With her past haunting her, this small-business owner was struggling. Until Marcus came along.
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CNBC's The Profit

Small businesses keep this country afloat; over 50% of U. S. workers are employed by them.

And this is where Marcus Lemonis, aka "The Profit," comes in. He identifies small businesses that are in trouble and then helps them get their act together by investing in and owning part of the companies and — most importantly — by taking control and turning them into viable, profitable entities.


One such business named The Blue Jean Bar had up to 13 stores around the country at one point, but many of them floundered. So the owner, Lady Fuller, trimmed them down to three.

You'll discover, as she relates to Marcus in the clip below, her mother died at age 43 — when Lady was 9 years old — of suicide.

Lady, now age 40, is concerned she's going to be a failure by that same age, and it's coloring all of her actions as she runs the business.

“My mother passed away when I was 9, and she took her own life. She left me money, and I wanted to do something with her money that paid homage to her. …. She killed herself when she was 43. … I always felt like, that this business would be so successful by the time I reached her age."

Marcus sees her potential and that of the business itself, but he also sees her looking through the rear-view mirror at haunting failures and sadness, and he needs to help her look at the road ahead.

It's the kind of thing he does regularly on "The Profit," and he handles it deftly as he helps pull her out of the tailspin — but only after some growing pains, tears, and pushback from Lady.

The final transformation of their flagship store is remarkable, as is that of Lady herself.

Starting a small business takes guts, determination, and every bit of resilience that human beings have.

And the numbers show how they pay off. Here are some interesting statistics on small businesses to consider (for more, check out this post):

Let's all try to appreciate that and support them in our communities — shall we?

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.