The Gatekeepers

Are you a Harry Potter fan?  In the first Harry Potter film, there is the scene where he visits the bank. His somewhat guardian pal Hagrid brings Harry to the bank to access the money Harry has inherited from his deceased parents.

Harry’s initial impression of the bank is similar to that of most of us folks: mild horror and total intimidation. The clerks at the bank, rather ugly looking gnomes, force young Harry to run a gauntlet of questioning, forms, more questioning, and ultimately a bizarre roller coaster ride so he can access HIS OWN MONEY.  Ouch.

The gnome-clerks are the GATEKEEPERS.  And they put Harry through all this brutal rigamarole simply to access money that rightfully belongs to him.

What happens when the GATEKEEPER is protecting the BANK’S MONEY? Please remember: the banker may be substantially better looking than one of the Harry Potter World gnome-clerks, heck, your banker might even be charming and may have, at one point treated you to lunch. But the banker is not your friend and the banker does not work for you.

Your banker “friend” is a GATEKEEPER to protect the bank’s money.

The charm is a clever disguise. When you, the busy, harrowed and exhausted small business owner need access to the bank’s money to finance an aspect of your business, whether that’s a Commercial Mortgage or a business loan or business line of credit, that banker’s charm will mislead you to believe it’s all so easy! Submit this document; sign this form; pay this fee; ask your CPA (at your expense, of course), to prepare this income statement, yes, it’s all so easy and charming.

Smiles all around.

Until you’re not smiling anymore. Until you’re riding that nightmarish roller coaster deep in the dungeon-depths of the bank.  Except, unlike Harry Potter, you never arrive at any destination.  Instead, the banker’s smiling charm evaporates when the bank either declines your loan request or offers you something completely different than what you need, something that doesn’t solve your financing problem to grow your business.

Beware the GATEKEEPER. We’re NOT the Gatekeepers.

We’re Brokers. Our experience and knowledge of this subterranean depths will guide you to the satisfactory conclusion to your financing request: the money you need to grow your business.

Visit our Financing Fodder YouTube Playlist on how you can prepare for your loan request application process.

The Usual Suspects

It happens all too often; we hear from clients, Attorneys, CPA’s and friends; the same sad story.  A business owner needs financing for their business, whether it’s a Commercial Mortgage or a business loan or business line of credit.  The business owner turns to one of “the usual suspects”, the banker.

Weeks or months later, after spending money on application and appraisal fees, after wasting time submitting countless documents, the banker responds with an offer (if the business owner is lucky!).  But the offer to lend from the banker falls far short of the requested financing from the business owner.  Time and money wasted: not a proper way to run your business.

But, WHY?  Asks the business owner. The banker responds with all kinds of technical jargon and hyperbole which boils down to one concept: the bank doesn’t want to make the loan the business owner needs; the bank wants to control the money and lend what it deems to be the lowest risk to its banking business.

But…but…but…the business owner has all her accounts with the bank! Business checking account, payroll account, even her personal accounts and probably her retirement accounts too!  “You have all my money! You know how good a risk I am!”, screams the business owner.  The banker has no response to this outburst.

Banks are very good at collecting money.  Building deposits, building accounts, building liquidity, collecting fees, collecting payments for credit accounts, mortgages, loans and etc., ad nauseum.

Banks are not good at lending. They’re not. Accept this as the norm. Disabuse yourself of the notion that the bank, your “usual suspect” where you keep all your money, is interested in actually making loans. They are NOT unless the terms are absolutely the most favorable for the bank, including the lowest tolerance for risk on the planet.

The usual suspects are not the friends of small business owners.

But there’s good news.  There are other Lenders out there, Lenders who thrive on the amazing prospects of small businesses growing.  Those Lenders are very interested, and VERY GOOD, at lending money to small business owners.

Visit our YouTube channel for our Financing Fodder playlist on how to prepare for your loan application process.

4 Reasons Goal-Setting Doesn’t Suck

Let’s face it; it’s a goal to set a goal. 

The new year is almost here, and I don’t know about you, but this happens every last quarter and last month of the year for me and for us here at Aurora Consulting.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. It can be daunting to set a goal, track a goal, and stick to a plan to achieve the goal. Why? Because it’s work.

We also know, and this is that weird icky feeling that we sometimes ignore, having a goal and not meeting the goal could generate feelings of failure and/or rejection. 

