• Deadwood, SD: A Small Town’s “Encore Career”
    Oregon’s SBDC State Star Reflects on Small Business and Second Acts in the Black Hills

    A small town's encore careerGreetings from from Deadwood, South Dakota! My husband and I are on a month-long road trip, and we were absolutely charmed by this stop-over. Deadwood is an old mining town, but it has totally reinvented itself for the 21st century…which is to say, it has created an inspiring encore career for itself. Today, it’s a financially successful tourist attraction. As the city website puts it:

    “Imagine an entire city on the National Historic Register. What you’ll see in Deadwood today is a careful, accurate restoration of a historically significant city. Deadwood’s extensive Victorian architecture is unique to the West. While the gold rush of 1876 brought the likes of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, it also provided the wealth to construct a thriving commercial center in the heart of the Black Hills of South Dakota.”

    Here’s an entire town that has used its lifetime of communal wisdom and experience to create a successful encore career for itself that is contributing to the greater good–educating visitors and residents alike about a fascinating period in our nation’s history. Talk about inspiration!

    As you all know, I’m passionate about encore careers, and I’ve been reflecting on them even more than usual as I prepare to present on the concept at this year’s America’s Small Business Development Centers Conference in September. I was humbled and honored to be named the Oregon State Star for 2015, and have been thinking about the message I’d most like to share.

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  • The ASBDC Conference in Orlando, Florida

    I recently attended the Association of Small Business Development Center’s (ASBDC) annual conference. I had a great time. My presentation, Ten Steps to Business Success for Creative Entrepreneurs was very well received. I was quite happy to see that they had to bring in extra chairs as the room was filled to capacity! I knew my topic was important – I’m very aware that business advisors are faced with new creative entrepreneurs and their questions daily- but I wasn’t aware there was such of information out there for those who want to help. The audience was so receptive and I could see we had a lot in common: we all faced challenges on how to help creative entrepreneurs who don’t respond to traditional business advice. Here were the main tips the audience enjoyed the most:

    1. Helping a creative focus is very important as they are often all over the place and are distracted by all of their ideas.

    2. Advisors can help creatives charge enough money for their product. Creatives tend to under price and don’t make enough money to cover all of their expenses.

    3. Creatives can use and benefit from very basic financial information- it doesn’t have to be fancy or complex.

    The main comment I received after the class? “Thank you Jackie for showing us an alternative business model for our creative entrepreneur clients.”
    I look forward to the conference next year. I will need a really big room!