POINT OF VIEW CONSULTING
Highly-experienced Writer and Coach Finds Business Confidence through WWBC
When you look at Jackie Sizemore’s list of teaching, education, published works, awards and associated campuses on her resume, it’s impressive. It is obvious that she has a passion in the field. But when Sizemore moved to Laramie one year ago and decided it was time to move her writing coaching side gig into a fully-fledged business, she needed more than a resume of writing to make it happen. She knew she needed help with the business size of her transition.
Sizemore’s business, Point of View Consulting, is a writing and educational coaching business, specializing in high stakes writing like college essays, graduate school statements of purpose, individual artist grants, and other specialized programs. Sizemore also works with people and students on their creative writing and helps middle and high school students prepare for interviews at schools, colleges, or special programs.
But to go from side gig into a full-time business, she needed a larger-scoped plan, and began to look for help.
She found the Wyoming Women’s Business Center (WWBC) as a resource through the Wyoming Small Business Administration, and reached out to learn about their programs. She began working with Jonathan Howdeshell for business counseling, where she received assistance on everything from deciding on the scope of the business, to website feedback, to preparing for clients. Howdeshell worked on a business plan template with her and helped build a custom plan from there.
“Jonathan’s insights on marketing, user-friendly website navigation, and continued encouragement to plan for the future have been vital in my business’ growth this year,” says Sizemore.
She says that, being new to town, the WWBC created a supportive and encouraging environment, especially during the months she spent working on the “back end” aspects of the business.
“Things like building my website or brainstorming for my business plan were all fairly isolated tasks, so I looked forward to coming in for business counseling and having a community to connect with over this very specific goal,” says Sizemore.
Earlier this year, she also signed up for the IDA program, a matched saving program, where she is currently saving money to go towards a book project geared towards helping high school students write their college application essays.
Sizemore says the assistance she has received from the WWBC has been extremely helpful in seeing all of the possible avenues she could pursue with her current business and skills. Her hope is to continue creating books and workbooks for each of her audiences in order to build a business around public speaking, individual consulting, online courses, and books all geared towards tackling those difficult personal essays.
“The financial security that I’ll gain from having an online-based, flexible work schedule will be key for continuing to pursue my own writing – especially my literary writing and personal essays for magazines,” says Sizemore.
Besides the direct impacts on helping her build a business and giving her new vocabulary to better understand aspects of the entrepreneurial world, Sizemore says the biggest benefit has been a change in her mindset.
“The confidence and long-term planning that the WWBC helped me with flowed over into my attitudes towards my writing career,” she says. “ 2017 was the first year I made a profit off of my creative writing, and I am excited to continue trying for bigger and bigger goals.”
“Five years ago, I would never have imagined that I would be running my own online business,” says Sizemore. “But as that goal became clearer in my mind, Jonathan was the perfect counselor to help me assess my fears and concerns and see my skills and background as not only useful, but needed in the online educational market.”