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Small Business Edge provides advice and insights to guide small business owners

Small Business Edge provides advice and insights to guide small business owners and startup businesses in uncertain times. Whether it is about cash flow, remote working, credit, bankruptcy, employees, getting a loan, or dealing with stress and time management issues, when entrepreneurs have questions, they get answers on

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We've helped small business owners realize their dream for almost three decades.

I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Sage for several years on various projects. We have collaborated on blog posts, video interviews, tweetchats, and more, all designed to help businesses run more effectively and efficiently. Sage enables companies to flow better, so that business owners can focus more time on their employees and customers.

Recently, Sage announced a new marketing campaign, Back to Beginnings, to find and celebrate entrepreneurs and companies that have successfully learned how to navigate the flow of business. As part of their research, they invited me to reflect on what makes my business flow. Below are excerpts from our conversation:

Sage: Where did you start your career?

Brian Moran: After graduating from Marquette University’s School of Journalism, I began my career selling wine for Ernest & Julio Gallo in San Francisco. It wasn’t a logical first step, but lessons I learned from my time at Gallo gave me a great foundation for my career.

Where are you now in your career?

I run three companies that serve the small-to-midsize business market: Brian Moran & Associates, Small Business Edge, and The SBE Marketplace. They are three separate entities but work together on many projects and programs.

What makes your business flow?

Great question. I believe that a strong, solid foundation, one that I spent years building, helps make my business flow smoothly. In fact, with the help of branding expert Jocelyn Ring, I launched a monthly workshop in October for business owners called Bricks or Sticks. The goal is to help business owners build foundations in their own companies that won’t get “blown” over by the next pandemic or whatever else comes their way. We are now in the second month of classes, and the results have far exceeded our expectations.

What do you believe are the things that make a difference in business today?

The way we do business has fundamentally changed, maybe forever. Leaders in companies, large and small, must show that they can stay connected in a disconnected world. Internally, it might mean allowing workers to work remotely, but letting them know that “with freedom comes responsibility.” Empathy and Trust are two key components to a positive, healthy corporate culture in 2023. You trust your employees, and you know that they sometimes struggle with work/life balance issues. However, they still need to get their work done; their teammates and you are counting on them.

Is that what makes a business successful—trust and empathy? 

Those two components are critical to success, but they are not the only components. Embracing and investing in new technology is important to efficiency and productivity. Don’t use 2010 technology to solve 2023 problems. I often write and talk about “DCA,” the “secret sauce” to success in business. Companies must embrace “Discipline,” “Commitment,” and “Accountability” in all areas of business if they want to succeed. Anything less than total DCA is opening the door for extenuating circumstances and, ultimately, failure. I love a quote attributed to William Shakespeare, “If you want something bad enough, you will find a way; If you don’t, you will find an excuse.”

Final question, Brian. What piece of advice do you wish you knew in your younger days or that you might give to someone else in their career journey?

This is one of my favorite questions. I have a three-word mantra that took me almost three decades to develop. It applies to work, family, personal life, and your place in the universe. 

Gratitude Changes Everything! 

Once you understand the meaning behind those words, and you start to see everything in life through the lens of gratitude, you will appreciate and be thankful for every single day, even the rainy ones. 

Nothing lasts forever. The mountain-top moments don’t, but neither do the deep, dark valleys. Enjoy the climb up and learn from walking (or falling) down the mountain. 

Many times, permanent gratitude is born out of profound grief. If you have successfully turned your grief into gratitude, it is your responsibility to share what you have learned with others. This is something I wish I knew and understood at a younger age…that gratitude really does change everything.

Thank you, Brian, for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with us and your fellow business owners today.

Brian Moran

Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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