Encore Entrepreneurs

  • Encore Entrepreneur Stories: Jeannie Chapman’s re-branding her venture 45 Degree Branding

    Jeannie Chapman of 45 Degrees Branding

    Jeannie Chapman of 45 Degrees Branding

    Jackie B. Peterson helped Jeannie Chapman narrow her focus to draw out her true calling: branding.

    Name of Business: “45 Degrees Branding has a different perspective, based on my 2 decades in
    branding. It symbolizes an oblique view that sees beyond the face value of your business, into the heart of what makes it unique.
    And it’s a nod to our beautiful Portland, at 45 degrees nw.”

    Established: Originally in 2000.

    Journey of  re-visioning, re-creating, re-imagining:  “This is a re-brand, based on Jackie’s recommendation to focus solely on my strength and talent as a brand expert.”

    What’s working now?  “This is a complete joy and a very different approach for me. Typically in my
    industry, you never reference work older than 2-3 years because it makes you look
    dated. The inability to show older work (and some of what I think is my best work)
    always made me feel uncomfortable because I wasn’t showing my real
    capabilities. Now, with this re-brand, what I’m doing is showing the strength of
    Branding projects still going strong after 15-20 years. What’s traditionally seen as
    the weakness of having older work has been turned into a strength. I am able to
    be my whole, unique self. This is all based on Jackie’s recommendation for my

    Take away/advice/lessons learned: “Taking Jackie’s class and consulting with
    her is the best business decision I’ve ever made. Dive deep and create a truly
    unique niche where there’s no competition. Be brave and confident and charge
    what you’re worth so you can live your passion.”

    Find out how Jackie can help you find your focus here.



  • Encore Entrepreneur Stories: Miyoko Fuse uses Feng Shui for Home Esteem business

    Miyoko Fuse combines her interest in gerontology and Feng-Shui to create positive home environments.

    Business name: Home Esteem

    What the business does: Home environment design with Feng-Shui considerations. Her specialization is helping older adults stay in their homes as they age.

    Origin Story: Thirteen years ago Miyoko started her business with a very small step.  “Everything was a fresh start. No business experience.  No budgets.  I did not borrow any money from any financial institution.  I fed my business from my other work that was translation and editing.”

    Miyoko Fuse, owner of Healthy Home for Healthy Aging

    Miyoko Fuse, owner of Healthy Home for Healthy Aging.

    Miyoko differentiated her approach to home design in three areas: Japanese design, Feng-Shui, and helping older adults stay in their homes. Ten years ago, “aging in place” was not a priority with many designers.  She established her niche early.

    She balanced her lack of experience by having a Master’s degree in Communication. She enrolled in a gerontology program, and an interior design program to learn about American housing systems.  Miyoko earned a Certified Aging in Place designation from the National Home Builders Association.  Now Miyoko is both a certified Aging-in-Place Specialist and a certified green professional.

    Journey of re-invention, re-creation:  Miyoko writes, “I was in the translation industry, translating  from English to Japanese, mainly huge documents. The Japanese economy went down a slippery slope, and the translation company that I used to work for could not get Japanese projects for me any longer.  I got laid off. I was in my early 50s.  Is was time for me to think how I would support myself for the rest of my life.  I thought that my last career (as translator) would not be affected by the world economy.”  Miyoko then asked herself “what is stable?  Homes!”  A home is a basic need.  I live with an American husband in a U.S. constructed house, and  I will continue to live in the same house, says Miyoko. I would like my home to be a happy, peaceful place to live longer.  Many others would wish for the same situation, wouldn’t they?” Turns out, they do.

    What makes your business work?  “My credibility.  A Japanese person learns and uses the discipline of Feng-Shui.  My personality: patience, active listening to other’s needs, and sincerity.”  Being a published author of Healthy Home for Healthy Aging with Feng Shui helps.   Marketing happens largely via word of mouth.

    Jackie teaches many classes to help you get started with your solo business or refine the entrepreneurial idea you have.  You can learn these ideas also by reading and doing the exercises in her book, Better, Smarter, Richer here.










  • Encore Entrepreneurs Stories: James Pedersen’s response to retirement crisis with his small firm Investra


    Investra founder, owner James Pedersen

    James Pedersen founded Investra to help people maximize their retirement.

    James (Jim) Pedersen decided to take action with the retirement crisis when he experienced life changing events.  The result of that action was Investra when he was 37.

    What the business does: Jim helps people with retirement.  Most people will not have enough money by the time they would generally be ready to retire.  “My program shows them how they will be able to have enough and have control over their investments as they are progress towards retirement.” Specifically:

    1.  Shows people how to keep track of their retirement and other investments to make sure they are performing at the rate that they should be.
    2. It shows them a simple way to determine on a monthly basis how their investment is doing.  A simple form has been developed  in order to be able to do this tracking.
    3. It shows them how to keep track of their individual investments letting them know which investments look promising.
    4. It teaches how to research and accurately make accurate investment decisions.
    5. Jim does not charge for these services.

    Jim’s Story of Re-Vision, Re-Creation:

    A long time math and science teacher, Jim Pedersen found himself in a situation where he wanted to educate people about managing their retirement.  Specifically those who worked in the non-profit sector enrolled in 403b pension plans.  He, also realized that so few people aged 50 have even $10,000 in retirement.

    His wife’s disability was an event that urged him to take action.  He had a brick and mortar insurance and brokerage firm.  He sold it after he recovered from heart surgery and when his wife’s care need increased.

    Jim learned about a software program that analyzes mutual funds, and he boiled it down to a simple teaching template.  He was able to take the complex to a simple form.  He developed a second form to help decide Where to put the money afterward?  “No one keeps track of their retirement largely due to lack of education.”  James adds: “If you worked at your first job the way you worked at your second job – your retirement – would you be fired?”

