Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Look Before You Leap Course Pilot

The Look Before You Leap pilot course will begin with a post-conference session at BC’s annual Career Development Conference, following by 10 days online - allowing for mixed-mode approach.

Roberta Neault and Deirdre Pickerell will be facilitating the post-conference session in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday March 9th (8:30am – 4:30pm). The online portion of the course will begin one week later, and run for 10 days: Wednesday March 16th to Friday March 25th. Completion of the course will require three practical assignments. The post-conference is open to anyone wishing to learn more about the topic; participation in the online portion of the course is only required for those who want a certificate of completion for the full 2-week course.

Cost: $300.00 for BCCDA members and $350.00 for non-members

Register at for the post-conference session; there is no additional fee for the online portion of the course.

Hope to see you there

Survey Results Summary

To inform the development of “Leap” suite of tools, we conducted a survey aimed at gathering insights and experiences from the self-employed. Here is a snapshot of the results:
  • Approximately 66% of respondents were currently self-employed, with the remaining 34% being self-employed previously
  • The three most important characteristics of self-employed individuals were
    • Self-discipline (25%)
    • People skills (13.73%)
    • Persistence (12.75%)
    • Interestingly, while no one placed empathy in the top three, it was identified as an important characteristic within the qualitative section

The open-ended question results reflected very similar characteristics about personal abilities, with additional examples including creativity, curiosity, and resourcefulness. Relevant skills (e.g., networking, organization) and knowledge (e.g., ethical practice) were also deemed important.

Respondents also shared:

  • Things they wish they’d known before becoming self-employed (e.g., how much time marketing your services takes)
  • Helpful resources (e.g.,
  • Self-employment lessons/stories (e.g., “There's no quick solution to becoming successful at self-employment. You just have to get out there and market yourself. Success takes years”).
We’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the self-employment survey; the information gathered has informed the project components, specifically the course and the book.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to Make Entrepreneurial Vision a Reality

The following came through our email today...we thought it worth sharing.

How to Make Entrepreneurial Vision a Reality

Ann Arbor, MIFebruary 15, 2011 – Have you ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur? Unsure how to make the transition from your current career area to implementing a business plan of your own?  Audrey Wong Chung, Owner and Founder of Beliza Design, an international design and fashion company, based in Ann Arbor, MI, has some unique insight on the entrepreneurial process as she moved from management consulting to jewelry design.  

Combine Your Talents
“I have always wanted to marry my business experience and my art background.  In 2000, I made the decision to become an entrepreneur and designer,” says Audrey.  “I continued to work in my career as I launched my first business in parallel.  Combining my unique skill sets allowed my creativity to take life not only in designing, but the entire business approach spanning from marketing, process innovation, strategic planning, and so on.”

Create a Plan
“In becoming an entrepreneur, time is the biggest asset,” continues Audrey.  “The biggest thing in starting a business is setting goals.  In order to reach your goals, you have to map out a project plan.  The first step of my plan was to downsize my life style.  That means making your life style more simple and focusing on the things you really need.  This will open up more time and money to get your business rolling.”
“Start your business, but keep your day job.  Prioritize to use your free time and after work hours to craft your new business.  This way, you can fund your business with your day job, with additional help from mortgages, credit cards, or even loans.”

Take Full Control
“Once your business gets rolling, you can quit your day job and are able to gain total control on your own.  Remember, the process of becoming a full entrepreneur takes time,” says Audrey.  “Along the way, don’t look at the world in terms of success or failure.  Everything contributes to the overall success of your business.  With this in mind, it will help you avoid dwelling on any bumps along the way.” 

About Audrey Wong Chung:Audrey Wong Chung is the founder and CEO of Beliza Design and managing partner and cofounder of Etre Design.  After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University in Computer Science with a minor in Psychology, Audrey began her career as a management consultant at Accenture.  After ten years of experience in managing consulting, process and systems design, development, implementation, and change management experience, Audrey decided to take a turn in her career pathway.  As a child actress, she worked with many well known Hollywood stars, including Bill Cosby, who specifically asked her back to the Cosby show more than once, recognizing something special in this child.  Audrey was a child artist recipient of an art study scholarship at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she went on to combine her business experience and appreciation of art and design.  Thus, she founded Beliza Design, an international design and fashion company, based in Ann Arbor, MI, in 2008.  Complimenting her success with Beliza Design, Audrey went on to begin the Vasati Foundation, dedicated to promoting the overall health of women and children, and freedom. Audrey can be contacted directly at:

Press Contact:
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