Over the last two years I have been working on a project that arose unexpectedly, came together organically, and eventually produced something wonderful. A nice woman who sat-in on a free webinar I hosted in April of 2021 befriended me and invited me to help her with a project. The more I talked to her and got to know her, the more I was compelled to help her. 

She had a skeleton outline for a guidebook that would teach a person how to start a business. Her family had championed her daughter’s passion into creating a microenterprise and she wanted to use that experience to show what is possible for a person with disabilities. Pursuing a microenterprise is recognized as a meaningful career path for people with developmental disabilities but practical resources are hard to find. 

“How would anyone know how to start a business?”

This was the question Hilda Sramek said she repeatedly asked as she tried to navigate the process for her daughter Carla.

Hilda was drawn to the format of my book Laws of Promotion. It explains concepts in simple terms, is concise with approachable language, and has fill-in the blank worksheets that will help the reader put the information to work quickly and effectively. She thought it would be a perfect format for what she wanted to accomplish. 

We married that format with the journey of Hilda’s daughter Carla whose dream it was to have a restaurant where movies are shown. With a core group of supporters, who Carla calls “My Angel Team,” Carla’s Movie Restaurant (CMR) began hosting events at restaurants, featuring student films, musical performers, and fine artists of all abilities and disabilities ten years ago. Restaurants loved having CMR’s pop-up format in their locations! The events brought people together and celebrated the arts. 

With Hilda leading the charge, they navigated through uncertainty and some tedious research to officially become a nonprofit organization. This is no small feat. 

Modeling the Way

Her supporters at Chapman University’s Thompson Policy Institute encouraged her to write a book about Carla’s experience that could serve as a roadmap and a source of inspiration for others. That’s when she met me. 

I am proud to say we recently published the Microenterprise Hits the Big ScreenAvailable on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. This will be an inspiring memoir to many people with developmental disabilities, and their families, as well as being a helpful resource to starting a business for anyone. Like any entrepreneur will tell you, it all starts with a dream!

Check out the book and please refer it as a resource for anyone you feel might benefit from it. It truly is a resource that anyone can use for any type of business. 

Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and small businesses. She is the author of Laws of Promotion. The 50-page promotional guide for small businesses and local nonprofits is available now on Amazon. Call her for help with your promotion. If you found this post helpful, please leave a note here and feel free to share it. 

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