Entrepreneurship later in life with SCSEP
Vernon is growing his own consulting business
Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP) programming through Easterseals is helping Vernon organize and build his own business after a family tragedy threw him for a loop. With a background in radiology and sports nutrition after his time served in the Air Force, Vernon is now his own boss consulting on healthy living. Many of his clients include high school and college athletes.
"I am living long and strong, and by my appearance alone, my clients know I practice what I preach."
Leap Consulting Group is Vernon's health and wellness consulting business, and it's not for the weak of heart.
"Health is something you can measure with metrics, but wellness is something that is harder to measure but has a serious impact. When your wellness is good and you feel good that has a huge impact on your overall health. Clients rely on me to share something concerning nutrition that they can’t get out of books. That’s where I come in. I take a very holistic approach. I can basically watch a film clip of a student and know where I need to get started with them."
At 66, Vernon keeps up with his physical health through yoga, weight training, and basketball. Plus, he knows he can strengthen his mind by continuing to learn.
"I am learning a lot thanks to Easterseals. I’m in the middle of a transitional period where I am building out my own consulting business."
To help him do this, Vernon is utilizing resources that Easterseals provides like technology, job skills, and business classes through resources like GetSetUp, Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), and other local business community resources.
In addition to business classes, Vernon has enjoyed healthy lifestyle classes on GetSetUp.
"I have taken classes on stretching and another on meditation. One was even in Mandarin. Even though I didn't speak the language, everyone was very pleasant to me."
Vernon's been staying busy with business classes with Easterseals for about three years. He's been a long-time passionate learner. The Air Force funded his studies in radiology at the
University of Illinois thanks to his service. And now Easterseals is connecting him with classes in Chicago that help educate people on how to start a new business. Vernon has also connected with retired business professionals through SCORE and the local small business association.
"Through SCSEP, I can take all these classes free. Classes cover everything that you can imagine about business. These classes put me in the position to open my business."
Vernon has learned how to better use his cellphone and laptop as business tools to train remotely. He's trained with these tools to help find a couple of host agencies to work with Easterseals' participants. And while he uses technology for training, most of his training is still face-to-face and based on building relationships with people. And classes have helped make him aware of common business pitfalls and put him in touch with key players in his market.
"Easterseals is very passionate about getting people on their feet and focused in the right direction. With that said they are happy to see me leave Easterseals standing strong on my feet with the tools I need to do my business and strong support to see me getting it done."