What Type of Entrepreneur Are You?
How much control do you need? How much risk can you handle? Ami Kassar wants to help you understand your own instincts.
Here are today’s highlights:
With gas prices falling, Americans are feeling more confident about the economy.
Even in Texas, empty office buildings are being converted for housing.
UPS plans to hire more than 100,000 holiday workers.
At least 15 bee-related startups have raised money in the past few years.
Ami Kassar thinks entrepreneurs need to understand their own instincts.
THE 21 HATS PODCAST: DASHBOARD
What Type of Entrepreneur Are You? This week, Ami Kassar, a small business finance expert, recalls feeling inadequate when he saw other entrepreneurs he knew raising lots of money and going for broke (and sometimes getting there). He began to realize that there are different entrepreneurial personality types, and he’s developed a survey that can help you understand your own need for control and your own comfort with risk. The founder of MultiFunding also discusses how willing banks are to lend right now, what businesses should do to prepare for a downturn, why it’s important to manage your EIDL loan carefully, and whether it ever makes sense to turn to an alternative lender. (He says it does!)
You can subscribe to the 21 Hats Podcast wherever you get podcasts.
Even in Texas, empty offices are being converted to apartments: “One morning last week, two hundred laborers in hard hats and safety vests swarmed into the iconic, I. M. Pei–designed Energy Plaza skyscraper in downtown Dallas, continuing their summer’s work of gutting the building’s insides. The 49-story office tower, once the headquarters of energy giant Arco’s oil and gas division and, later, electricity provider TXU, is being transformed into a half million square feet of updated offices and 293 luxury apartments. The developer behind the redo, Dallas-based Todd Interests, has completed several similar conversions in the city since 2007. One of those, whose first phase opened in 2020, used tax credits available to historic properties, along with local tax-increment financing, to help turn the 51-story First National Bank Tower into a mixed-use property featuring several restaurants, a hotel, offices, and 324 upscale apartments.”
“Redevelopments such as Todd’s are happening more and more in the downtowns of Texas’s fast-growing big cities, often with space in struggling, obsolete commercial towers getting new life as rental housing.”
“The number of ‘adaptive reuse’ projects has soared nationally since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which emptied out offices and kick-started a work-from-anywhere movement.”
“Last year, more than 20,000 U.S. apartment-conversion projects were completed, nearly double the number of conversions in 2020 and 2019 combined, according to RentCafe, which tracks the apartment market.” READ MORE
Americans are starting to feel better about the economy: “Consumer sentiment, which hit rock bottom in June, has begun inching up in recent weeks. Gas prices are down. Decades-high inflation appears to be easing. And at the same time, Americans are making small changes — buying meat in bulk, for example, or shifting more of their shopping to discount chains — suggesting that many families are learning to deal with higher prices. ‘While consumer sentiment is still fairly low by historic standards, we’re starting to see pretty dramatic improvements,’ said Joanne W. Hsu, an economist at the University of Michigan and director of its closely watched consumer surveys. ‘It’s very much being driven by a slowdown in inflation, particularly with the decline in gas prices.’”
“Some business owners are noticing a shift, too. Suzanne Windham, a dentist in Shreveport, La., says clients have begun spending more freely. They’re more willing to shell out for pricey treatments than they were at the beginning of the year, when people expressed more fear about covid risks as well as their finances.”
“But now business is up 15 percent from last year, and Windham says she is feeling better about the economy. ‘It’s surprised me that business has boomed, but it’s been really good,’ she said. ‘People seem more relaxed and less worried.’” READ MORE
UPS plans to hire more than 100,000 holiday workers: “UPS said Wednesday that there will be job openings for full- and part-time seasonal positions, primarily package handlers, drivers and driver helpers. UPS promotes seasonal jobs as positions that can lead to year-round employment. In recent years, according to UPS, roughly 35 percent of people hired for seasonal package-handling jobs land permanent positions. Seasonal drivers with UPS start at $21 per hour, with tractor-trailer drivers making as much as $35 per hour. Package handler starting wages can range from $15 – $21 per hour.”
“The company continues to streamline its job hiring process and most hires require only 25 minutes – from filling out of an online application to receiving an offer, according to Danelle McCusker Rees, the president of human relations at UPS. That's down five minutes from last year. Rees started at UPS as a seasonal worker.” READ MORE
Covid illness is keeping at least half a million people out of the labor force: “Illness caused by Covid-19 shrank the U.S. labor force by around 500,000 people, a hit that is likely to continue if the virus continues to sicken workers at current rates, according to a new study released Monday. Millions of people left the labor force—the number of people working or looking for work—during the pandemic for various reasons, including retirement, lack of child care and fear of Covid. The total size of the labor force reached 164.7 million people in August, exceeding the February 2020 pre-pandemic level for the first time. The labor force would have 500,000 more members if not for the people sickened by Covid, according to the study’s authors …”
“Many economists see the nation’s workforce’s slow recovery combined with the high demand for workers as among the U.S. economy’s key challenges, restraining many employers’ ability to provide goods and services and contributing to price pressures. Fixing this imbalance, they say, will be essential to lowering high inflation.”
