Published 7 October 2017
It was back in May of 2012 when I first launched Learning Meets Quality as a business entity. It was my first attempt at starting and operating a business, and to say I was naive then about starting a business is a gross understatement. I learned plenty, earned customers rarely, took in money even less frequently than that, but I did smile a lot. After a few small accomplishments for clients, and having to face the reality that I was heading toward financial hardship, I essentially pulled the plug on LMQ in October of 2014. The entity remains alive in its web presence only, primarily as a blog. I summarized my experience along with other professional and personal failures and victories, in my book, Success from the Ashes.
In the intervening years and months since shutting down LMQ, I have taken a position with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and resurrected a second failed business from that time period to form Fox and Swan Arts LLC, an entity I share with my wife. In Rochester, we have found a comfortable home with plenty of opportunities to connect to new friends and associates. Our income has stabilized, I’m climbing out of debt, and we live humbly but comfortably and happily.
I first dedicated myself to the field of education in the Fall of 1985, when I re-enrolled in college at the University of Minnesota to earn my teaching license. I worked for 14 years in formal science education, followed by six years in informal science education while working at Twin Cities PBS, with a project called DragonflyTV. After that, I moved to adult education in the field of corporate health and safety at the Valspar Corporation (now owned by Sherwin-Williams), and finally I am in my current role managing continuing medical education events with Mayo Clinic. I lost track of time somewhere, and it is shocking to me now to realize that I’ve been working in education for 32 years.
There have been many changes in the field of education over the last three decades, yet I am aware of some constants.
- As much as learners might want to learn, they are often resistant to changes in their way of thinking… an interesting contradiction
- Face-to-face learning with an instructor remains valuable, even as the industry of online and e-learning grows annually
- The highest value learning occurs when there is a connection and relationship among learners
It’s the third bullet that hits home for me today. And it leads me to the point of this blog: changes are coming to the Learning Meets Quality website.
It is time for me to let go of a certain part of my professional identity, namely, that of education consultant. I am entering a phase of my life where I’m letting a creative side of my personality emerge and grow. I am having both creative and business success with Fox and Swan Arts, at very modest levels, mind you. More importantly, it is the personal connections I’m making in my creative pursuits that energizes me most these days.
This website is evolving to reflect my passion for personal connections. I’m about to release a new book that promotes relationship-building between owners of small businesses and leaders of local non-profit organizations. The book is entitled, SPARC: How to Build Sustainable Partnerships, and its focus is to open people up to the energy and satisfaction of creating ongoing professional relationships with others.
The book is in its final stages, and I expect to have it published before the end of calendar year 2017. This website has been re-purposed to promote the lessons taught in the book, and to tell the stories of the people and organizations who use the SPARC program successfully.
Stay tuned as these new developments unfold and evolve.