This could set us back and cause resistance to maintain momentum.

If you think about it…what’s the resistance around setting a goal? Goals present opportunities, and creating opportunities could mean income to your business. 

That is….IF building your business is a GOAL!? We did this podcast, Ask 6 Questions as a Business Owner | The Difference Between Business Owner & Entrepreneur.

Goals are INSPIRING.

Many different activities make up your role in your business. There are things that you love to do and there are things that are for the greater good of the business that may not be your favorite part of your day/week/month/year.

Create a contest for yourself and/or team members and reward yourself when you’ve finished a task. Something, anything that will motivate you to want to work on those tasks/activities that will help accomplish the goal.

When we’re inspired, we’re more focused on accomplishing the task at hand. And this will help us work smarter to achieve a goal.

Let’s embrace what we do and not be afraid of it.

Goals build CONFIDENCE.

Now that you’re motivated and working on tasks that inspire you, this will build confidence. Confidence propels us to be the best that we can be…and maybe even have a little fun while doing it.

When we’re confident, we seek more challenges. This helps us to be more curious, continue learning, and grow.


This is when it gets fun. We’re now inspired and that builds confidence.

How about building in something that makes us uncomfortable? We call this getting out of our comfort zone. Competition builds character.

Think of a triathlete. They track their activity and their time to know how they can train to be stronger and faster. When their body becomes adjusted to a certain weight or speed, they begin trying things that challenge their current abilities.

This helps us to grow. See a theme here?

Goals keep us ACCOUNTABLE.

The movie A FEW GOOD MEN includes one of the most memorable movie lines in movie history. When pressed for the truth, Jack Nicholson’s character Colonel Jessup bellows: “You can’t handle the truth!”

I say, you can handle the truth. Tracking your activity will cause reason to celebrate when you achieve a goal or progress toward achieving the goal. 

And if there’s evidence that this goal may not see the light of day, tracking will help you to recognize the signs so you can pivot and/or redirect our focus so you’re working on your strengths vs. giving up altogether.

Have you considered an accountability partner? Some people, and I am one of them, need an external force or energy to stay on track. Whether it’s a weekly call or you’re checking in on a private Facebook page, knowing that you have to divulge your activity, or divulge the lack of activity, it may motivate you to have something awesome to report.

Now, go and set some goals; you can handle it! 

Download our Beacon Oversights and Preparedness Guide. It includes 3 pages of checklists about the many things that must be managed when you own a business. It will help you to create goals for yourself. 


Spice Up Your Marketing

Whether you are ready to stick a fork in your marketing plan or you’re cooking with gas, you may want to let this marinade for a bit.

I don’t ever brag about my cooking. Recipes terrify me because they are so precise. And well, one false move, will it be edible?

You can experiment with so many different flavors. What about an Indian dish with a flare of curry or an Italian dish with a pinch of oregano. Maybe you like a hot bowl of chili, extra cayenne please.

The possibilities are endless. However, if you don’t want to risk your guests’ taste buds to your creativity (or lack thereof), you may want to prepare ahead of time to test taste the dish. 

When you decide what cuisine you would like to serve and you’ve picked a recipe, you browse your pantry for the ingredients you need and may already have. If you are missing an ingredient, you must take a trip to the grocery store to purchase the rest.

Click here for your marketing shopping list.

You then assemble your ingredients on the counter so it’s all readily available as you maneuver in the kitchen between the refrigerator, counter, sink and stove. You’re utilizing all the tools (appliances) you have in order to prepare the dish.

With marketing, the possibilities are also endless with how you build your brand and execute your story. Similar to deciding on your meal, you have to decide how you’ll execute your marketing strategy.

Whether you are beating, chopping, mixing or grinding, there’s a process and each step of the recipe contributes to the ultimate goal which is a delicious meal you’re proud to serve.

Marketing is similar to this. The recipe to marketing is having a strategy.

The ingredients are the various outlets that will build your brand and build your business.

  • Are you blogging?
  • Branding your website so people “know” you before even meeting you?
  • Posting on social media? 
  • Hosting/speaking at an event?

This activity will help to sell more of your products and services to new and existing clients.

If you prefer not to be the head chef in your marketing kitchen, consider hiring a sous-chef so you can do what you do best and delegate the rest. If you think your marketing is a bit bland for your taste, please give us a call and tell us how we can help you spice things up.

“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller