• Solo Business Stories: Chris Pero Design art installations transform corporate settings

    Pero Desings offers framing services and installations.

    Chris Pero of Pero Designs at her art installation at Daimler Trucks.

    How a layoff and being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis results in Chris Pero founding perodesign art & framing.

    Chris Pero has been an artist and framing art since childhood, 
    and started framing professionally when she was in college.

    Business name and what it does:  Chris Pero Design art installation and framing. Founded in 2008.

    Backstory:  Chris writes, “When I was diagnosed with MS,  I was not 100% sure what on earth was in store for me.  I really thought I was healthy.  After talking to people, I knew it would best to keep the stress in my life down as much as I could.   I was laid off at that same time,  so I had time to think about what was next. I had the opportunity to design my own future.

    “It wasn’t long before my former clients were calling me asking me where I was working and that is when perodesign art & framing began.    I was talking to a framer, and now mentor, about hiring me at her frame shop.  She highly recommended being a consultant.  She knew I knew the industry well and  thought it would be a great way to manage my own time and energy.  She was right!  Yes,  I still have MS,  but I think I am healthier now that I ever have been.”   

    Her connections continue to give her work, and she has been able to attract larger clients.  She recently completed an installation for Daimler Trucks headquarters in April 2017. and has another big project coming up with SAIF.

    Chris’s mission is to work with companies to help them get art on their walls that shows off what they do best:  “I research the company so I have an idea about their mission.   When we meet,  I ask them what they are trying to accomplish with art on their walls.  I work with each client individually to brainstorm ideas for them in their space. Everything is customized for the space and the client.  Every client is a little different.  Right now, I am designing some things with an artist who makes wall sculptures that we are proposing to a customer for their elevator lobbies as a form of way-finding.   

    What’s working now?   “I have always provided framing services.  I do not frame personally,  but have framers who do.”  Chris adds, “People I contract with to help me with different aspects, i.e. blogging, art searching, book keeping, installation, framing, printing.”

    Pricing her work has been tricky, but she is able to articulate her value and expertise. Clients often choose to work with her because of her skill and expertise even if she has the more expensive bid.  “Because they knew of my expertise,” Pero says.


    Take Away:   “I took the Encore / Solo Business Builders Class with Jackie.   I really got my mission-focused and fine tuned.  Now I can easily tell people what it is I do and they “get it.”  She adds that other things were dividing her attention.  “I was mission creeping all over the place.  But I learned how to say no to the wrong work and not worry about it.  And yes,  I did raise my prices.  It was hard (for me mentally)  but my clients have not made a fuss about it.   This class was SO worth it!    Sure I have been in business since 2008,  but this year has been the most profitable,  and I think it was all stemmed from what I learned in Jackie’s class.”  

    Jackie offers classes at the Encorepreneur Cafe.  Check here for class/workshop schedule.










  • Your Business Startup

    It’s time to make the leap!

    Leap-353x179Traditional employment is fading fast.

    Now is the time to focus on your business startup

    For more than two decades, ‘Solopreneurship’ has quietly been on the rise. Also called, independent work, freelancing or sometimes contract work. Check out this recent article in Fast Company Magazine.

    Studies show that Solos make up more than 40%. That number is increasing steadily. It’s estimated that number with surge past 50% by 2020.

    In the next 25 years, the workforce will accelerate towards entrepreneurship, independent contracting and “peer to peer” collaborating (we call that “the Waterbug™  model”). Now is the time to focus on your business startup.

    Unfortunately, potential entrepreneurs are not sure what to do with this new found independence. Their first question is “What can I do?”.

    In my new Best Beginnings: Start Your Business Right webinar program, we devote a lot of time to that question.  The first webinar is Titled What Should I Do?  With 9 accompanying work sheets, it helps you answer that question.  (It is a bargain at $199.95.)

  • Overcome Startup Fear Barriers

    Starting a solo business requires action

    Overcome StartUp Fear BarriersOvercome startup fear barriers to remove procrastination and paralysis.

    When you first think of starting your own business, you’re bombarded with questions. “What do I have to offer?” “How will I get clients?” “How much will I charge?”

    Those questions can stop you in your tracks. Start by thinking about what you’ve already been doing, either in your last job or in your life. Most solos start out doing some kind of consulting or service. Then you develop from there.

    In this episode of Better, Smarter, Richer Jackie will share several stories of some of her clients. Learn how they took their job skills and used them to start up their solo business. Starting with what you already have experience in can make it easier to overcome startup fear barriers.

    Confidence and experience are excellent fear busters. When you move into the next stage in your career, it helps to use what you already know to grow your own business. Jackie will share the words other solos are using to overcome startup fear barriers.

    Jackie will also discuss how the 21st Century technology-driven world is different from old-school business. Learn how you can use that to help you overcome startup fear barriers.

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  • Overcome StartUp Reluctance

    Still looking for a job?

    overcome startup reluctanceIt’s time to take charge.

    You’ve spent your entire working life in a j-o-b. You got used to having  work put in front of you. You do what you’re told. In return you got benefits, sick pay, and a pension. When that vanishes with a layoff, it’s tempting to look for that again. You think it’s secure – except for the whole ‘layoff’ thing.

    It’s time to overcome startup reluctance.

    Starting a business can sound frightening. Here are some hard cold facts about employment today:

    • You are seen as an expense to the company – they’re always looking for ways to reduce expenses
    • They are not interested in your future – they’re planning for THEIR future (see above)
    • They have their vision and values – that don’t include you
    • You have to force yourself to fit into their culture
    • You work to fulfill THEIR dreams NOT yours

    We are in a tidal wave of downsizing. They want to eliminate those long-term obligations like your benefits, sick pay and pension. If you want  ‘security’ you’re going to have to build it yourself.

    Taking the reins of your own business may seem scary when you first look at it, but take a deeper look. This episode of Better, Smarter, Richer is going to help you overcome start up reluctance.

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  • Running A Business Without Employees

    teamworkSolo professionals don’t need employees

    Lots of potential entrepreneurs blanche at the idea of having to manage or oversee employees in order to have a successful business.  Their own experience as a manager was not good and their experience as an employee being managed by others is even worse.  That is why solopreneurship is such a wonderful model.  When you are a solo, you do not have employees.  You are a solo. So, how do you run a business without employees? You build a team of professionals dedicated to your success.

    You may hire a team to perform all the administrative tasks such as web development, social media, office support, marketing administration and certainly bookkeeping and taxes.  Maybe also photography and copy writing. 

    Employees are focused on the hourly wage – not your bottom line. Employees have to be told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. Sometimes, you don’t always know – especially if you’re a solo business owner.  This is not true when you hire  help on a business to business basis, not employer/employee. Outsourcing tasks is an entirely different relationship.

    In this episode of Better Smarter Richer Jackie’s going to share some strategies to get your business done without dealing with the expense and frustration of employees.

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