When I launched my company in July 2015, I originally was focused only on helping individuals one on one with application essays, resumes, and cover letters. That was it. I began blogging in July 2015 to accompany my website and realized my passion for writing was something that really helped me formulate new ideas, strategies and get feedback and clients – I did not ever expect to have as much response to my writing as I did get.
Within a few weeks of launch, I was asked to partner with Wagner College Department for Lifelong Learning with The Next Step seminars and courses. That happened really quickly. I continued to build my content and share my stories via my blog about being an entrepreneur, executive and educator.
I realized quickly that a) my blog was not allowing me to tell the full story and b) I had more content than I knew what to do with. I began writing my first two books concurrently and now I have four books published and out there which is part and parcel of my strategy to build my business in College and Career Readiness and Entrepreneur-ING.
Which leads me to the College and Career Readiness Strategy for The Next Step. What is interesting is that I could not have planned it better to have begun my writing and focus on this topic as it has become a huge initiative for the NYC Department of Education to address. The College for All initiative was announced this week with a launch at 3 local Staten Island schools but with plans to expand to the whole school district.
The first book in my series on College and Career Readiness is targeted to 6th through 9th graders and really discusses and gives lessons and insights into surviving high school and kicking butt in college. It lays the groundwork for the younger students and gives them the tools they need to think about these huge next steps in their lives and it also gives a plan of action to the parents. In addition to this book, though, I also have content around presenting seminars, workshops and more both online and in person on these topics. The feedback on my workshops are amazing.
I can be a train the trainer type of provider, as well – as someone who has been an educator for over 13 years, I am meant to teach people. I can teach someone how to present and prepare their students for these transitions or I can prepare the students (and their families) directly.
My company is uniquely positioned as a local, woman owned, Department of Education vendor with actual real world experience and books on these topics. It should be a “no brainer” that I am involved with this but I still need to make the connections. It is not enough to be “available”, you have to be “visible” so I have been doing a lot of emails, phone calls, visits and setting up meetings and just trying to be as out there as possible to make sure that my company is included as a resource for the District 31 schools focusing on College and Career Readiness.
When you have a passion and a mission, it can be easy to get consumed by it – with all of this focus on College and Career Readiness, I am also still working with individuals and other schools and institutions for helping their staff, students and more be ready for these next steps. I am on the verge of needing to hire some staff and potentially even get office space, too … Not an overnight success but definitely something I have been dreaming of and working on for the past 10+ years – the ability to run my own successful small business and share my skills and talents to make my borough better!
What do you think of my strategy? Happy Hunting!
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Lisa Vento Nielsen