“In the longer term, economic growth depends on an expanding workforce and rising productivity. A slow-growing labor force means fewer people than otherwise to build cars and wait tables, which could restrain the economy’s growth potential.” READ MORE
After a legal fight, Oberlin will pay Gibson’s Bakery $36 million: “Oberlin College, known as a bastion of progressive politics, said on Thursday that it would pay $36.59 million to a local bakery that said it had been defamed and falsely accused of racism after a worker caught a Black student shoplifting. That 2016 dispute with Gibson’s Bakery resulted in a years long legal fight and resonated beyond the small college town in Ohio, turning into a bitter national debate over criminal justice, race, free speech, and whether the college had failed to hold students to account. The decision by the college’s board of trustees, announced Thursday, came nine days after the Ohio Supreme Court had declined to hear the college’s appeal of a lower-court ruling.”
“‘Truth matters,’ Lee E. Plakas, the lawyer for the Gibson family, said in an email Thursday. ‘David, supported by a principled community, can still beat Goliath.’”
“The case hinged on whether Oberlin officials had defamed the bakery by supporting students who accused it of racial profiling ...” READ MORE
In L.A., a new class of members-only clubs is springing up: “The secretive hideaways, already on the rise, became even more sought after during the pandemic with their promise of a full-lifestyle day-to-night experience combining co-working and socializing under one stylish roof (or on top of it). That they’re meant for only a handpicked few has, for some, added to the allure. ‘You only want to go to the nightclub that everybody can’t get into, or the hottest restaurant where you can’t get a reservation,’ said Colin Coggins, 38, an author from Los Feliz who joined social club the Britely last summer soon after it opened. ‘The people I know who have the memberships, they have it for cachet.’”
“The Sunset Strip establishment charges $2,900 a year for access to its two members-only Wolfgang Puck restaurants, rooftop pool, spa, 24-hour gym and bowling lanes as well as a full slate of programming.”
“The Aster, a hybrid private club and public hotel, debuted in August in the Hollywood space previously occupied by members-only H Club.”
“Heimat, with its niche focus on fitness and wellness (its rooftop Michael Mina restaurant, open to the public, features a keto- and vegan-friendly menu with ‘mind/cognition’ dishes), opened in June in the burgeoning Media District.”
“Next up: NeueHouse, known for its fully loaded communal workspaces and cultural events, will expand this month to Venice Beach, its third Los Angeles location after Hollywood and downtown L.A.” READ MORE
Bee startups are raising a lot of money: “Bees have managed to survive some 100 million years without the help of venture capitalists. In recent years, however, with many populations of crucial species threatened, we’re increasingly recognizing how much ecosystems and agriculture rely on these extraordinary creatures. Investors, meanwhile, are finding that bee-related businesses can offer both environmental benefits and some potentially good returns. At least 15 bee-related startups have raised funding in the past couple years, per Crunchbase data. Collectively, they’ve brought in over $165 million to date for business models that range from AI-enabled robotic beehives to biotherapeutics for ailing bees.”
“Per BeeHero, 70 percent of crops worldwide rely on bees, whose increasing mortality rate, coupled with colony collapse disorder, puts financial strain on farmers and beekeepers. This makes it harder to feed a growing global population.”
“The largest funding recipient by a long shot is Beewise, an Israeli company that makes robotic beehives that allow beekeepers to remotely care for their hives and bees. Founded in 2018, Beewise has raised around $119 million to date, including an $80 million March Series C round led by Insight Partners.” READ MORE
Billy McFarland, who pleaded guilty to fraud for his role in organizing the Fyre Festival, is a free man: “Moments after removing an electronic ankle monitor at the Gold Street halfway house where he had stayed earlier this year, he was posing for a New York Times photographer and talking to a reporter whom he’d approached toward the end of his confinement with the help of a publicist. … ‘Friends joke that my entire wardrobe is from 2016,’ he said. Back then, Mr. McFarland — who grew up in Short Hills, N.J., and dropped out of Bucknell University after less than a year — was known as the founder of a company called Magnises, whose flagship charge card was pitched as a kind of American Express Black card for millennials.”
“Mostly, those who joined were given access to an open bar at a Greenwich Village townhouse where he held parties. Another membership perk: Bahamian excursions, including to Norman’s Cay, a small island that once served as a hub for the Medellín Cartel’s cocaine-smuggling operation.”
“That was the site Mr. McFarland had selected to hold an epic coming-out festival for his next invention, Fyre, an Uber-like app through which people could book their favorite celebrities for special events.”
“As part of his plea, Mr. McFarland is barred for life from serving as a director of a public company. His earnings will be garnished until he pays back the full amount he owes his victims, more than $25 million.” READ MORE
If you see a story that business owners should know about, hit reply and send me the link. If you got something out of this email, you can click the heart symbol, you can click the comment icon below, and you can share it with a friend. Thanks for reading, everyone. — Loren