard folks are working. Are they concerned about a layoff? I'm sure they are. I would be too.” Plus: finding ways to stay connected to customers even while the business is closed.

Where Can I Save Some Cash?

This week, in episode 9, Karen, Jay, and Laura talk about painful layoffs, maintaining morale, and hunkering down during Covid-19: “We've been having a meeting for the last two or three days about, ‘Okay, we have X number of dollars in inventory. Can we pull a couple hundred thousand dollars out of inventory in case we end up being cash flow negative for the next two months?’” Plus: finding ways to help other struggling businesses and looking for opportunities to emerge from this stronger.

I Ain’t Going Down

This week, in episode 8, Karen, Jay, and Dana talk about the contingency plans they’re making as we head into the health and economic crises presented by COVID-19. Can they keep paying hourly workers? Can they keep their locations open? Can they find the resolve to hang on no matter where this goes? “You're gonna get through this. You're gonna do what you need to do. If you need to close the one salon, so be it. And you're going to come out of this whole thing because you're smart, and you're ambitious, and you're responsible, and people like you. You're gonna get through this.” Plus: is now the time to join a business peer group?

Maybe This Isn’t the Right Job for You

Nobody goes into business because they think they're going to be really good at firing people. When you read books or magazine profiles of business leaders, you rarely hear anyone say, “You know, the one thing I've really mastered is knowing when and how to fire people.” And yet it’s something that every entrepreneur has to deal with. Even at the most successful businesses, some employees are not going to make it. In episode 7, regulars Karen, Jay, and Dana answer the question: how many people have you had to fire or lay off? Plus: What do you do when you find you have venture-backed competition?

Mini Episode: The 21 Hats Business Owners Make Coronavirus Contingency Plans

In a quick update, Karen, Jay, and Dana talk about how the coronavirus pandemic has already affected their businesses and how they are planning for the future.

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