When I was 10 years old, I had my first retail job: buying and selling greeting cards to friends and family. My mother who taught me all the basic working skills (like learning to type when I was 12) used this method to teach me the value of earning, spending, and saving money, and operating at a profit. Since then, life took me down different paths but somehow business and retail always played major roles even though my talents were in the fine arts field. In 1984 I opened my own interior design practice in San Francisco and consequently worked on residential and commercial projects there, in N.Y. and in Southern Spain.
Eonomic times change and in 1992 interior design was not a necessary service so I entered the world of the major retail store, working for the next 20 years in large department store environments in N.Y. and Germany. During this period I learned what a cutthroat business it was but what a challenging “high” being the “Boss” was (including being a Human Resource Manager for over 500 employees), so much so that I knew having my own business again - and soon - was inevitable. Consequently I had the opportunity to manage a medium-sized home furnishings store in New York so the days of large department store-style management were over, but running a million dollar operation was no easy task either. This time spent was another chapter in retail observation and experience that involved business practices at a different level.
In 2001 my husband and I moved to the much quieter, less stressful Tropical Coast of Spain and opened our own small internet/computer and business assistance shop in a town of 25,000 residents. We both spoke Spanish fluently and were used to the Mediterranean culture but in a town relatively unspoiled-by-outsiders, many local people told us our business was doomed because we were foreigners; furthermore our first store was located on a secondary street. But because we believed and lived our “Formula 1”© concept (explained in the final chapter of Volume 2's book), none of their admonitions came true. Since then - almost 2 decades later - our business diversified and grew successfully. By our understanding of the local culture, adhering to the local way of doing things, staying abreast of the times, responding to the needs of our international clients, and ALWAYS thinking ahead, we met the challenge and won.
Looking back at this working journey, I met so many people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds who yearned to do what we had done: live an independent life, doing what we wanted to do, not what we were TOLD to do...and in a foreign country. That became the pivotal reason for writing the “S.M.A.RT” Business books and for offering our workshops. Talent is in everyone; it should be drawn out and employed and above all, the work must be done out of love for the profession…otherwise life is a drudgery.
FINE ARTS INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS & RETAIL SELLING SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
Many of us have a passion: for adventure, for painting, for dance, for helping the needy, for fashion, for communication, for saving the planet from early extinction...and on and on. Along with that passion often comes the dream of financial independence by way of owning your own business. We provide you with the tools to fulfill your passion and make that dream come to fruition. We believe that every person has the ability and capability to learn and apply what it takes to not only start your own small business, but with the right attitude and motivation, to maintain and be successful at it. Our books and workshops are not about textbook-only knowledge; they are based on over 30 years of on-the-job experience and the wisdom gained in different types of businesses, large, medium and small in size, and in different countries. Our goal is to help you SUCCEED - regardless of where you live, how much education you have had, or how technologically adept you may be.
The term RETAIL does not just mean selling products; RETAIL includes service and non-profit businesses - the basic principles are the same. And, as we live through the 21st century, we have the benefit of the latest technological tools to help us build, grow and advance our personal goals. The trick is in learning how to use these tools along with good old-fashioned "people skills" to develop your small business.
Passion + good instincts + experience + research can yield incredibly successful results.
Apply our “Formula 1”© principle and you have a winner.
If you want a real hands-on course on developing and sustaining your own small retail or service business – taught in simple, every day terms – then either read the books or even better - join us for one of our workshops. We purposefully keep the maximum number of attendees to 8 persons to give each one the personalized attention they deserve. And wait til you hear what the final assignment is…it's a good challenge! And because these workshops are offered in delightful Mediterranean locations, you can combine your vacation with your studies and return home mentally and physically refreshed and enlightened, ready to set your business wheels into motion!
NOTE: THESE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS ARE CURRENTLY BEING SET UP AND WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON.