Nurture Your Entrepreneurial Journey with William Hawkes-Robinson, a Legendary Recreational Therapist
Hawke Robinson is a Washington State Department of Health Registered Recreational Therapist. He has a strong background in neurosciences, computer science, research, psychology, music, recreational therapy, nursing, and other knowledge domains. Connect with Hawke on LinkedIn to learn more about his services and how he can help you be a better human.
Hey Hawke. We’re glad to have you here with us. Please tell us a bit about your background and what you do.
Hawke Robinson: I’m a recreational therapist typically introduced by peers at professional conferences and conventions as the “grandfather of therapeutic gaming.” Because, as far as we know, I’ve been tracking and involved in the therapeutic and educational applications of role-playing games for longer than anyone else.
My first foray into the industry was in 1977, when I was introduced to role-playing games. Then by 1979, I began studying how to optimize the enjoyment and immersion of role-playing games in tabletop, live-action, and electronic formats. In 1983, I started learning about their potential benefits and uses in educational and therapeutic settings. Later on, in 1985, I expanded my application and research to include the pedagogical use of role-playing games in actual classrooms. In 1989, I discovered their potential use for conflict resolution with incarcerated populations. And since 2004, I’ve been broadening the research and evidence-in-practice for the therapeutic use of role-playing games to meet the needs of a wide range of populations.
I’m also a founder and CEO of RPG Research, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and human services organization dedicated to determining the impacts of all role-playing game formats for their potential to help improve lives around the world. We have over 200 regular volunteers across six continents and many others that have helped us from many different countries. We have had more than 35 PhDs around the world directly involved with our programs. Our research and community programs are continuing to help us better understand multicultural uses, influences, and benefits of different role-playing formats, including tabletop, live-action, electronic, and various hybrids and mixtures thereof. We also have the world’s largest free and open research repository on the effects of role-playing games, as well as an RPG Museum and RPG Community Center.
What an incredible feat, Hawke! We’d love to know how you got started in your profession and how RPG Research got started.
Hawke Robinson: As I stated previously, I began participating in role-playing games around 1977. My quest began when a cousin introduced me to them. I enjoyed the cooperative social interactions and challenges so much that by 1979, I began experimenting with methods to maximize immersion and enjoyment. Later I learned that this work was directly related to maximizing the potential for individual and group “Flow State” experiences related to the extensive research by the Hungarian psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi.
By 1983, I was earning income as a professional game master, running several paying groups each weekend. By 1985, I was running role-playing games five days a week as an educational in-school last-period course at Realms of Inquiry, a school for gifted and talented children in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was also around this time that I began organizing and running role-playing game conventions independently and for the Role-Playing Game Association, aka RPGA.
Later on, around 1989, I led role-playing games with incarcerated populations, including rival gangs and different ethnic groups, at the same game table. I discovered the inherent nature of role-playing games and their rules structure were highly effective even with these “high risk” populations. “The game rules, and style of cooperative problem-solving inherent to role-playing games,, encouraged” them to put their differences aside and work together to overcome challenges. They also significantly helped improve frustration tolerance and anger management, as well as built resilience through delayed gratification.
I have also served as Chief Technology Officer for multiple companies, including a Silicon Valley-based online digital publishing company that was ultimately acquired by Barnes & Noble. I have always had a strong acumen and passion for tech and how technologies provide the potential to multiply human endeavors, for good or ill. My overarching goal in life has been to do as much as I can to improve the overall human condition during my brief existence. So, I found myself increasingly looking ahead at the next stage of my life, which included considering music and recreational therapy. That’s when I began to formalize the concepts that would eventually become RPG Research.
I didn’t originally go into recreational therapy with the intention of using role-playing games as an intervention paradigm. Instead, it was the use of diverse recreational activities. I already had a very diverse background in music, sports, martial arts, a wide range of recreational and crafting skills, as well as a variety of other outdoor and non-gaming-related hobbies. However, the literature consistently convinced me of the fact that there was a dearth of intrinsically motivating cooperative activities that people would engage in without having to compete. It was already clear to me that cooperative RPGs were strongly self-motivating for the participants and seemed to have great untapped potential for addressing the need for more effective tools to develop social skills, empathy, cognitive function, resilience, frustration tolerance, anger management, conflict resolution, reading, math skills, and much more.
