If you’re like me, you probably think of those television makeover shows, such as HGTV, when you hear the words “before and after.” But, what if it’s more than decorating a room or reorganizing a drawer when it comes to a makeover?
What if it’s our mindset?
Our mindset is like a room, an open floor plan, in our brains. It can be cluttered with old beliefs, negative thoughts, and self-doubt leaving us open to making bad decisions. But, with a little effort, we can declutter our mindset and makeover our lives.
Over the past three years, during COVID, we helped thousands of business owners secure funding through the various disaster programs in the United States. Our main focus was the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about working within the bureaucracy that is SBA, working with ill-prepared business owners, and the importance of mindset over mistakes.
Here are a few things we’ve learned:
- The SBA is one of the most underfunded agencies in the U.S., which can make the loan process frustrating and slow.
- Business owners are often not proactive enough to get their finances in order and have organized documents, which leads to delays and declinations in the loan process.
- Mistakes are inevitable, and they’re an opportunity for learning and growth. However, many business owners are interested in shortcuts.
To this day, we still encounter one of the most asked questions from business owners, “Why do they need that?” Neither Trevor nor myself are strangers to this question. Before starting our consulting practice, we experienced this in our respective careers in mortgages and insurance.
Often, people push back, and it’s eventually revealed that they haven’t done the work to be able to furnish the documents or financials. It’s still happening to this day.
What if mistakes are a practical “do-over?” Mistakes can trigger us to slow down and realize that it’s time to stop resisting and apply effort to things that have popped up before.
How many signs do we need that it’s time to learn a lesson? We created a “glitch” project dedicated to proven mistakes we’ve made in business and witnessed with thousands of business owners during the loan process.
If someone needs money, they don’t get to call the shots with how the process unfolds. When Trevor was a Mortgage Loan Officer, his manager said, “Those with the gold make the rules.”
Don’t get me wrong, it’s our opinion that the SBA should be dissolved. The leadership is weak, and their practices are inconsistent and archaic. We’ve witnessed them make up rules that don’t exist in written guidelines. It’s a disgrace that we must rely on this agency to be the backbone of small businesses, the “backbone of our economy.”
I often proclaimed in our live YouTube Q&A shows that the business owner must be better than the SBA. As business owners seeking assistance, we needed to be ready with what they wanted vs. whining about it.
Here are a few tips to improve your chances of getting approved for a business loan:
- Be proactive. Get your finances in order and gather all the necessary documentation before you apply for a loan. Grab our documents checklist below.
- Be patient. The loan process can take time, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back immediately.
- Learn from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; learn from them, and strive to not make the same mistakes twice.
Remember, mistakes are not the end of the world. They can be an opportunity for growth and improvement. So embrace your mistakes, learn from them, and celebrate a winning mindset.
Get 366 mistakes at your fingertips as a tip or nudge to pay closer attention to issues that matter when we’re running our businesses.