Ten Years Ago This Month

Ten years of what, you ask? Well, ten years ago this April, I started my first business. I’d gone through a government self-employment program and was excited to be opening a little computer cafe. A little over a year later, I closed it. Was the whole thing a waste of time? Definitely not!

When I opened the cafe, my thought was that people could come and use the computers to teach themselves programs with the many self-teaching cd’s I supplied. It would be much cheaper than taking a computer course and I would be nearby to help when needed. But I didn’t really know my market.

My target market were middle aged and older people who I knew from my research wanted to become more computer savvy. But I found out that they didn’t want to learn from a cd. They wanted a teacher beside them and step-by-step encouragement. Sure, it was nice to walk in and practice anytime you wanted to, but other than a few university students, most of my customers wanted classes.

I don’t for a moment regret opening that little cafe. I learned building codes for the space I rented. I learned health department rules when food is involved and what licenses I needed. I found out about the insurance I needed for the computers, not only for theft, but because I was responsible if a client accessed an improper site. I leased computers, got them networked, had signage and advertising done. A masters business course couldn’t have shown me any more than I found out that year.

Most importantly, I found out more about myself. I didn’t like sitting there, waiting for customers to come in. I didn’t like being open long hours every day. And I missed training people.

So at the end of that year, I closed up shop, found homes for the computers, and started training. Sometimes at my home, sometimes at a client’s, and sometimes a workshop in a community center.

Today, I’m still training, giving workshops, creating information products, blogging, and marketing online. Am I successful? If success is measured in dollars, I’ve got a ways to go. If it’s measured in job satisfaction, yes I am!

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  1. Reply

    Thanks for sharing this lovely message Carol. As an entrepeneur myself, I can say that I am truly happy and satisfied with what I do. I very rarely have any extra $$, but I am content. The saying goes…when you love what you are doing, you will never work another day in your life. Now that to me is what success is based on.

    I’m glad you marked your 10 year. It’s important to reflect on where we came from, what experieces we’ve had along the way and where it has brought us today.

    Just in case you didn’t know….you are an inspiration to many! Thanks so much.

    1. Reply

      Karima, thank you so much for sharing that. I didn’t know, and the thought that others might be inspired by me means much more than money ever could!

  2. Reply

    Yes, congratulations to you on your 10th anniversary. You have come so far and learned so much and that is more of a success than any dollar value could equate.

    I have had the pleasure of watching you grow and bloom and help so many others with your excellent training classes, charisma, and deep enjoyment of what you do which is always so evident to those who seek your guidance.

    Here’s to another 10 years and beyond!

    1. Reply

      Thank you so much Melanie. It seems the older I get, the more I want to hurry up and do things while I still have the opportunity.

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