As I was raising my three sons as a full-time single parent, in 2004, I established the RPGResearch.com website as the RPG Research Project. The site compiled all available studies on the impacts of role-playing games, as well as my own research and evidence-in-practice.
What’s noteworthy is that there were just 50 or so research studies at that time. In contrast, now, our research repository has more than 10,000 content items between books, research studies, videos, audio, essays, published peer-reviewed papers, and more. We have content in our archives that is not available anywhere else in the world. For example, we recently received a donation of the entire Paul Cardwell collection, which documents the media’s treatment of role-playing games and gamers, as well as the history of hobby games from 1970 to 2020, including original letters from the USA Centers for Disease Control and many others. Our volunteers are cataloging, indexing, and uploading to the website as fast as we can. With such massive archives, we always need more volunteer archivists to help spread the work around.
The research has not only disproved the negative claims about role-playing games and gamers, it has actually been proven that RPGs are highly beneficial to the general public, and can be especially powerful intervention modalities for specific populations and a long list of measurable goals. We provide a long list of these factors in our public research archives, but just a few show reduction in risk of suicide, violent, and antisocial behaviors. We also found strong indicators that RPGs significantly improve empathy, resilience, communication, social, and cognitive function.
In addition to the research repository, we also significantly increased the number of original research and community projects focused on. cooperative music and role-playing games. We created these project-based programs in partnership with other organizations.
As we implemented various tabletop, live-action, electronic, and hybrid role-playing game programs at colleges, community centers, libraries, parks, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, long-term care centers, retreats, camps, and other partnerships with other organizations and nonprofits, the data increasingly indicated that RPGs actually helped in remarkable ways. Furthermore we increasingly found they provided more dramatic beneficial impact than originally suspected. Several of these initiatives brought amazing results, some in as little as a few hours, which was quite exciting. We freely and openly share these results, and any caveats we discover, on our website.
However, there was a problem with this project-driven approach. We had to keep training new people and organizations. We also would have to start over with each project, gathering donations for equipment and finances and other resources for the projects. Then once the research or community project was complete, the resources and people were not retained. So at the next project, I would once again have to train a new batch of people from scratch, gather new finances, equipment, facilities, other resources, etc. We needed the means to carry over the resources across projects so we could move forward more efficiently.
After decades of collaborating with many different agencies on individual projects around the world, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, various universities, community centers, elementary and high schools, rehabilitation, and many other institutions, we decided to find a more efficient approach become more formally
organized as a non-profit company.
In 2017, we formally incorporated RPG Research as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, volunteer-run, open, charitable, research, and human services organization. We did this to reduce the duplication of effort of the previous project-by-project approach and accelerate moving the body of knowledge forward,
Our organization consists entirely of unpaid volunteers, relying heavily on the generosity of our members and contributors. As with many small nonprofits, we certainly need some help in the donations area, but we’re growing every day thanks to such wonderful supporters.
Running a nonprofit is not easy. What obstacles are you currently dealing with and what gives you the motivation to keep going?
Hawke Robinson: RPG Research is a nonprofit but RPG.LLC — RPG Therapeutics — is a for-profit company. It began as a private practice for me as a Recreational Therapist and has expanded to include a growing number of employees. So, in addition to thousands of other supporters who have been contributing throughout the years, RPG Therapeutics donates 20% of its income to help support RPG Research.
Every dollar we raise through our initiatives benefits at least three people directly and much more indirectly. To date, we’ve been able to help tens of thousands of individuals throughout the world improve their lives via the power and potential of role-playing games, as well as our continuous public research, our community programs, and many outreach initiatives. For years, the capacity of RPG Research to help others has been directly proportional to the number of donations we receive. The number of people we can serve fluctuates considerably from project to project because we use other organizations’ facilities.
This year, we have taken a huge leap by acquiring actual real estate property to grow and stabilize the nonprofit’s ability to serve the community. During this challenging transition of this massive growth phase, I, alongside other volunteers, are temporarily loaning much of our own personal property for use by the nonprofit, including furniture, thousands of RPG-related books, accessories, computers, etc., to help fill the gaps for RPG Research to use while it steadily grows and acquires its own assets from financial and physical contributions of our donors. We hope that within the year, it will once again be able to fully stand on its own, thanks to these generous donors.
RPG Research needs a minimum of $3,500 per month just to cover rent, utilities, and insurance to reach this new “break-even” level. We are taking a big leap in relying on our generous donors more than ever before.
