Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

October 07, 2016

On Wednesday September 14, I stepped through the doors and became a part of Cohort 17 for the Houston class of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.  With a course schedule that includes 19 weeknight or full-day workshops, my first thought was HOW as in how the heck am I going to fit this into my already jam-packed life.

Before I get to impressions, let me tell you WHY I applied for the program. My company is now six (6!) years old. My original plan was to create a marketing strategy consultancy; as clients have "demanded" our daily implementation and execution have grown. The majority of our business is online marketing strategy and execution (somewhat a misnomer since all marketing these days is online but that's another blog).  We've grown. We've built a really awesome company culture in an all-virtual team structure.  Unplanned growth is Good so I figured a plan for growth would be Better.  The Goldman Sachs program results show that 10,000 Small Businesses graduates consistently grow their revenues and create jobs at rates that outperform the broader economy.  So, yes I want Blue Sky Marketing to be in that number (as we would say in my hometown New Orleans). 

Three weeks later, let me share my impressions of the program and the people. 

  • There are many talented and brave entrepreneurs in the world.  I knew this but sitting in a room full of them really brings it home. These people leave corporate America, start companies and brave the unknown. It's inspiring. 
  • Focusing "on the business" is a good exercise for the perpetually busy. I have an ongoing laundry list in my head of things I should do; taking the time to go to the classes means I am writing them down and assigning due dates. 
  • My upbringing in a wildly entrepreneurial family was a GIFT.  There are people in this class learning things my dad taught me when I was 12. All those times that I rode with him to see Mr. Driscoll (his CPA) and review tax planning has paid dividends. The discipline my mom taught me from her fundraising phone calls led to tenacity. And having a sounding board of talented business people inside my own siblings has given me great perspective. 

I'll repost in a few months when the program ends to let you know how it turns out. If you're a reader who owns their own business and wants to learn more about the program, reach out

 

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