Solo Business Stories: Not wanting to retire, Suzanne VanSlyke found a fullfilling second act helping seniors.

Suzanne VanSlyke saw a need to help seniors.  She realizes that starting a second career is exciting, creative and stimulating.  And working with Jackie is “dynamic.”

Suzanne VanSlyke of Seniors in Transition

Suzanne VanSlyke of Seniors in Transition


Name of Business: Support for Seniors in Transition

How long is business:  April 1, 2018.

What business your business do?  Case management, patient advocacy, crisis management.

Can you elaborate? I do a comprehensive history and evaluation.  We discuss as much as possible their current concerns.  I help make a plan with as much family involvement as possible.

Backstory:  I have been a registered nurse (RN) for over 40 years, and I worked in many different specialties.  I was offered on opportunity to go to a practice in home health and hospice to begin a new transitional (actually became palliative care) care program.  I loved this specialty because I saw patients both in the clinics and then following up at home. Not wanting to retire, and feeling strongly that seniors were requiring help with their planning for aging well with resilience and grace, I decided to use my expertise to  help as many as possible.

You mention that you felt your business went live in April 2018.  In that short time, what can you tell is currently working?  I have begun to market my service at health and wellness fairs, made contact with and joined the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce, am working with Viva Village to become a vetted vendor for their members who find themselves having concerns about managing at home which they did not plan for.

What advice would you give? Expect your original plans for your business to modify as you get further into it.  You may find that you are busy enough with one component of what you do, and don’t have time to take on more extensive services you might have planned on developing.  Evaluate continuously what is working and what doesn’t. Do NOT overload your calendar with meetings, etc which do not result in value to your work in some way.  Learn to discipline yourself, plan your day, set goals (including exercise and having a life outside the business).  If you don’t meet a goal, think about why, and try to change this next time.

What class did you take from Jackie?  The class I signed up for with Jackie was Encore and Solo Business Builder, starting in mid-Jan., 2018.  What I learned was that having your own business after retirement is exciting, creative and stimulating. Your goals and objectives should be very defined.  Develop a very short few sentences that define what is unique about what you do.

Go to the business fairs, health fairs, meetings of anyone you think would like to hear about who you are and what you do. Arrange to go to coffee or lunch with people who could be referral sources, and remember how much is “word of mouth” from former clients or referral sources who know your work. And most of all, don’t undervalue your services. Know what your expenses are.

How did you find out about her class? I signed up for Jackie’s class after she presented her program to a committee on aging of which I was a member.  She is dynamic.  Her knowledge of developing and getting a business going is encyclopedic.

In a very short space, she covers everything an “encore, solo” start-up needs to think about.  I had what I thought was a fairly good idea of what I wanted to do and why.  But I really had not much idea of where to start, how to set things up, and generally, running a little business, expected not to lose money eventually.

Jackie’s workbook, “Better, Smarter, Richer” is a terrific resource (buy the book here).  The classes go into detail, force you to think in serious terms, make a plan, know your expenses, set your rates properly, figure out who your “ideal” client will be and where to find those people, use available resources as much as possible to find target clients, figure out how to use those resources.  There is a great deal of personal mentoring with Jackie, both before you sign up for the class, and during and after it.  It is well worth your while to make good use of that time to concentrate your thinking- you may be surprised to find out how much you need to do that.  Jackie is wonderful in doing this type of class.

I found a wonderful website developer and manager, the website is  As I get farther along, she will put a blog on the site and I will also be adding information on articles I receive that would be of interest to clients and their families.

Visit Suzanne’s website here:

Support for Seniors in Transition (S4Sit) is Geriatric Case Management & Patient Advocacy – CRISIS MANAGEMENT – PATIENT ADVOCACY – CARE MANAGEMENT: Helping you craft a care plan so you can stay in the comfort of your own home. Expertise in quickly helping define individual issues and resolving each one expeditiously to craft a care plan that