As a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, in my years of work experience at various brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other rehabilitation centers, I realized an urgent need for the creation of mobile wheelchair-accessible facilities in order to provide cooperative music and role-playing games programs to the people who would benefit the most. Thus, I took out personal loans for nearly $100,000 to create this small fleet of “RPG Mobiles” that provide accessible, environmentally-controlled, safe, comfortable, mobile therapeutic and gaming facilities. These are basically living rooms on wheels, with comfortable sofa-like seating, bathroom, kitchenette, etc.
Over the years, I have been freely loaning the use of the “RPG Mobile”, pronounced “moh-beel”, like the “Book Mobile. This is a small fleet consisting of wheelchair-accessible RPG Bus and RPG Trailers. We don’t transport people, though; that’s extremely complicated due to licensing, insurance, etc. I drive these mobile facilities around the country to raise awareness about accessibility in gaming and to provide services to those in under-served and unserved rural and remote locations. I freely loan their use to RPG Research to help further the nonprofit research and community programs. When I finish paying off the loans, and someday when I pass away, I will bequeath them directly to RPG Research. Until then, I use them for my for-profit RPG Therapeutics to better serve clients and meanwhile loan them to the nonprofit as much as possible.
In 2022, RPG Research needs help to cover the rent, utilities, and insurance costs for the non-profit’s brand new facilities at the RPG Center for the RPG Community Center and RPG Museum, until it is receiving enough donations to fully stand on its own. I’m doing what I can to help cover the costs, but we need to become self-sustaining through donations as soon as possible.
We have found that almost every time we interact with participants through any of our programs, including those ranging in age from two years old non-verbal to senior adults struggling with functional decline, and everyone in-between, they improve their functioning and overall quality of life in observable and measurable ways! We see their minds and hearts open up, and they show significant cognitive improvements. In other words, their brains function better. We observe significant improvements in their social skills and empathy, as well as safe spaces for them to take on different roles and simulated risks that enable them to overcome challenges they never imagined they could. This imparts an incredible impact on so many lives, including our own. We feel empowered to keep going, thriving, and serving humanity.
Finally, we’re really struggling to get insurance for RPG Research. RPG Therapeutics doesn’t have this problem as a for-profit recreational therapy professional services company, but we have discovered that insurance for nonprofit community organizations is very different and much more difficult to acquire for RPG Research. Since we are project-based, we have always relied on being covered by the insurance of the other organizations with whom we were partners. For example, our live-action role-playing game programs for non-verbal Autism Spectrum, ASD, and PDD toddlers from ages two years old through five years old, were through Eastern Washington University and another organization I am under perpetual NDA about and it was their insurance that covered our programs. When we ran the summer camp tabletop and live-action role-playing games for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, we were covered by their property and liability insurance, etc.
As I mentioned, over forty-plus years, RPG Research grew very organically as a 100% volunteer-run non-profit. We also keep our administrative overhead costs to a minimum, using as much as possible directly to benefit the participants. I have always been very careful with our research and community programs, so we have well-developed world-class programs globally, supported by our high-quality research and evidence-in-practice combined with extensive decades-long experience. Because of this rigorous approach, with more than forty years of running our public programs, we have never had an incident requiring an insurance claim, even with the at-risk and high-risk populations.
However, now that we have acquired our own property, we are finding it nearly impossible to get property and liability insurance. As of April 2022, after months of reaching out to scores of agents and companies, filling out more than one hundred pages of application forms, we still haven’t been able to get even a minimal quote that will cover the property or our liability so that we can open the RPG Community Center.
According to the insurance companies, because they don’t have a column listing the “risk rating” for role-playing games, they default it to a higher risk activity. Besides this, as we are a nonprofit 100% volunteer-run organization, we offer online resources and work with so many different disabilities, ages, and populations, they keep giving us automatic “declinations,” declining to even provide a quote.
As of late April 2022, we have been forced to temporarily suspend almost everything we do in order to get basic insurance coverage for the property and liability coverage to cover very minimal services. We are hoping this temporary reset to providing only the most basic services will allow the insurance companies to give us a quote, so we can budget to purchase the insurance we must have in order to open up the Community Center.
Once we get very basic insurance coverage in place, we will apply for additional riders, or expansions, to add to the policy so that we can incrementally bring back the wonderful things we have been providing, without incident, to the public for over 40 years.