    The Future: Jim’s company is still in start up phase.  But it is evident that he was able to apply skills of education and math and science.  All of those experiences together are working for him to create a service for something timely such as the retirement crisis.  He helps others and he can then help himself.

    Find out more about Encore Entrepreneur classes by taking one of Jackie B. Peterson’s classes by clicking here.













  • Encore Entrepreneurs: Jim Logan saw a need for personalized spiritual consultation and founded SoulVentures

    Taking a leap of faith in a tough job market lead to starting personalized spiritual consultation service. 

    Name of business: SoulVentures

    What the business does:  Jim Logan, 54, operates outside formal religious structures. He provides person-structured spiritual consultation and ceremonies. Especially those marking life’s key transitions.  Categories include weddings, funerals, “living funerals,” the welcoming of a new child.  Jim works with anyone regardless of spiritual orientation or religious background.  “The practice at SoulVentures is based on the belief that spirituality is natural and innate to each person and is cultivated within their own experience.”

    What makes is successful: In a word – courage.  Jim decided to embark on a career transitionTook time to look at his life and think about issues that needed addressing.  He assessed his skills and preferences, and carefully analyzed their relationship to the job market.  He moved to Portland in 2010 and faced a tough job market.  Networking was not working.

    Then a close friend suggested that he pursue his passion, and trust that the money will follow.  He took the leap.

    Re-invention, re-creation, and re-imagination: Jim started out has an ordained minister and had served in that capacity for more than two decades.  He finally realized

    It was not an easy journey.  Facing a tough job market, a diagnosis for prostate cancer, and some scattered contract work here and there, his true niche was still eluding him.  It was only when a good friend challenged him to live his passion that the pieces started falling into place.

    Jim writes, “I believe each person should be respected for the unique personality and individual spiritual leanings and gifts.”

    SoulVentures started from that core vision.  Jim works as a spiritual consultant and facilitator of personalized ceremonies.  He draws on “connecting the dots between the details of a ceremonial celebration and the major events of people’s lives.”  His training in  spiritual guidance is based on Ignatian (Jesuit) spirituality.  He has adopted his approach for anyone regardless of spiritual/religious background.

    When he works with a client at SoulVentures, Jim begins with each client’s personal experience.  This helps the client “choose to stay more intentionally connected to their passion and purpose.”

    BSR Take Away:  SoulVentures is built on a strong foundation of personal integrity and courage.  Jim’s wise philosophy about spirituality applies to your career as well: it should be innate and natural to your personality.  It should be as unique and special as you are.

    For information on how you can learn more about starting and running a solo business, go to Best Beginnings on this site.



  • Encore Entrepreneur Stories: Finding a niche as an independent health clinic audit consultant Roberta Kaplan

    Roberta Kaplan, owner of InnovaHealth

    Independent health clinic auditor Roberta Kaplan, MPH, MS, PA, and owner of InnovaHealth.

    InnovaHealth owner Roberta Kaplan lands on her feet with a specialized encore career as an independent health clinic auditor.

    What the business does: Independent health clinic audit consultant for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

    Re-visiting, Re-creation and Re-Imagining: Roberta Kaplan was working for the Oregon Health Authority.  She did this for two years, conducting clinic visits through the Patient Centered Medical Home Program.  She collected unemployment insurance due to a lay off at 62.   Her unemployment benefits were going to run out when a letter came in the mail stating she might be a candidate for self-employment.  So she was able to get support while starting her business.  Roberta had never considered self-employment.

    Someone suggested that she do clinic audits on a large scale.  She had to write a business plan, and started to do research.  A friend suggested she apply to the contractor companies who provide oversight for Health Services and Services Administration (HRSA).  HRSA clinics are government run programs that provide full services including medical, dental, behavioral care to vulnerable populations.  The under-insured and those on Medicaid are clients.  She put together her small business as a health clinic auditor.  InnovaHealth was established.

    What’s working now:  Roberta keeps busy, especially during the warmer months.  Travel to far flung locations is easier from March to October.  1,350 federally funded health clinics exist in the country.  They in turn have multiple sites totaling 5,000. There are 33 HRSA clinics in Oregon, including Outside In and Wallace Medical Concern.  For people in remote areas, these clinics are the only access to health care.

    Roberta flies up to 80 times a year.  She often flies out at the beginning of the week, works 12 hours days, returns home Thursday.  She writes the report over a weekend post-audit.  Roberta is paid upon turning in the report.  She’s off again come Monday morning.  The winter months are quieter, therefore with little to no work.  Hence she attends networking events.  She audits college classes to stave off isolation.

    BSR wisdom: Roberta writes:  “I was excited and scared about the prospects of starting out on my own. There was so much that I didn’t know. It took a while to get everything organized, even with resources available.  I underestimated my capabilities, and I have grown in confidence over the last few years.”

    “Being self employed is not for the faint of heart. Do your homework. Do market research; look at the resources that are available through the SBDC, the SBA; Oregon certification programs; do informational interviews. Look at your finances. Can you swing the financial impact of starting a new business? Do you have a safety net? Is this all feasible? It takes several years to turn a profit. Understand your motivation. Are you the kind of person that likes the independence? Are you a self starter?  Really understand the importance of a business versus a hobby.”
    Jackie B. Peterson offers classes and workshops on solo business.  Subscribe to her newsletter and keep up on classes and workshops offered.
    For more information on how the SBDC can help you with your self-employment ideas, visit: http://www.bizcenter.org/
    For help from the SBA visit https://www.sba.gov/