Archive for the ‘advantage of being a rookie’ Category

Meet the Man Teaching Baby Boomers How to Turn Their Age into an Asset

Monday, January 29th, 2018

“While it’s not a pretty picture for most older workers in the corporate job market, we’ve shown hundreds of boomers how to turn their age from a disadvantage to an asset when running their own businesses,” notes Jeff Williams, CEO of Chicago-based, a coaching company that helps boomers start their own businesses.

2018 marks Bizstarters’ 30th year guiding boomers find rewarding entrepreneurial opportunities that reflect their experience and preferred lifestyles. “We show our clients that even though corporations may not hire you after 50, they’ll sure buy from you. And so will a wide variety of consumers.”

Jeff Williams’ long-held love of teaching and training, primarily as an unpaid volunteer, led him to conceptualize his first business – a walk-in entrepreneurial training center, located in suburban Chicago. He launched the business right in the middle of the 1990 recession, when a large local population of downsized corporate managers presented an attractive group of entrepreneurial prospects.

In 1999, using the power of the newly established World Wide Web, Williams enlarged his business footprint internationally by launching a new online company, using the company’s current name of

Following an eighteen-year career as an MBA-trained corporate marketing executive, Williams worked at entrepreneurial training centers, taught college courses in writing business plans, and worked with the Private Industry Council, a nonprofit organization that operated employment, education and training programs. The entrepreneurial training program Williams led for the job training agency won a national award for program excellence in 1992 and funding from the U.S. Department of Labor was renewed for seven straight years.

By the time Williams was in his late thirties, he realized from speaking to his friends, college buddies and corporate colleagues that boomers were developing a  perspective on retirement that was very different from that of their parents; Today, many boomers don’t see retiring anywhere near the traditional retirement age. They find that with their skills, experience and talent, they can often replace corporate work with entrepreneurial work. “While it can take more time and effort to grow your income from running your own business compared to a job, I will always trust a group of satisfied customers to stay more loyal to me than any corporate boss I ever had,” Williams emphasizes.

“Our clients have launched a wide variety of businesses, from designing and selling custom jewelry to consulting on health and safety issues with Fortune 500 manufacturers to selling vintage drum sets to serious collectors around the world. There is a demand for almost any type of work skill, life interest or long-enjoyed hobby in the entrepreneurial marketplace today.”

Bizstarters helps boomers launch their entrepreneurial ventures through the company’s Virtual Incubator™ business startup coaching program whose mantra is ‘Do What You Do Best. We’ll Do the Rest.” It reflects a dual-track process, where a coach guides the boomer client through his or her essential marketing and selling decisions, while at the same time a support team executes all essential organizational tasks, ranging from website design to installing and using accounting software.

Williams notes “that the same corporations that don’t seem to want you on their payroll will gladly pay you top dollar for your talent and experience as a freelancer or consultant. Boomers certainly can turn their age into an asset.”



Your First Person Public Relations

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

For various reasons, every so often most of us re-evaluate our lifestyles and explore possibilities that might exist and offer new opportunities in our lives. In our explorations, we may discover a new road and our next chapter, or we may confirm that we’re doing exactly what’s right for us.

Here are a few personal and professional suggestions that offer insights that could help you with your First Person Public Relations goals.

►When Strangers Meet, book by author Kio Stark

►“Ink Factory graphic artist shows that doodling can be your career,” Blue Sky, Chicago Tribune

►“To Be a Lot Happier, Stop Doing as Many of These 11 Things as You Possibly Can,” by Jeff Haden, Contributing Editor, Inc. Magazine.

►“Dream Job or Sweatshop? 12 Things to Look for When You Interview,” by Jessica Stiillman, contributor to  Inc.. Magazine

We would appreciate your suggestions and comments.


Time to “Brand” New You

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Branding is receiving lots of attention. Is it time to create a brand for yourself or reconsider your current one?

Your brand evolves over time, reflecting a personal and professional commitment to your goals, beliefs and the expectations of others. A brand is what we (consumers, employers, colleagues, friends and family) trust you for.

Each of us has a personal brand – characteristics and experience we offer. Many, many articles and books discuss personal branding and the importance of authenticity and trust, and here are a few that offer insights and advice as you consider your approaches.

► “Personal Branding Guerrilla Style…Shape Up Your Brand with Attitude,” Chapter 2, Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0, by Jay Conrad Levinson and David Perry, John Wiley & Sons.

► Branding and the “Me” Economy, The New York Times,

► Branding Gets Personal for These Job Seekers, The Wall Street Journal,

► Your Personal Brand Needs a Growth Strategy, Entrepreneur Magazine,

► Rethink “brand you,” and find your authentic self, Forbes Magazine,

► Clients Want Authenticity – Your brand needs to reflect the real you,

► Is your business [brand] male or female?

► Your Brand – My Gut Feeling and Trust,

► Brand New You,

► Personal Branding (Perspectives),

Ready for a “brand” new you?

Rookie or Seasoned Pro – Time to Change

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

I’m not a “rookie” (not young enough), but despite my professional experience, I regularly feel like a “newbie” in today’s ever-changing techie world. So, when I read Rex W. Huppke’s  I Just Work Here column on how to “Keep your edge with ‘rookie smarts’,” I identified.  Maybe you do, too?!

Read it for yourself — — and here are some highlights.

“Your cluelessness may be giving you a competitive advantage. …That sounds silly, but consider the benefits of confusion. It prompts you to work harder to make sense of things. It forces you to ask questions, to always seek a foothold of understanding.”

“Consider,” Huppke suggests, “ this excerpt from Liz Wiseman’s upcoming book, Rookie Smarts.  … While experience provides a distinct advantage in a stable field – like the realms of bridge building, ballet, or concert piano performance – it can actually impede progress in an unstable or rapidly evolving arena. When the world is changing quickly, experience can actually become a curse, trapping us in old ways of doing and knowing, while inexperience can be a blessing, freeing us to improvise and adapt quickly to changing circumstances.”

If you’re looking for a competitive edge (college grad or seasoned pro), your ability to quickly adapt and a “rookie mindset” are definitely advantages and keys to ongoing success. (Notice that this blog post is shorter than I usually write?!)

If you would like to share your 1st Person PR rookie experience, I’m listening?