Despite all the obstacles, including financial, logistical, and negative public perception exacerbated by the media lingering from the 1980s and 1990s, as well as general outright hatred by a disturbingly large number of the public, we carry on, inspired by all the positive impact we see these programs having for so many people worldwide.
In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?
Hawke Robinson: I also have a background in information security, but initially, I was reluctant to be the face of RPG Research. For many years, almost no one knew who was working behind the scenes. It was me facilitating many other volunteers and organizations, but I always preferred to serve as a facilitator in the background, not the foreground. Like some other information security specialists and even some recreational therapists, I was averse to being in the spotlight. I wanted the work to speak for itself and the people involved in my research and programs who benefited from the skills and experiences to go forth as the proof and message carriers.
That was especially true online from 2004 to 2012; I was much more involved in the background. People increasingly commented and searched, trying to figure out who was behind the scenes. They were inquiring about the legitimacy of RPG Research and why there was no information available about who was conducting so many programs and research projects around the world.
My attempts at anonymity, unfortunately, exacerbated a deeply inculcated skepticism. As a result, there was a dire need for me to go out in front of the camera as the spokesperson for RPG Research. Though I continued to be uncomfortable with that role, it significantly helped the overall domain of role-playing game studies, accelerating awareness and adoption. From 2012 to 2016, it grew exponentially through media coverage, word-of-mouth, and the addition of new people and organizations taking on the research.
We endeavor to keep freely arming the public with the ability to get out there and spread the word in person, letting naysayers know that this is a real thing, with real people and supporting data behind it, furthering this research and these community programs. Doing so earlier might have helped by leaps and bounds.
In hindsight, I wish I had started out by being out there publicly earlier. We might have been much further along the way in terms of adoption and expansion of the tools developed over the years to communicate what research increasingly indicates. It might have also resulted in more interesting dialogue and earlier acceptance.
Also, I wish I would have published more books more frequen We have constantly receiving requests from professors, universities, and other organizations to release our works in published physical book format. We were waiting until we felt the data and research was solid enough. In hindsight, it would have been prudent to have published more frequently. Nevertheless, better late than never, we’re releasing a collection of our works, Including the latest aggregate of research, assessment tools, model diagrams, etc., this year to help address many of these requests. The collection will be available in both print and Kindle formats very soon. While all of it is already freely available on the RPG Research website in electronic form, the paper books meet a very specific need from academia.
Additionally, in hindsight, I wish we could have afforded to get the property and liability insurance we now need much earlier in our evolution, so we wouldn’t have to undergo the massive program “reset.” This is temporary but very painful for all of us, and we need donations more than ever right now to help us get through these growing pains.
Are there any accomplishments you’re particularly proud of?
Hawke Robinson: I have a fairly substantial list of accomplishments I am proud of over the decades, but the real-world benefits we see each day to the lives of those participating in our programs, have turned out to be some of the most rewarding. Each day that we can afford the time and money on our part to run these community programs and see people’s lives improve, grow in their joy, resilience, and empathy, and create meaningful relationships and friendships, we incidentally benefit from our happiness soaring. It was not our intent or motivation, but it does help me and fellow volunteers get through the more challenging times.
We’ve done some amazing and fun programs with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and other camp programs with live-action role-playing and tabletop games that were by far the favorite of all campers, counselors, and supporters.
We have reached many milestones over the decades and happily share them on our websites, email lists, social media, video streams, and documents. We have had some really remarkable successes with a variety of program initiatives through multiple schools, universities, care centers, and other organizations. We have often been surprised by the degree of the difference our efforts have been able to make in people’s lives.
As the decades of data acquisition, analysis, and dissemination continue to aggregate, helping us iterate through improving our programs, we have been able to develop, arguably, the world’s most effective and measurably impactful professional training, research, and community programs using role-playing games as intervention modalities in recreation, education, and therapeutic domains.
In 2020, when COVID-19 caused the cancellation of all RPG-related conventions, as well as threatening the cancellation of the New Zealand WorldCon and the Gen Con Film Festivals, we expanded an interactive community platform we had built for The Fantasy. Network’s founder, Ben Dobyns, merged our learning platform with it to create a platform that assisted us in advancing our network to support more than 20,000 people at once in online activities, panels, presentations, discussions, and tabletop role-playing games, simultaneously in New Zealand and in Indianapolis. Over that year, with only about 50 volunteers back then, we received donations of about $18,000, with all of our annual costs being about $10,000. I remember that year we were able to help at least 30,000 people directly and exponentially many more indirectly.
