My career in business was a rewarding one. I met a lot of good people worldwide and made a lot of lasting friends.  One of the lessons business people quickly learn is that working together, as opposed to working independently, is critical to success.  Leveraging skills, motivating your teammates and always pursuing lofty goals is the way to push a business forward.  It also builds on relationships.  One helps the other.

When I retired, people came to me asking what I was going to do now that I had extra time.  It quickly became apparent that my mind needed to stay involved with people and try to impart some of the work experiences that I learned during my work years.  A good friend recommended SCORE…he used their services himself and spoke highly of the results he gained.  About 10 years ago, I decided to join the local chapter of SCORE.  It has been a rewarding journey.  During those 10 years, I have met a lot of people and I am sure many of them learned lessons from the experiences I had during my career.  In effect, I gave them lessons I learned and perhaps I helped them understand how to solve a problem or avoid a costly mistake.  I was able to start a relationship, build trust with an individual and motivate someone to achieve their business goals.  As volunteers at SCORE, our time is donated without any compensation.  When we have helped someone start a business or solve a business problem, their successes turn into our satisfaction – in essence, our payment for services.

Much of the work we do at SCORE closely parallels the work we did during our working years.  During our working years, we interact in conversation with others, we give others our opinions or experiences as assistance and we do public speaking in many of our internal meetings.  At SCORE, most of the interaction with our clients is very similar – we interact in conversation and build relationships, share our experiences where necessary and teach others using our workshop topics.  I have done a lot of talking, but I have also done a lot of listening.

Over the 10 years, my client list has grown to over 400 people.  I feel good knowing that I have had some amount of positive effect in their pursuit of a business dream.  I may have been the single influence on their ability to become successful.  I will never know how many of those 400 have a successful business start, but I do know that I have enjoyed working with every one of them.  Watching a new business launch successfully is truly a thrill.

Guest Writer – Jim Binneboese