Back to School

IMG_3684We started our Business class last night through The Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at NIACC.  The class is held here in Clear Lake (which is super convenient for us.)  A good portion of the class last night was shop keeping, getting handouts, learning the structure of the class, and talking about what we hope to achieve in the class.Since I'm a list maker (it helps me organize my ideas) I want to reflect on some thoughts about the class after the first night:1. I was overwhelmed and excited by all of the other people in the class.  There were lots of good ideas for business plans, and it was inspiring to listen to others explain their dreams.2.  I was also inspired by the men running the class and their eagerness to help us.  They want us to succeed. They want us to find the resources we need. In fact, they recommend going to the Pappajohn Center to meet with them privately in conjunction with taking this class.3.  The guest speaker was Brad who started up Cabin Coffee here in Clear Lake and has now franchised.  It was very casual, but interesting to listen to his advice.  The biggest take away for me was when he said, "Pad yourself for the first year.  Even if you think you won't need the money, you will." We are a little bit lost on the financial piece of it right now, but as we figure that out I'm going to keep that little nugget in mind.4.  We are unique.  Everyone else in the class has an idea and is starting it up from ground zero.  We are taking over an established business.  So we not only have to figure out our business plan and hopes for the future, but we have to consider the existing plan in place and how our plan fits with that.  We also have to consider that what Dave's parents have been doing has been working for them, and how are we going to make that work for us.5.  Make sure your business goals match your personal goals. I think this is one of the main reasons we decided to go for it.  We want a family and owning Natural Plus will (hopefully) give us the flexibility to raise our children the way we want to.  Dave grew up there and we both want that for our children.6.  "The more you know, the more you find you don't know."  So true.  The more I learn about anything, the more I realize I need to read a lot more.  I am a sponge. I love knowledge. I hope this helps me in the next year because I'm jumping into a whole new arena--there's a lot to learn!Overall, I think this class is going to be very helpful. As much as I hate "group activities" in class, I think they are going to be the most beneficial.  Our peers have a lot of experience and knowledge and hopefully we can tap into it.