Hopefully, your small business didn’t encounter any controversy this year. Even if you did, it may not be all bad news. This week’s Trending Thursday explains why a “red cup” is not going to kill your brand or hurt your business. We’ve also got a roundup of news for #smallbiz owners to help them decide whether new technology and innovation is always beneficial and some myths about personal development and self-improvement.


Grab your morning/afternoon/midnight coffee, catch up on this week’s news and let us know what your small business does in the wake of controversy.


  1. Starbucks, one of the largest and most visible corporations in the world, is again in the crosshairs of critics everywhere – or at least on social media. This year’s holiday cup is, “just red,” according to many disappointed customers instead of its usual holiday cheer (where are the snowflakes, snowmen and reindeer?) While “Red Cup Gate” will probably — and hopefully — fade fast, the entire affair provided a few valuable lessons for entrepreneurs, according to Peter Gasca, who lays out the three lessons we should all take away from this episode.


  1. It was Albert Einstein who said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Every thought we hold creates our future. And since every action we take depends on how we think, we cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking. Lolly Daskal came up with 12 toxic thoughts that might be taking up too much real estate in your mind. And if so, a quick eviction is in order.


  1. Despite impressive innovations and new gadgets that have transformed the way people do business and consume goods and services, the nation’s productivity gains have been disappointingly paltry over the last decade. In this Los Angeles Times article, Don Lee explains that while new technology may be helping consumers get what they need faster, it puts a big strain on businesses to deliver on new expectations. This results in higher labor costs and ultimately, lower productivity gains.


  1. TrendingNov19(2)Kathey Porter is an expert on small business development, supplier diversity and entrepreneurship. She recently launched BusinessFAB (Fearless. Awesome. Boss), which advises female entrepreneurs on opportunities with corporations, government and higher education. In this interview with Melinda Emerson (SmallBizLady), she lays out why women are succeeding in small business, how to turn your hobby into a prosperous business model and why networking is so important.


  1. Would you like to improve your relationships with people? How about adopting better work-life balance? Of course we’d all like to improve some aspect of our lives, but the answer to all of your life’s woes may not lie in a single self-help book. Before investing your time, money and energy in programs that promise to give your life a new start, John Vespasian, author of On Becoming Unbreakable: How Normal People Become Extraordinarily Self-Confident, says we need to be aware of the myths and misconceptions about personal development if we want to make real change in our lives. Here’s myth #1: “you can substantially improve your life through mind hacks.” Check out the rest in this Fast Company piece.