We have also been growing a small fleet of wheelchair-accessible, environmentally controlled, mobile facilities, including the RPG Bus and RPG Trailers. We drive these around the country, raising awareness about accessibility in gaming and discussing many of the topics we have touched upon in this interview.
Another endeavor I’m very excited about is a pet project of mine, the Brain-Computer Interface Role-Playing Game, BCI RPG. When I was a nurse’s aide and LPN trainee at Doxie Hatch Medical Center back in the early 1990s, in addition to many terminal patients, I also had patients with Locked-In Syndrome (LIS), and Complete Locked in State (CLIS). These are people with severe injuries or degenerative disorders, like Stephen Hawking. They have full mental awareness but no control over their bodies. Some are completely trapped inside their own skulls, unable to communicate at all. This always haunted me. So, I initiated a program for them that eventually became the BCI RPG project in the mid-1990s and evolved in the early 2000s.
The BCI RPG project is now an open-source endeavor on GitHub.com. We are creating an online, multiplayer, turn-based role-playing game where you can interact with other players with just your brain using electroencephalogram (EEG) brain-computer interface technologies, combined with Artificial Intelligence, and later to include Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), and even robotics interfaces. We have a wonderful team of software developers now several years into this project, and we are excited that the initial alpha version might be playable by late 2022. People can learn more about this endeavor at www.bcirpg.com.
Also, in 2022, we are now opening up the RPG Community Center and the historical RPG Museum as further steps to improve our ability to share the benefits of role-playing games, research, and our applied RPG programs. By all working as unpaid volunteers, we keep our administrative and overhead costs to a minimum, and by providing so many free programs, these facilities, utilities, insurance, licensing, and equipment all add up to significant costs. This means, more than ever, the number of people we can provide the benefits of role-playing games to is directly related to the number of trained volunteers who join us and the donations from the public. The more donations we receive, the more people we can help! Thank you very much for helping me spread the word about these endeavors.
You’re welcome, Hawke! We appreciate you taking the time to share your incredible endeavors with us and wish you a fantastic future ahead!
Interview with Jack Carlson, Founder of Rowing Blazers: History, Tradition, and Innovation
Table of Contents
- Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in fashion?
- What inspired you to start Rowing Blazers?
- Can you walk us through the design process of creating a new collection?
- How do you stay true to your brand’s identity while also keeping up with current fashion trends?
- Can you tell us about a particular challenge you faced while growing Rowing Blazers and how you overcame it?
- What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own fashion brand?
- What’s next for Rowing Blazers?
- Closing Paragraph
Jack Carlson is the founder and creative director of Rowing Blazers, a fashion brand that combines classic American style with a contemporary edge. Jack Carlson, a former national team rower, and scholar of history draw inspiration from vintage sportswear and traditional Ivy League fashion. His passion for design and fashion, combined with his unique background. Jack Carlson has resulted in the creation of a brand that stands out in the industry.
Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in fashion?
I’ve always had a passion for fashion and design, even while pursuing my other interests. I grew up in Connecticut and started rowing at a young age, eventually competing at the national level. While studying history at Harvard, I became interested in the traditional clothing worn by rowers and began to collect vintage rowing blazers. This sparked my interest in fashion and led me to start designing my own clothing. After completing a Ph.D. in archaeology, I decided to pursue fashion full-time and founded Rowing Blazers in 2017.
What inspired you to start Rowing Blazers?
I wanted to create a brand that celebrated the rich history and tradition of American fashion, particularly the preppy style of the Ivy League. At the same time, I wanted to bring a contemporary edge to classic designs and challenge the boundaries of traditional fashion. I was inspired by the vintage rowing blazers that I collected and wanted to create my own versions that were both authentic and modern.
Can you walk us through the design process of creating a new collection?
The design process always starts with research and inspiration. I spend a lot of time looking at vintage clothing, archival photographs, and historical documents to get a sense of the styles and aesthetics of a particular time period or culture. From there, I sketch out ideas and work with my team to refine the designs and select fabrics. We always strive to balance classic elements with modern twists and unexpected details. It’s a collaborative process that involves a lot of trial and error, but we always end up with something that we’re proud of.
