When SUNY Morrisville professor Sheila Marshman asked me if I would be one of the guest speakers she was lining up for her Fall 2008 Micro-Enterprise class, I thought – “Here’s my chance!”
I’ve always harbored the secret desire to be a teacher. As a child, playing school was one of my favorite pretend games. I’d line up my motley collection of dolls and stuffed animals and give them spelling lists, math assignments and even a pop quiz or two. I even carefully recorded the marks of my eclectic group of “students” in my little grade book.
At some point, I put thoughts of being a teacher behind me and chose to pursue a degree in economics instead. With that degree in hand, I worked for more than a decade in various aspects of marketing. It was this expertise which Sheila wanted me to share with her class, a group of adults interested in starting and/or expanding their own small business.
After I got over my initial reaction of being flattered and had visions of all my unfulfilled dreams of being a teacher, well, filled, I got a bit nervous. How the heck was I going to condense 10 years of working in several industries into a 50-minute discussion?
After a few calming breaths (and 3.7 cups of Egyptian Licorice tea), I felt focused enough to tackle the task at hand. I spent at least a week brainstorming and distilling my different experiences into something that I hoped was generic enough not to be exclusionary, yet specific enough to be useful. Of course, this was more than a month before my date with destiny, so I didn’t bother to get any of it down on paper or into a PowerPoint presentation. I had plenty of time. Right?