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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.


§ June 2nd, 2011 § Filed under small business, training § Tagged , , , , , , , , , § No Comments

Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life. – Henry L. Doherty

Anyone who has been looking for a job knows that there are few openings, especially for people with college degrees. Seventeen million college graduates are doing jobs that don’t require a degree. Additional folks are working at jobs that require a four-year degree, but they never get a chance to put into practice the skills they have learned. Further, many skills that are needed on the job are not learned in high school or college. So many of our students have been taught to take tests, but not to think critically or actually learn the subjects.

Add to that the fact that student loan debt is at an all time high, even higher than what we owe on credit cards.

Maybe it’s time we rethink how we handle education.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of college. I hold both a bachelors and masters degree. At the University of Texas I took courses that helped me discover what I really enjoyed. But for a long time, I have been among a group of people who think that for most students a two-year program makes more sense. For many students, landing a job after those two years with companies that value their employees is a much better plan. Some of those companies may provide tuition reimbursement so that students are not left with massive student loan debt. See this TED Talk by creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson for more about how much a degree is worth now.

I am so excited about a new venture – Skillshare, a community where anyone who has information to share can pass that knowledge to others. There are plenty of places where you can take classes online, but as someone who has taught both traditional classes and online classes, I believe that something truly magical happens when a group of learners get together with a teacher who genuinely enjoys helping. Everyone learns from everyone else.

I have been selected to be a Community Ambassador for the San Antonio area for Skillshare. I am recruiting people who want to share their knowledge and people who want to learn. Skillshare classes are primarily about the things we are passionate about, the things that make us want to get up in the morning. Some of us are lucky enough to have jobs that meet those needs. Some of us have jobs that meet other needs, and we fulfill our passions outside of work. Skillshare will give us the opportunity to test out our interests.

Why is it so important to find our passions? We need to shift education in order to produce creative thinkers. I believe that Skillshare may be one of the steps to achieving this radical shift.

Want to help me create this shift as a teacher or a learner? Join me at our first quarterly Show & Tell  event on Tuesday, June 14 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. (I’m still working on the venue; details will be forthcoming.) Get a taste of training, have some drinks and some fun, meet other learners and teachers, and help start a revolution. If you can’t make the event, but still want to be a part of the effort, drop me an email or call.

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