How do you stay true to your brand’s identity while also keeping up with current fashion trends?
For us, it’s not about following trends, but rather creating timeless pieces that will never go out of style. Although we draw inspiration from the past, we don’t limit ourselves to it. We’re always looking for ways to innovate and push boundaries while staying true to our brand’s core identity. We’re not interested in fast fashion or disposable clothing – our pieces are meant to last and be treasured for years to come.
Can you tell us about a particular challenge you faced while growing Rowing Blazers and how you overcame it?
One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is scaling the business while maintaining the quality and craftsmanship that we’re known for. We’ve had to find the right partners and suppliers who share our values and are able to produce our garments to our high standards. We’ve also had to be very strategic about our growth, taking things one step at a time and not rushing into anything too quickly. It’s been a learning process, but we’ve been able to grow the business in a sustainable way that we’re proud of.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own fashion brand?
My advice would be to stay true to your vision and never compromise on quality. It’s also important to be strategic about your growth and not try to do everything at once. Start small and focus on doing one thing really well before expanding. And always be willing to learn and adapt – the fashion industry is constantly changing, so it’s important to be flexible and open to new ideas.
What’s next for Rowing Blazers?
We’re always working on new designs and collaborations, but we’re also focused on expanding our brand beyond just clothing. We want to create a lifestyle brand that encompasses all aspects of American style, from furniture to home decor to travel accessories. We’re excited to continue growing and evolving while staying true to our brand’s identity and values.
Jack Carlson’s passion for fashion and history has resulted in the creation of a unique and innovative brand that stands out in the industry. His dedication to quality and craftsmanship, as well as his commitment to sustainability, sets Rowing Blazers apart from other fashion brands. To stay up to date with Jack Carlson and Rowing Blazers, you can follow him on LinkedIn.
Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Gracie Cedres
Interview with Gracie Cedres: Insights on Entrepreneurship and Work-Life Balance
Table of Contents
- Can you tell us about yourself and your journey as an entrepreneur?
- How did you come up with the idea for G.R.A.C.E.?
- What are some of the challenges you faced in starting and growing your business?
- What is your vision for G.R.A.C.E. in the next five years?
- Can you share with us some of your favorite success stories from working with your clients?
- What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
- How do you maintain a work-life balance as a busy entrepreneur?
- Closing Paragraph
Gracie Cedres is the founder and CEO of G.R.A.C.E., a company that provides virtual assistance and project management services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. With a degree in communications, Gracie has always been interested in helping others succeed in their businesses. Her passion for helping entrepreneurs led her to create G.R.A.C.E., which has been helping entrepreneurs and small business owners increase their productivity and profitability. In this interview, Gracie will share more about her journey as an entrepreneur and the success of G.R.A.C.E.
Can you tell us about yourself and your journey as an entrepreneur?
Sure, my name is Gracie Cedres, and I am the founder and CEO of G.R.A.C.E. I have always been interested in helping others, especially entrepreneurs and small business owners, succeed in their businesses. After completing my degree in communications, I worked as a virtual assistant for various entrepreneurs and realized that there was a need for high-quality virtual assistance and project management services. That’s how the idea for G.R.A.C.E. was born, and since then, I have been working hard to help entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their goals.
How did you come up with the idea for G.R.A.C.E.?
After working as a virtual assistant for several entrepreneurs, the idea for G.R.A.C.E. came to me. I realized that many entrepreneurs were struggling to manage their time effectively and needed high-quality virtual assistance and project management services to help them become more productive and profitable. I saw an opportunity to help entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing them with top-notch virtual assistance and project management services, and that’s how G.R.A.C.E. was born.
What are some of the challenges you faced in starting and growing your business?
One of the biggest challenges I faced in starting and growing my business was finding the right team members. It’s important to have a team that shares your vision and is passionate about what they do. I also faced challenges in marketing my services and reaching out to potential clients. However, I overcame these challenges by networking, building relationships, and creating high-quality content that showcased the value of my services.
What is your vision for G.R.A.C.E. in the next five years?
My vision for G.R.A.C.E. in the next five years is to become the go-to virtual assistance and project management service provider for entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide. I want to expand my team and services to be able to help more entrepreneurs and small business owners increase their productivity and profitability. I also want to continue building strong relationships with my clients and providing them with top-notch services.
Can you share with us some of your favorite success stories from working with your clients?
