Week One Recap

DreamBuilders! EXCELLENT work for week 1.   

Thank you for your patience with the LearnDash platform.  It’s going to be a great resource once we are all in and getting comfortable.  Suzie has sent each of you emails with your username, password, and a resource video.  I will check in with all of you tomorrow to make sure you were able to access your accounts. 

LearnDash link: https://theiowacenter.org/courses/dreambuilder/  

  • You can also access this link through The Iowa Center website >> Classes & Events >> Scroll down >> Course Log-In >> DreamBuilder >> Login  

DreamBuilder site: www.dreambuilder.org/theiowacenter 

  • Create an account and get started on the “Learning Activities” aka courses 

Homework: Weekly assignments will be listed on your LearnDash Weekly tabs  

  • DreamBuilder courses 1 – 3  
  • Journal entries 
  • You do not need to use the LearnDash platform to complete the journal entries.  Please feel free to use your own journals, notebooks, or online program to complete your entries 
  • I hope to go into the office next week to send each of you your journals  
  • Email me any business social media and website platforms you’d like to share with the group 


Presenter Contact Information:  

Erik Dominguez – Speak Up Stories 


Keesha Ward – Ward Creative Studios and Vegan Knees 



Andrea Metzler – Art Terrarium 


What to expect for next week:  

  • Presenter: Heidi Mannetter, Professor Drake for the College of Business & Public Administration 
  • We will be talking about Business Model & Elevator Pitch!  
  • We will start next week with sharing one thing you have each done for yourselves AND your business. It’s important to take care of both!  
  • We will end the session with each of you spending time with another participant to discuss key takeaways from the lesson, ideas & questions that you have for your business, and a chance to connect with one another 
  • We will end with group discussion and hype for one another!  


PROUD OF YOU! Today, you showed up for yourself.  Keep going! 

Key Takeaways from the Small Business Panel 

Q: 2 things or people who have helped you on your business journey? 

Keesha: My body. It’s so important to listen to your body. It tells you everything. 

Erik: My library card – read and learn anything and everything you can within your field! Finding your %.  He recognizes the most success when he is within 70% - 80% of his work drive.  Find this for yourself. 

Andrea: Her network at the co-working space, Gravitate.  The incredible business & retail community of Des Moines.  The collaborations that she has with small businesses and organizations. 


Q: In this day and age, can you go without having social media for your business?  

Erik: NO  

Keesha: You have to be on social media in order to have some sort of level of success. Videos are key. Provide more than a picture – provide an experience 

Andrea: Echoes the other two.  Social media is a great way to stay connected and grow your community. 


Q: As a new business owner, what is the best way to build customer trust? 

Erik: He uses social media for this.  Let people know who you are. Give value when and where you are able to. Answer questions about your products, services, and be clear with your boundaries. 

Andrea: Held a lot of events and face-to-face interactions (pre-covid and slowly returning to this at a controlled pace currently). 

Keesha: Put yourself out there. Meet with clients prior to products and services to really get to know them.  Let them know you are wanting to create trust with them. 


Q: What market research did you do/do you do for your business for profitability? 

Andrea: Look for and use resources – free and paid 

Erik: He talked to people at coffee shops and had real conversations with potential customers and people who can provide him their experience with public speaking 

Keesha: Ask yourself who you want your client(s) to be.  Research locally and not just nationally information about your field.  Compare what others are charging and what their services are. What can you offer and know your value! 


Q: How do you build your stories? 

Erik: I don’t. Don’t try so hard. Everything can be a beautiful story 

Keesha: Ask clients for their stories. Get them involved 


Q: What was it like to start a business during a pandemic? 

Erik: Find your value. Adjust to what your customers need and go.  It is not easy and it was terrifying.  He knew this is what he wanted, what people needed, and he went with it!  

Andrea: Get creative! They had to close because of the pandemic so they thought creatively.  They created DIY kits for people to pick up and do at home.  They did grab bags to clear out their store.  They created an online marketplace. 

Keesha: She likes to build up excitement for what is coming by using social media.  She shares updates on how she is keeping herself and her business protocols around Covid-19 safety & health protocols.  Clients want to know what to expect. 


Q: What struggle did you have when you first started your business?  

Andrea: Accounting and bookeeping 

Erik: The fundamentals. His biggest tip is to focus on one thing – get really great at it – then move onto the next thing. 

Keesha: Pricing, Agreements, Logo.  She suggests looking up your favorite brands and asking yourself what and why you can recognize their brand. 


Q: Is there any overlap with your personal and business social media pages? 

Keesha: No.  Her big thing is to make sure your pages aren’t on private. If you want people to know about you – then don’t make your profiles private.  She wants all eyes on all her profiles. 

Andrea: Her personal and business pages are completely separate 

Erik: He shares a lot about himself on both his personal and business pages 


Q: What would your current self tell your past self about your entrepreneurship journey?  

Keesha: Know your worth!! Don’t take yourself for granted. Say NO. 

Andrea: YOU GOT THIS! There will be so many doubts. Don’t focus on those. 

Erik: Invest in yourself.  Don’t see things as a cash price – see things as an investment on your self. Pay your tuition and invest in yourself.