Tag Archives: ASBDC

True Story: Flying Out of San Diego After the Outage

Yesterday at about 6 pm I was with a few dozen people in the terminal that United Air Lines uses in the San Diego airport.

Things did not look good. We’d been without power for more than two hours, and, according to what we learned via mobile phones and iPads and such — there was no wireless, because there was no power — the power was out for at least 50 miles to the north, maybe 100 miles to the south, and all the way to New Mexico to the east. Where I was, on the boarding side of security, the emergency generators powered only some dim lights in the main restrooms, the public address system, and nothing else. The cluster of United employees in the terminal had no computers working, and of course no skybridges to board or unboard people. San Diego, meanwhile, was in gridlock, heat of about 90 degrees, and the word from local hotels was no power, skeleton elevator service, and no water or power to the rooms. Somebody near me shared that the local power company said restoring power might take overnight. And behind us, security had stopped screening passengers when the power went out.

My wife, daughter and grandson were back at the hotel, so I was thinking that if things didn’t look better soon I might walk the four miles or so back (the San Diego airport is remarkably close to the city) there. We’d been attending the annual ASBDC conference in the Manchester Hyatt, but they were going to stay one day longer than me. The walking option would have been without my bag — I almost never check luggage, but yesterday I did because I was carrying some stuff related to a daughter having just moved — and it wasn’t clear that taxis were going to be available.

I considered renting a car, maybe collecting my hotel-bound refugee family, and driving north to Los Angeles, but then it occurred to me that the rental process required electric power. And outside, within sight of the terminal, the interstate looked stopped dead, like a parking lot.

Not that the hotel sounded like a great option: Yes they had emergency power so one of every three elevators worked, but it wasn’t enough power to light the rooms or, worse still, pump water to the rooms. Their room is on the 32nd floor. But if the power didn’t go on, I guessed, that would be better than spending all night in the unlit terminal.

That was about when one of the United employees announced — the public address system worked — that those of us who were in the terminal, through security, with seats to San Francisco, were going to be loaded up by stairway on a plane going to San Francisco.

And I wrote the first draft of this post on that plane. They took down our names by hand, the old fashioned way, and walked us down a stairway to the tarmac and up a stairway to the plane. There are 12 of us on board, on a B757 jet that seats 182. It left two hours after the scheduled time, so I missed my connection to home in Eugene, but that wasn’t so bad. The illustration on this post is that empty plane.

Yes, I was glad to be out of the airport and power outage and flying to San Francisco, one of the lucky 12 that arrived early enough to be through security when the power went out. But damn, I worried about a long and unpleasant night for my wife and daughter and grandson. And I hoped they would get it fixed so they could make their flights today.

Is there a moral to this story? Not really. I’m just sharing my good luck in being at the right place at the wrong time. Gratitude is good, we all tell each other the bad travel stories, and this one worked out.

Update: the power came back at the hotel around 3 am. And I got back home shortly after midnight. As of this morning, San Diego is back to normal.


(Image: my iPhone)

Helping You Teach Entrepreneurship

That was embarrassing … I was showing some people how easy it would be to modify the order of our online course curriculum, doing some quick links in WordPress, and I accidentally posted it. Sorry.

I could have just deleted that post, but it’s instantly in the RSS feed for this blog, which compounds the error if I delete it.

So, instead of deleting, I’m explaining, and adding information: I was demonstrating how easy it would be to use a WordPress site to start with our online curriculum at course.bplans.com (Start, Run, and Grow Your Business) and modify the session order to apply it to different formats like two days, two weeks, 24 sessions, etc.

That’s for and my training session for the Association of Small Business Development Centers, Sept. 6, in San Diego, the day before the annual ASBDC (Association of Small Business Development Centers) conference.

And here’s my workshop plan for that day:

Friday Footprints: 5 Good Posts For July 8

First, my thanks to Catharina Belgraver for helping me come up with Friday Footprints, in response to my post here last Friday.

  1. Steve Tobak has a good one on the real secret to personal productivity on BNET. He lists what other people say on this subject, then gets down to his own formula.
  2. I remember a cartoon I saw in 1999. The woman says she’s really looking forward to the new millennium. The man answers “You should; you’re a woman.” Fast forward to Jessica Bennett and Jessie Ellison with Women Will Rule the World on Newsweek.com. This is a very well researched and well written think piece, well worth reading. And it makes a lot of sense.
  3. Evelyn Rusli posted Rejecting Wall Street, Graduates Turn Entrepreneurs Instead on NYTimes’ Dealbook. This is about MBAs becoming entrepreneurs, which is a theme I believe in. I say it’s about time. And maybe I started a trend back in 1983, when I did it.
  4. Ami Groth tracked statistics on the age of startup founders in People Over 35 Have Recently Launched 80% of the Startups on Business Insider. Woman RunningBeing an old guy, I can’t resist quoting this one, at least this paragraph:

    According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, people over the age of 35 made up 80 percent of the total entrepreneurship activity in 2009. That same year, the Kauffman Foundation conducted a survey of 549 startups operating in “high-growth” industries — including aerospace, defense, health care, and computer and electronics — and found that people over 55 are nearly twice as likely to launch startups in these industries.

  5. Alex Rampell posted an excellent analysis of the guts of new marketing in The Power of Pull on TechCrunch.

Also, some calendar items:

  1. I’m going to be live with with Dr. Amy Vanderbilt at 11 AM PDT today on Trend POV at trendpov.com/content.
  2. I’m live with Corrine McElroy Next Wednesday July 13 at 1 pm PDT at www.edgeofchange.com/interview.
  3. I’ve discovered Plancast.com, which lets me post my interview and speaking dates online at plancast.com/timberry. I hope you can join me. I’ll be putting a widget on my sidebar … plancast.com, are you listening? Widgets, maybe?. If you go to that site you can follow me to be able to see my schedule; actually, I think you can see it on that URL whether you follow me or not.
  4. Finally, if you’re an SBDC person and you’re going to the annual conference in San Diego, please join me for a training and certification of my free-for-teachers online curriculum. That’s Sept. 6, the Tuesday before the opening, as part of the “pre-conference.” Please click here for more information on that.

(Image: MrUllmi via Flickr cc)

Disney Entrepreneurship Center: Good Idea Well Implemented

Here’s an idea that makes so much sense that it’s surprising it isn’t done everywhere: combine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), SCORE, chambers of commerce, and related organizations under one roof. That’s what the Disney Entrepreneur Center does in Orlando, FL.

I wonder if it’s just coincidence that Entrepreneur Magazine included Orlando in its most recent list of the best places to start a business.

I visited there last week, and spoke at a business planning event that included people at the center and people online. Center director Jerry Ross talks about synergy by explaining:

We have 13 organizations here, but only one printer, and one receptionist. We work together.

That makes a lot of sense to me, and it seems to be working. And he doesn’t mean just printers and reception; there’s synergy throughout the building. People from most of those organizations joined me there for my visit last week. I’m a member of SCORE, and my company is a longtime supporter of the SBDC network and of our local Chamber of Commerce, but I’ve rarely seen that much synergy in one place.

(Image: ona1a/Flickr cc)