One of my favorite success stories is working with a small business owner who was struggling to manage their time effectively. By providing them with virtual assistance and project management services, we were able to help them increase their productivity, improve their marketing strategies, and ultimately grow their business. It’s always fulfilling to see my clients succeed and achieve their goals.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to educate themselves and never stop learning. It’s important to constantly learn new skills, stay up to date with industry trends, and seek out new opportunities. It’s also essential to have a strong work ethic, be persistent, and not be afraid to take risks. Don’t let failure discourage you, instead use it as a learning opportunity and keep pushing forward.
How do you maintain a work-life balance as a busy entrepreneur?
Maintaining a work-life balance can be challenging as a busy entrepreneur, but it’s essential for your well-being and the success of your business. One of the things I do is prioritize my tasks and delegate when necessary. I also set aside time for self-care activities like exercise, reading, and spending time with family and friends. It’s also important to know when to disconnect from work and focus on other aspects of your life.
Gracie Cedres is an inspiration to entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide. Her dedication to helping others and passion for entrepreneurship has led to the success of G.R.A.C.E. With a vision for continued growth and success, Gracie is sure to make an impact in the virtual assistance and project management industry. To learn more about Gracie Cedres and G.R.A.C.E., visit her website and follow her on LinkedIn.
Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Evan Cagner
Interview with Evan Cagner: Insights into the World of Tech and Entrepreneurship
Table of Contents
- What inspired you to start TechBlue?
- What sets TechBlue apart from other managed IT services companies?
- How do you stay on top of emerging trends in the tech industry?
- How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the IT industry?
- What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses?
- What is your vision for the future of TechBlue?
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- Closing Paragraph
Evan Cagner is the founder and CEO of TechBlue, a company that provides managed IT services to businesses of all sizes. Evan has over 15 years of experience in the tech industry and has helped numerous businesses grow by leveraging technology. He is a thought leader and innovator in the IT industry, with a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies. In this interview, Evan Cagner shares his insights into the world of tech and entrepreneurship.
What inspired you to start TechBlue?
I’ve always been passionate about technology and how it can be used to solve business problems. I started my career working for a large IT consulting firm, and I quickly realized that there was a big gap in the market for managed IT services. Small and medium-sized businesses often struggle to keep up with the latest technology trends, and they don’t have the resources to hire full-time IT staff. That’s why I decided to start TechBlue – to help these businesses leverage technology to grow and succeed.
What sets TechBlue apart from other managed IT services companies?
There are a few things that set TechBlue apart from other managed IT services companies. First and foremost, we are incredibly focused on customer service. We believe that building strong relationships with our clients is the key to our success. Second, we have a team of highly skilled technicians who are constantly learning and staying up to date with the latest technologies. Finally, we are very flexible and can customize our services to meet the unique needs of each of our clients.
How do you stay on top of emerging trends in the tech industry?
I’m always reading and staying up to date with the latest news and trends in the tech industry. I attend conferences and meet with other thought leaders in the industry to discuss new technologies and how they can be used to solve business problems. I also encourage my team to stay up to date and share their knowledge with each other.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the IT industry?
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the IT industry. With so many people working remotely, there has been a huge demand for cloud-based services and virtual private networks (VPNs). There has also been an increased focus on cybersecurity, as remote workers are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Overall, the pandemic has accelerated the shift toward digital transformation and has highlighted the importance of having a reliable and secure IT infrastructure.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses?
My advice would be to focus on building a strong team and never stop learning. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and who have different skill sets. Be willing to take risks and make mistakes, but also be willing to learn from those mistakes. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from other entrepreneurs who have been through it before.
What is your vision for the future of TechBlue?
My vision for TechBlue is to continue to grow and expand our services to meet the changing needs of our clients. I want to stay at the forefront of emerging technologies and continue to be a thought leader in the industry. Ultimately, I want to help as many businesses as possible leverage technology to achieve their goals.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and staying active. I’m an avid runner and I also enjoy playing basketball and golf. I’m also a big fan of music and enjoy going to concerts and discovering new artists.
Evan Cagner is a true leader and innovator in the IT industry. His passion for technology and customer service has helped TechBlue become one of the most respected managed IT services companies in the business. With his keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, Evan is sure to continue to make an impact in the industry for years to come. To learn more about Evan Cagner and TechBlue, you can visit their website or follow them on LinkedIn.
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