Thanksgiving Treasures

§ November 22nd, 2012 § Filed under Uncategorized § Tagged , , , , § No Comments

This holiday provides a time for many of us to reflect on what makes us grateful. I join that chorus. I am so thankful for my family – my son, my daughter-in-law, my grandson – but also the family I have chosen – my friends.

My son is brilliant, gifted, creative yet pragmatic. He has grown into a considerate son, a devoted husband, and an exemplary father. He chose a sweet, kind, and beautiful woman as his wife and I am honored to have her as my daughter-in-law. Six years ago, she gave birth to, and raises with skill, my grandson, who has brought happiness and wonder back into my life. I could not ask for better family.

My two closest friends have been my friends since high school, and for an only child, those relationships are absolute treasures. When I was in the Girl Scouts, we learned a song, “make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other, gold.” These two are my “gold” friends. They have nursed me through so many difficult times in my life, but have also been there to celebrate the moments of triumph.

I am blessed to have people who have been in my life for dozens of years. They are too numerous to name here, but many are my friends on Facebook. We don’t see each other often, but I know they are only a call away when I need them. They make up an amazing support system for me and I thank you all for being a part of my life.

When I worked at the Texas Commission for the Blind 15 years ago, I worked with the most talented, brilliant group of people, and I have been able to stay in touch with many of those folks. I didn’t think I would ever have the opportunity to be a part of another team capable of that level of accomplishment.  As a result, I am extremely thankful that I have found another professional team that has accepted me as a member. The San Antonio Small Business Development Center staff and so many of the people at the Institute of Economic Development (some of whom I’ve known for years and some I met 14 months ago when I started my job as a Business Advisor) are devoted to helping small businesses succeed. I am grateful for my job. I get to do what I love to do every day, and I am grateful to the small business owners who trust me enough to let me share in their dreams.

I am so thankful to be living in the most vibrant city in the country. My parents moved here in 1957. I was five and I thought I would be riding horses every day. (I have yet to ride one, but it’s on my list.) I have watched this city grow and blossom, and I’m extremely proud to be a part of it. I’m especially delighted to live in one of its amazing historical neighborhoods, an area that is filled with people from diverse backgrounds, not to mention the eclectic assortment of restaurants. I love being able to walk on the Riverwalk. I also love being walking distance from my job. I am thankful to my landlady and my neighbors for being a part of this new phase of my life. I adore my apartment and my simplified life. I love my windows that look out on the Tower of the Americas and Southtown.

I am grateful for the chance to reinvent myself. There are so many people in this world, even in this country, who never get that opportunity. I have seldom felt stuck. My parents gave me the foundation and provided the education that has allowed me to change careers, to obtain more education, to open myself up to new experiences. I have realized that if there are areas of my life that I am dissatisfied with, I have the ability to change and improve. That is part of the reason that I have lost 35 pounds over the last year and become much healthier (blood pressure is normal, cholesterol and sugar levels are much improved). I’m still a work in progress, but I know I’m on the right path.

I’ve lost family and friends (two this year) and am reminded of how precious every day is. I hope to have several decades ahead of me, and hope that I continue to celebrate the silver and the gold friends in my life. Thank you all for being part of my journey, and for letting me be a part of yours.

I love my job!

§ January 1st, 2012 § Filed under small business, training § Tagged , , § No Comments

My office is in the Durango Building

Happy New Year! It’s the first day of 2012 and I am starting a new effort to write something on this site as often as possible. As many of you know, I took a full time position as a Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Center at UTSA in September. My newsletter and blog took a back seat as I learned the rules of the road at the SBDC.

I love my job. It encompasses all the parts I most loved about what I was doing in my own business – coaching small businesses to be more successful, providing training, meeting new people. It does not include the aspects that were my least favorite of being self-employed – trying to sign new clients and invoicing existing ones.

What I love most about this job is that I meet so many interesting people who have big dreams, and I am able to be a part of helping them reach those dreams. I’m able to provide counseling free to my clients. It’s not really free – we have all paid for it with our tax dollars. But this is a program that everyone can be proud to fund. We help grow businesses and help create jobs.

So if you are starting a business or have an existing business and could use a sounding board to help grow that business, I’m here to help.  I’d love to meet with you at my office at the UTSA Downtown Campus or any place that is convenient for you.  Just drop me an email or give me a call at 210-458-2878 or 210-863-2250.


§ September 6th, 2011 § Filed under small business § Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , § 2 Comments

Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them. – William Arthur Ward

I started my business in April 1999 as a desktop publisher. I had a contract with my former employer to write and layout newsletters and search for and write grants.  As I met more people, I discovered a niche in writing, training, and desktop publishing for small businesses as well as non-profit organizations and government agencies. That morphed into doing consulting for small businesses, especially with their marketing plans.

But now, an opportunity has come along that has me truly excited.

Starting September 19, I will be a Business Advisor for the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Small Business Development Center (UTSA SBDC.)

I am thrilled about this chance to do much of what I already do under the umbrella of one of the most respected organizations for small businesses. I get a chance to work with small business owners to help them start and grow their businesses. I can help new business owners figure out whether their business idea is feasible, guide them in putting their business plans together, and work with them on their financing options. I can work with existing business owners to determine their next steps in increasing their size and scope and whether it is time to add employees. In addition, I can help businesses figure out the best way to market their products and services.

The fantastic part of this is that I get to do what I’ve done, but I won’t have to charge for my advice and guidance.  The one-on-one confidential business advising is at no cost to the business owner. The local SBDC is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and UTSA. The services are highly effective. Business owners who use the SBDC show sales growth that is three times that of the average Texas business.

I have long been a staunch advocate for the SBDC and have been a client as well. It will be an honor to work alongside people whom I so completely respect.

So I need a favor from my loyal readers. If you know of anyone who is starting a business, or anyone who needs advice on growing a business, please refer him or her to me. I’ll be at my desk at UTSA Downtown on September 20 and ready to meet with clients soon after. Please contact me.

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