I owe my entrepreneurial spirit and business know-how to my parents. My Mom is incredibly innovative and taught me how to be resourceful, creative, and get things done. She also passed on her sensibility around money and people. My Dad was the one who gave me great practical business start-up experience and my desire to help grow great people with great ideas! He also was the formal educator in the family, so my writing style and use of parallelism and proper punctuation (some times) is his doing. :)
In the early 90's when I was in college, my Dad learned he was going to be transitioned out of the Federal Government due to the change in administration. He saw it coming so he was able to put a lot of thought into what he would do next. He had a vision and was very clear on where he wanted to go. What he didn't know was how to set up shop, promote his business, and turn his ideas into reality. He asked my Mom and me to help.
Looking back it seemed fairly straight-forward. We focused on the logistics and infrastructure first. After we painted my old bedroom (his new office with a bad paint job no less), we bought him a desk and chair, a few metal file drawers, and of course, file folders and little label tabs (doesn't that make any home office feel official?)
We purchased a computer and a laser printer, set him up with internet (choices were AOL or CompuServe - we chose CompuServe dial-up service). We also bought Word Perfect and Quicken. Next on the list: figure out the reveal codes features for Word Perfect ;-), design a logo, generate a mailing list (not email), find laser labels for printing addresses, and print, stamp, and mail newsletters every month. I created a logo, brochures, business cards, a newsletter template, and we got his name out there. He was my first 'Idea Cultivator' client!
As his business grew, he started selling subscriptions to his newsletter. People would call him to come speak at their conferences and graduation ceremonies, and next thing you know my Dad had a viable business. My Dad just turned 80 this year and guess what, his business is still running... he and my Mom are still traveling, and instead of a newsletter he posts on LinkedIn and sends out emails. I think it's so cool that he had an idea, a vision for what he wanted, and more than 20 years later, it's still thriving!
Our garden of ideas are housed in this blog. Much of our work is around innovation -- taking an idea from a space of creativity to action.