Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Once upon a time you learned a profession, you got a job, you worked hard at that career and you retired with a pension at the age of 65.


And I do mean, "the end." It's the end of that kind of career. The internet and the recession have radically changed the workplace and we have to change with it. We will have several careers in our lives. Many people who've been laid off or downsized (same, insidious thing) have turned to entrepreneurship or small business ownership. Many of us come from a background of working for companies that had departments for accounting, planning, marketing, IT, acquisitions. Now we run all the departments. At least I do.

Did our 20th century educations prepare us for the 21st century work force?

You may remember last year I participated in a Business Builders' Boot Camp. I loved it and promised to let you know if there was another. Now the same people who ran Boot Camp are holding a two-day strategic planning retreat March 4th and 5th at the Historic Blinn House, home of the Women's City Club of Pasadena (pictured above). Men are most welcome, by the way.

The retreat is called Re:Launch, as in relaunch your business. Donna Chaney, of Chaney Financial Services (my one and only advertiser!) and Lilli Cloud, marketing and personal branding expert at bluefeet, are the warmest, most engaging business aces you will ever have the pleasure of learning from. And for their Friday lunch speaker they've got Karen E. Klein, the Smart Answers Columnist from Bloomberg  BusinessWeek, Q&A Columnist of the LA Times Business section and all-around business brainiac.

You can waste time and money figuring this stuff out as you go, or you can learn it all at Re:Launch. For more information, click the links. Or contact Lilli Cloud at 323-466-3518 or lcloud (at) yourbluefeet.com

I think I'm in the wrong career. I should be writing ad copy.

Tomorrow: I'm excited to host Pasadena Daily Photo's first ever guest post! Stop by and meet Altadena author Des Zamorano.


Margaret said...

It is definitely a terrific, very talented group of speakers.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Indeed you should, you talented woman, you! I have changed careers several times and I am not sure that I am finished yet... sounds like a great workshop!


Petrea said...

Margaret knows whereof she speaks.

Genie, I'm not sure I'm finished yet, either, although I'm enjoying the hyphenate life.

altadenahiker said...

I don't know Donna, but I'll certainly vouch for Lilli.

(And Des. Looking forward to her post. I expect nothing less than tremendously witty.)

Petrea said...

They're a hell of a team. Donna was last year's winner of the Empowerment Award from Women in Business.

Hiker, you won't be disappointed by Desiree's post.

Bellis said...

I admire the way you got that oak branch to exactly match the curve if the porch.
As for setting up a business, i'm far too lazy. I've helped people with two start-ups and they had to work really hard. Both are well-established businesses now though with a lot of staff (it takes at least 10 years). Of course the dream business is to sell a small, inexpensive product that everyone will want. I'm talking those little plastic things to open CD cases that cost $1.
The start-up owners I worked with benefited a lot from courses like this.

Petrea said...

Yes, absolutely, I made that oak do that thing.

What point had they reached by ten years, Bellis? It can take a long time to make a small business profitable, although ten years sounds like a little much, or why would anyone do it? I wonder what the statistics are.

Petrea said...

eHow.com says it takes "at least a year" for most small businesses to show a profit:

Bellis said...

Both people who employed me (OK, they were men) were taking only enough out of the business to support their families. I worked for peanuts, doing everything from research to filing to the accounts. It took 10 years before the cash flow was sufficient to hire an accountant, office help, someone to do the payroll, more employees to do the work, plus a nice income for the hard-working boss. Both said that despite the long hours they loved the lack of stress caused by having a boss telling you what to do.

Tax-wise, in the UK I think you can declare losses for the first 2 years but have to make a profit in the third, else your business has only been set up as a way to avoid tax. Is it the same in the US?

Biggest problem of running a small business? Getting paid by the creditors. Lawyers hung on to the money they owed us the longest.

Petrea said...

I don't know about the tax breaks here, Bellis. I think the Small Business Administration has those answers, though.

And I've had that experience--it's hard to get creditors to pay. Before I joined the actors' unions SAG and AFTRA, I sometimes found it nearly impossible to get paid when acting as an independent contractor. (Collective bargaining, anyone?)

Shell Sherree said...

Sounds like an extremely useful retreat. The landscape of the working world continues to change so rapidly, it's great to have some help in staying ahead of it. {Even staying on top of it or close to it would be wonderful!}