I come to the library three or four times a week. I own a small business and it’s a productive way for me to get a lot of things done in a less distractive environment. I do a lot of critical writing and thinking here. And having access to the computers and printers is nice. Even though I’m by myself at home, I still can’t get as much done as I can by coming to the library. Nothing against the coffee shops of the world, but this is a great environment because it has everything that I really need. With all the distractions out there in the world, it’s just a better place to get stuff done.
My company is called the Courage Group. I help people start their own companies. I work with a lot of baby boomers who’ve been laid off from corporate America and all of a sudden it’s, ‘I’m past 50 years old. What am I gonna do?’
I was in the same boat. I worked in the airline business for twenty years. One day I had a new boss and they decided to go in a different direction. So I decided, ‘Maybe it’s time for me to start my own company.’
Since they’ve never done it before, there’s a lot of fear that keeps people on the sidelines. And unfortunately even though this is really what they want to do, they’ve just decided it’s way too hard.
Stephanie Glaros: What’s your best advice for someone who may have an idea for a business?
Neil: Write a business plan while you’re working for somebody else.
Neil at Hennepin County Library — Southdale.