When Unemployment Ends; Real Work Begins

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2011 by Melissa Baltazar

Keep the faith and your hard work will pay off

So my unemployment expires today and the job market is very tough. While I have looked for work in the area where I’m reinventing myself, I have also buckled under the pressure of surmounting bills and a pending eviction and have applied to administrative jobs like receptionists or administrative assistant to no avail.

I have 13 years as an office manager for various sized firms; I thought for sure I’d be able to fall back on administrative work. After all, having something to fall back on was the reason I started an office job to begin with. I remember growing up and my father telling me to “find work in an office, learn how to type, learn computers, this way, if you ever need anything to fall back on, you will always know how to work in an office”.  Well, that was some pretty good advice back then, it helped me in high school and college, led me on a path to manage offices ranging from 3 full-time employees to 100 at an international firm, but it’s getting me no where now.

If and when I have children, my advice to them would be, find your passion, do that and do it well. Learn how to start a business of your own, be your own boss, manage your priorities and grow it from the ground up. I will want to teach them the joys of nurturing something from the beginning and watch it grow.  Their pastimes with me will be doing things like planting vegetables and fruits, from seeds to something that sustains life. It will help them realize their connection to the earth, patience in waiting for a return and diligence in daily routines to get to a payoff.

We will apply those same principles to school work, ideas, finances and everything else in life that matters. This is my fantasy; let’s see how reality will play out.  In the meantime, I’m holding on to my dream of building a career media as a television producer, but I’m not holding on to it as tightly as I had been over the last year. I’m starting to let go a bit in exchange for a more firm grasp on reality. Am I crazy for wanting to follow my dreams and actually paying the challenging price? Only time will tell.

As always, feedback keeps me going.


FastTrac Entrepreneurial Bootcamp Review

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2010 by Melissa Baltazar

Drop and give me 50! Fifty pages of a business plan complete with financials, pricing strategy and a marketing plan with an elevator pitch ready to solicit customers or investors, just in case they’re listening. By the way, put it on a Powerpoint and present your idea to 60 piercing eyeballs and get critiqued on your performance in writing by the entire class! The FastTrac NewVenture’s Entrepreneurial Boot camp was an amazing process. Scary at some points, enlightening and intensely educational at other times. This is surely a MUST for anyone who is serious about building a business out of an idea or passion.

This course covers every aspect of solidifying your business idea and creating a business plan in a safe space with like-minded entrepreneurs. The environment is similar to a skirmish camp training baby militias who set out to impact society through creative solutions to life’s challenges. It is a credible training ground for small businesses to flesh out ideas, explain your business processes and re-work or fine tune your details. Current successful business owners, and coaches lead the workshops with such lively authority for a truly interactive experience. There are so many opportunities to network with your fellow counterparts and facilitators that business partnerships and friendships are easily developed.

Granted there are many business training courses all over the country that offer amazing instruction and extraordinary results, but no one does it like FastTrac. The program demands much from its participants; to rise to the occasion beyond any doubt, fear or uncertainty in yourself or your business idea will build confidence and an honored sense of accomplishment. It’s a nationwide program sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and offered to participants through an application and acceptance process free of charge.

The only downside of this program is the time frame. The course meets two full days per week for 3 weeks. Not hardly enough time to digest every section and emerge with an actual written plan, but at the end you will definitely have all the materials you need to write a well thought out, thoroughly critiqued, intelligent plan for success.  Highly recommended!

Starting a business: A journey to self actualization

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2010 by Melissa Baltazar

On the journey to self actualization

So here it is, the journey of my lifetime. I’ve decided that enough is enough. I’m done working just for the sake of working to pay bills. I want to do something meaningful and fulfilling. There’s nothing like having your own and directing your own path.  After ‘freelancing’ for many years in the areas of video production, writing, business consulting, public relations and event planning, I’ve decided to use these things that I love to do on my spare time and create an actual business. I’ve decided to take myself seriously. My company always had a name that I worked under, OutLoud Communications. I’ll share the story of the name later but for now its about the journey to self-actualization through entrepreneurship. 

Deciding to build a business is making a committment to help yourself through helping others. A large component of this process is learning who you are from the inside out and staying true to it. That’s the part of this journey that is truly transformational and will bring you to success (however you define it). Anyone who embarks on this journey have and will encounter situations that call for making tough decisions, choices between very important parts of your lives and selves, having a tolerance for risk and being OK with not knowing everything all the time. 

I will share this journey with the world no matter how it turns out. I will highlight other players who are helping along the way as partners, mentors, resources or just pure inspiration. The goal for OutLoud is to become a resource for small businesses, to help keep small businesses in business and profitable beyond their 4th year. (Statistics say only 50% of small businesses will make it beyond their 4th year).  In terms of growth I’d like to eventually create media that will inspire people to look into their lives and the lives around them and propel them to change for the better. I invite you to join me on this journey, learn, share, grow and be inspired.

Please leave your comments, suggestions and recommendations. Anyone you’d like to see highlighted here that can serve as an inspiration or resource to building businesses please feel free to contact me with details at outloudnyc@gmail.com.

What are they thinking?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2009 by Melissa Baltazar

Have you ever researched your favorite brand to see how it came to be? Or shamelessly followed the career of an entertainer you love only to realize your behavior is becoming a bit stalkerish when you find yourself fiending for more and more personal information. I’ll admit I may have stalker-ish tendencies when it comes to things I just absolutely love, respect and admire, but I just think it’s a great form of flattery to have people uberly interested in what you’re doing.

I have a fascination with self motivated and driven individuals, regular people who become superstars in their own right. People who have a dream, a vision, a passion and who are not afraid to go for it and make their dreams come true. When encountering these creative geniuses I wonder what’s the motivating force behind their success? Where’s the momentum coming from? How did their inital idea evolve into what we’re seeing now? Some of  the greatest inventions come from a simple need to improve on something that could work better and yet others are innovative inventions that change the way we conduct our lives in this world. The complexity of manifesting an idea into reality is what I’m here to dissect.

Creativity is an awesome and sometimes spiritual experience. It’s tapping into the very core of you and physically manifesting what’s inside. A thought. An imaginary something that is now real. Most time your ideas, dreams and thoughts manifested look different in reality than what it looked like in your head. It changes, it leads you and produces other things that you may not have foreseen.  That is what fascinates me, and this core creative evolution, in my opinion, is best captured through the journey of the independent artist, the entrepreneur.

My mission is to find and put a spotlight on ordinary people, doing extraordinary things. Celebrities are pretty far removed from our normal everyday lives, but somewhere past the lights, cameras and action they are real people too. Our next door neighbor, our colleagues, our friends and even family members have extraordinary things taking place in their lives. Everyone has a story. I’m in search of the best stories that can provide motivation and inspiration to those on the creative journey to self actualization.

Welcome to the Business Mind Complex. A journey for the curiously creative that derive inspiration from the “success” of others. Success used in this context will refer to one having reached a goal they set out for themselves and the subsequent impact that reaching this goal has had on the larger community around us. These stories will provide a blueprint for others who may be in similar situations, it will bring perspective  to the art of “making it” and show us that the only difference between those who are successful and those who are not is separated only by sheer will, determination and belief in one’s own ideas.

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