Sometimes the right time to start your business comes along when you least expect it. That’s what happened to Michael Cardus who started his business in January 2007. He was working for a corporate conference center as their Director of Workforce Development and had an entreprenurial moment.
Michael says, “After sitting through too many ‘Death by Power Point’ presentations by other trainers I thought there must be a better way — a way to unleash the intelligence that companies have.” So that same day he had a meeting with his boss to share his ideas for delivering exciting facilitated training programs to companies. She laughed and said, “Mike what makes you think you are qualified to do that?” and after some heated and angry words he was terminated.
Not to be deterred he went home that night, reflected upon his choices, and developed Create-Learning-Team Building the following day.
Create-Learning-Team Building is an experiential based (hands-on) training and development organization with a focus on Team Development and Leadership Training. They provide customized programs and consultation that is purposeful, engaging and interactive; making the learner the central resource for the training. “The goal,” Michael says, “is in building relationships by enhancing teams to increase rates of staff retention as well as rates of production and effectiveness.”
Michael has a favorite quote he uses when he works with organizations to help them see opportunities and new perspectives:
- Where are your opportunities?
- Who are you blocking from opportunity?
- Who is stopping you from opportunity?
- How can we capture opportunity?
- What do you see in the above quote?
- How are your perceptions of opportunity affecting your present?
- Choose one opportunity, reflect upon it, explore it, experience it – what are you going to do?
- How can you make “No where” become “Now Here”?
I’m sure that outlook is what has helped Michael grow his business. Despite the recession, Create-Learning-Team Building has had an increase in sales during the past few months.
Blogging and an aggressive focus on the local market are the strategies Michael has used to get where he is today. His approach to marketing? “I want to be the best Team Development and Leadership Facilitation guy in Western New York, not California, or Europe. My focus is in my backyard.” With an insane passion and love for sharing ways to serve and help others to be successful, he markets constantly using blogging, tweeting, facebook, LinkedIn, ning, article e-zines, supporting local businesses, dropping off his business cards, leading programs for school groups, joining local boards, and forming alliances — to name a few.
Michael suggests small business owners “focus on what you have” to survive the recession. He suggests you work with your team members to keep what they are doing relevant and immediately measurable and reexamine your existing business plan and strategic plans to see if they are still working. Plus, he thinks you should begin thinking about your business in the recovery phase by identifying what it looks, smells and feels like. And, he says, “Do you have a team member who has ideas that you have never tried? Talk to that person, try the idea.” He should know. That’s where he started.
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