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CNBC's The Profit

Being a small-business owner in the United States is challenging, rewarding, maddening, exhilarating, frustrating, and empowering.

All at the same time.

CNBC's "The Profit" visited one such small business: Bentley's Corner Barkery, a Chicago-based company started by a husband-and-wife team.


As their business expanded and became more cumbersome, it ran into some challenges. They wanted to acquire other stores, which generates its own problems and hurdles.

All images via "The Profit."

“We did whatever we had to to survive, and never let any of [our employees] know what it took — or our customers. In seven years, people got bonuses. We didn't get paid."

It can get to a point where, for example, employees get paid but the owners do not.

Making sure everybody else gets paid and taken care of becomes the highest priority. If you fail at that, you're done. Even if it means your own paycheck is zero for the month.

But it can really wear on these owners when this kind of thing happens regularly, especially when it involves other family members.

The Senafes were already under a lot of stress keeping the company and all of its stores afloat, but when they adopted a son, it became a matter of what was right for him.

Now they needed the management skills to not only make the stores profitable, but give their son the life he deserved.

This kind of stress takes a big toll.

Sebastian meets Marcus with a low-five.

Enter Marcus Lemonis, aka The Profit. He took on this business as one of the challenges that the series dives into — but this one was also a little personal for him.

You see, Marcus was also adopted, so he forms a natural connection with families that are doing the same.

"The fact that you did whatever you had to ... that's the kind of people I want to do business with."

"Most people don't have the courage to do what you do ... Most people don't have the courage to adopt a baby like you did."
— Marcus Lemonis

He helped them turn things around, learn how to manage a growing business, and make it profitable.

Sebastian now has some happier parents who can help him grow to be all that he can. Watch their emotional conflict here:

But you don't have to be Marcus Lemonis to help the small businesses in your community.

This year, many people are taking the pledge to buy from local small businesses — especially family-owned — over the holiday season.

Image from the Made in America Movement.

By the numbers:

  • Only 50% of all new small businesses survive five years or more.
  • A third survive 10 years or more.
  • About half of all private-sector U.S. workers are employed by small businesses.

Let's support these family-owned businesses and help them thrive!

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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