Small Business Week 2017: Barbara Eldridge

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In celebration of National Small Business Week, (Apr 30th -May 6th) we sat down with four members to hear about their story, passions, impact, and businesses. The second featured member in our interview series is Barbara Eldridge, owner of Mind Masters. Barbara started her business more than 25 years ago and has been an active Hera Hub member for three years.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

When I started my first business I experienced the need to have the same benefit of support that large company CEO’s had of discovering what works (and what doesn’t). They had forums of their peers, allowing them to leverage the skills and education of others. I wanted the kind of connection time with other business owners as a way to leap forward in my thinking and results.
 I founded Mind Masters because all small business owners, working alone, need a sounding board, a forum, a resource for their ideas. I wantedMind Masters to become their Advisory Board – a resource often not available by virtue of the fact that these are indeed very small businesses.

How has your professional background prepared you for entrepreneurship/your small business?

My experience in marketing, leadership and management positions with nationally recognized multi-million dollar companies inspired me to look into being in business for myself. I purchased a distributorship with Success Motivation Institute that enabled me to market training programs in planning and management to hundreds of small business professionals. I became a member of SMI’s elite President’s Honor Club, which recognized excellence in sales and client service development. As a business owner experiencing the challenges others face in an ever-changing market place gave me the desire and experience to start Mind Masters.

What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?

As I facilitate the dynamic, powerful resource of business owners who meet to challenge and support the accomplishment of each other’s personal, professional and financial goals, they challenge me to learn and grow along with them. They embody the qualities that make the extra ordinary possible for all of us.

What is the greatest challenge in owning your own business?

The business world is changing almost daily. Keeping up with those changes, especially in the technology sector is a challenge so I can continue to meet my members’ needs and be seen as a company that understands the market place.

What is your life’s greatest passion? Purpose? How does your business align/support this mission?

My purpose is to maximize my own untapped potential for concentration, creativity and learning and in the process help others to do the same. The mission of Mind Masters is to provide a system that encourages, challenges and stimulates personal, professional and financial growth and supports the changes necessary for success.

What about your business are you most proud of?

Over the last 25 years I have facilitated the growth and development of thousands of small and micro/entrepreneurial businesses. The Mind Masters program has stood the test of time with entrepreneurs around San Diego County with a client retention level each year of over 85%, business owners stay involved an average of 2 to 5 years. While most business failures happen within the first 3 years, my clients, active and inactive, are still in business AFTER 5 years or more successfully.

What is your business’ future?

To grow Mind Masters I must train others to facilitate groups. So I am launching a Certification program to share my experience, programs and materials with others to meet the needs of small business growth.
Also, in conjunction with a not for profit organization focused on programs for returning Veterans, we have introduced a “Mind Masters” type program to support Vets who want to enter entrepreneurship. Everything being proposed by other programs emphasize jobs. The Veteran Entrepreneurs Today program is reaching out to those who want the freedom of business ownership.