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What I know about you

You are a freedom-fighter. You’ve opted out of the status quo in search of a more meaningful life (or you’re developing your escape plan now).

That is such a leap of faith. Which makes you my hero.

You know you want to build a life around work you love. Or a life around the people you love.  Or both.

The point is, you want to build more than a business. You want to build a life.

Traditional business planning doesn’t hold a lot of appeal for you.  You can’t plan your business without also considering how it will integrate completely into your life.  Your life is a margarita.

Even though you’re crystal clear on the business & life  you want to create, you’re not so clear on how to create that life.

You’re also stubbornly independent and determined to find these answers on your own. Because you’re smart and you know you can do this.

What I’d love for you to know about me

I’m a wanderer and a strategic planner.  I totally understand your independent nature because I have one too.

It pains me to watch you spin your wheels when there is so much we can do together to get you moving toward your vision of the future.

I’m an adviser. Not a coach or a mentor. This means, I’ll listen to where you are and where you want to go; then I’ll offer expert advice for how to get there. I will show you the way.

I won’t analyze you or make you wait until you “discover the answer within yourself.” There are plenty of wonderful coaches and counselors out there that can do that for you.

That’s not to say you won’t have chills, epiphanies, reality-shattering realizations and warm fuzzies while working with me. Because you totally will.

I’ll give you frameworks and processes and templates that will allow you to be every-bit-of-you while taking much of the guess work out of that overwhelming, ‘what-should-i-do-next?’ stuck place.

I will teach you how flavoring your big picture dreams with a little bit (okay, a lot) of business savvy will make them even sweeter….and infinitely more attainable.

My non-conformist resume

I’m a micro-businesses development professional and advocate with over 10 years experience teaching freedom-seekers how to be self-made &  design a life they love. I’m also an unschooling mom of 9-year old twin girls, an 22-year old daughter and a 25-year old son.

But what the heck is a micro-business?

When you hear the term micro-business, you may think of self-employment. That’s definitely true, but it’s not the whole picture.

Literally, a micro-business is any organization (profit or non-profit)  that has less than 5 employees and can start-up with less than a $10,000 investment.

I’ve advised bed & breakfast owners, bakers, horse trainers & handymen. I’ve helped launch a local feed-the-children organization, an inter-generational community development center, a national junior roller derby association and a number of local roller derby leagues.

The common thread is that every one of these businesses or organizations was launched by people who are passionate about the work they are doing and completely determined to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

Micro-business has the power to change our world

By bringing people home, micro-business has the power to heal our families, our economy, our environment and our sense of individualism, which is vital to our ability to keep innovating and creating and evolving.

Micro-businesses are also the red-headed step-children of economic development. They don’t create the same kind of sexy, impressive statistics as larger, more risky endeavors.

High growth, fast growth, venture capital, IPOs, dollars invested, jobs created, dollars loaned, fully funded, anticipated first year revenues in the millions….these are the numbers the economic development community salivates over.  All of this means micro-business owners often don’t get the help or assistance they need.

But I’m working to change that.

For over a decade, I’ve taught people the steps to get out of their current situation, create work they love and start living life on their own terms.

I’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and non-profits discover their passion, find creative ways to make money doing what they love, create a plan to launch it and carve out a market niche.

I’ve also consulted with state, city and local organizations to help them design micro-business support programs that fit their budget and meet the unique needs and challenges people are facing in their community.

I do this amazingly fulfilling work because micro-business has more impressive, admittedly less tangible stats of its own:

Higher quality services & products

Better sustainability

Lower failure rates

More creative ideas

Corporate incomes replaced

More personal service

More families fed

More parents at home

Less latchkey kids

Therapist dollars saved

Divorces avoided

Gas saved

Less miles driven

Lower emissions

What’s dry cleaning (?)

 

How I got here from there.

My life story is a bit mixed up and out of order.

The journey starts when I had my son right out of high school. It then meanders around marrying the wrong guy, having my daughter and ending my first marriage just in time to save myself & my sanity.

This part of the story is important because my experience isn’t all that uncommon. If this was (or is) your experience, I want you to know you aren’t alone.

My newly independent life saw me going to college & working full time as a single mom. Six years later, tired & dizzy but armed with a shiny new MBA, I kept a promise I made to my kids and quit my day job making my part-time marketing consultancy a full-time gig.

I got the bug to work with entrepreneurs in college while earning credits doing marketing and strategic planning projects for start ups and grass roots non-profits.

I spent a few years working in the high-growth start up world. I was developing pitch presentations, planning investor events and I even got hired by a venture funded start-up to develop their marketing strategies.

The work was fun & exciting, but that world did not appeal to me.  I no longer had much interest in helping clever people scheme new, inventive ways to get permission to piss away other people’s money.

I was searching for authenticity.  I wanted to help people start businesses they actually intended to run…and care about…and love. I wanted to see new businesses improve the lives of the entrepreneurs’ families.

I wanted real impact.

Serendipity is my friend.

In three bursts of serendipity I found the authenticity I was searching for. First, I stumbled upon the absolute right man for me.  He is the genuine real deal.  The kind of man who encourages me to follow my wander, even when it’s isn’t entirely practical to do so.

The second burst happened soon after we got married. I was presented with the opportunity to revive Alaska’s only Women’s Business Center and work one-on-one helping hundreds of truly amazing and resilient women find their feet through micro-business development.

I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. I found my true calling in micro-enterprise development. The impact micro-businesses have on the entrepreneurs, their families and their communities is beyond measure.

The following year, we welcomed twin baby girls to our family!  My vision for the world I wanted to live in was complete. It was then that I knew I wanted to create a blended, family-centered business that allowed us to live a life together….and I wanted to teach other people how to create this life too.

Now, today and from this moment forward, I am living my dream.

In the fall of 2011, my daughter moved into the dorms, my son embarked on his own independent life in Portland, OR  and my husband, myself and the girls drove from our home of 15 years in South Central Alaska to our new, simple and wonderful life in East Tennessee.

Today, we are both working from home, unschooling the girls and loving this life (most days).

Through years of  conversation, conflict and collaboration, we figured out what makes us happy and that is living, working, breathing, fighting, loving and learning under the same roof…together. It’s not always easy. It’s not always pretty. It hasn’t even always been lucrative. But, it is exactly, messily, without a doubt the life for us.

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