NBCU Open Doors Blog – An Open Mind Can Open Doors: Strategies for Small Businesses to Stand Out


Openings are exciting. Whether it’s writing the opening paragraph of a new article or opening a new office, restaurant, or store. They’re filled with optimism and possibility. Openings can also be challenging, as you stare at a blank page, await customers, or take a leap into the unknown. But taking on challenges make us stronger. That’s why I love all the meanings that come to mind when I think about the phrase “Open Doors.”


NBCUniversal created Open Doors to support all small businesses across the country with a special spotlight on minority small businesses. They wanted to provide access to big brand resources and best-in-class expertise. Because when small businesses succeed, communities thrive.


In 2022, WI helped launch the Open Doors website. And this year, NBCUniversal has invited me to host an exciting new podcast called Open Doors: Where Small Businesses Thrive. You won’t want to miss it. Our first guest was the wonderful Latasha Gillespie, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility for Amazon, MGM Studios, Prime Video, and Freevee.


Latasha started out with an essential takeaway. She said any small business owner needs to understand the “why” they are in business. “Because the winds will come,” she explained, “they’ll be persuaded to shift their focus. But they have to remain steadfast. Because if you understand your why, then you can always adjust the what.”


We also talked about failures because, like obstacles, they’re inevitable. But here’s the good news: You’re likely to learn more from your failures than you are from your successes. Failures inspire reflection and change because, as Latasha put it, “the pain is real.” She also shared a rule her team has that’s worth putting into practice: “Every day you should make mistakes. They just shouldn’t be the same ones.”


So, whether it’s about making sure you use “failures” to move you and your business or turning obstacles into opportunities, the important underlying message from both ideas is to keep going and to keep growing.


As you strategically navigate the inevitable twists and turns on your road to success, here are a few easy-to-remember tools to move obstacles aside.


Read more from WI CEO Aaron Walton on the NBCU Open Doors blog HERE.