Category: workshop

There are a lot of people out there these days marketing themselves as business coaches and charging a lot of money for their support services.  You do not have to attend the first workshop that comes along and you do not have to hire the first coach you meet.  You don’t have to use your friend’s recommendation either.  There is no shortage of coaches and coaching events.

Business Coach

Making the decision to hire someone is important.  It is an investment of your time and money.  Take the time to find the right fit.  Here are some tips:

  1. Find someone you trust. Ideally, find someone in your network who has a good reputation. There are a few certifications for business coaching but it is a fairly unregulated business.  Almost anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves a “business coach” or “life coach.” Do your research. Do not hire anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable.
  2. Identify exactly what you want to gain from having a business coach before hiring one. If you do not have a specific focus or goal in mind, you will likely spend far more time and money than you need to trying to reach an end game.
  3. Read at least one classic business self-help book before spending a lot of money on a coach you may not need. There is a lot of great advice out there.  What you are looking for may already be written down somewhere.
  4. Find someone to be accountable to (besides yourself) before hiring a coach. A lot of folks find that the biggest benefit to having a business coach is having someone to be accountable to. Most of us procrastinate and most of us set goals and timelines and then set them aside.  Team up with a friend, coworker, or colleague and create a structured system for setting goals and checking in.
  5. Be ready to commit fully. Do not hire a coach only to miss appointments and ignore your coach’s advice.  Like most things in life, you will get out of it, what you put into it.  Be ready to dive in, take direction, and stick with it.


Don’t fret, it’s not too late to initiate a retirement plan.

Financial Advisor Sean Andersen will be at Sierra Commons to share tips on retirement planning for small business owners.

Learn basic strategies that you can use to help prepare for your golden years at this free workshop.

Please RSVP – and you’re welcome to bring your lunch!


Sean Andersen is a Financial Services Professional at New York Life, and VP of Public Relations for Marysville Toastmaster. He is active in community building and relations, and is also a member of the Nevada County Successful Thinkers Network.

Presented by Greg Barker, CPA

QuickBooks is the #1 rated small business financial software that organizes finances, tracks sales and expenses, and makes tax time easier.

In this introductory class, Greg Barker, CPA, will be demonstrating how QuickBooks is used to set up a chart of accounts, reconcile a checking account, create and print invoices, receipts, and statements, track payables, inventory, and receivables, create estimates, and generate reports.

Topics will also include:

  • Comparing other software and accounting options to QuickBooks
  • Why QuickBooks is the industry standard
  • Various QuickBook versions, and  how to determine which one is right for your business
  • Time, effort and initial expense involved to incorporate QuickBooks into your accounting system
  • What QuickBooks can save you in the long run – monetarily, and in peace of mind at tax time

If you’re using spreadsheets or manual methods, you’re likely spending more time on your books than you need to. Come to this free Sierra Commons class to see QuickBooks in action, and discover if it’s the right accounting program for your small business.

This event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend. Bring your lunch and learn something to move your business forward.

Please RSVP, seating is limited.

Sierra Commons is a non-profit organization. Donations to help sustain the Lunch and Learn workshops are warmly appreciated.

If you’re already using QuickBooks and want to take your QB skills to the next level, learn about new features, get tips, have questions or need hands on help, Greg will be teaching a series of QB workshops and holding live workshops at Sierra Commons.


Eventbrite - Introduction to New Product Development

June 3, June 17 & July 1: 2-5pm
Professor Russell Rudin, Ph.D.

In most cases, entrepreneurship consists of starting a new company, obtaining financing and developing a new product. In this three-part series, you will learn the basic new product development process, which emphasizes integrating marketing and technical dimensions into a viable offering. Structured methods for defining and analyzing information during the fuzzy early stages will be covered in detail.

The course will cover:

  • The overall new product development process
  • Tools and techniques to use in each phase
  • Clearly defining the opportunity
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • New trends in the product development process
  • Brief introduction to integrating the new product development process into project management planning

If you aspire to create a product, already have one in development, or want to supplement your product line – this series of classes will give you the tools to become successful in the new product development aspect of entrepreneurship.

$125 for the full series
($99 Sierra Commons members)

Eventbrite - Introduction to New Product Development

Dr. Rudin has 16 years’ experience as a professor at Santa Clara University in their Engineering Management Department. He developed and currently teaches their graduate curriculum in new product development and management of technology. Many of his students are entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley area.

He is co-founder and president of Ximatek, Inc. and founder and director of the Tech Venture Network of Ridgecrest – with over ten ventures in the process ranging from robotics to cosmetics. As part of his Network activities, Dr. Rudin founded Global Need Water Technology Inc., which is currently in final negotiations with a large investor to produce a high-efficiency solar desalination system. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Excel for Event Coordinators

Feb. 7th, 9-11am

Presented by Mike Freedman, Right-Click.Biz

Learn to use Excel as a simple and low cost database tool in this hands-on, interactive class.

Great for:

  • Event Coordinators
  • Mailing Lists
  • Sales Leads
  • Customer Service Tracking

Beginning & Intermediate skill levels

Students will become familiar and confident using Excel to build basic formatting for spreadsheets.

Menus and Navigation * File Management and Editing Tools * Data, Formulas and Formatting 8 Building Data-Specific Spreadsheets * Sorting Specific Details & Info * Extracting Data * Report Design * Formatting for Printing

Bring your computer and questions, and be prepared to excel at databased spreadsheets.

Members $27, Non-Members $30.

Click to register here.

You may also mail or bring a check to Sierra Commons for no additional registration fee.

How to Use Pinterest for Business & Marketing

If you're not Pinteresting, you’re losing business

Presented by Coryon Redd, Nevada County Online and

Saturday, January 26th, 1-3pm

Pinterest connects people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests with millions of new pins added every week. Join marketing guru Coryon Redd as he takes you through the steps to set up a Pinterest account so you can tap into this share of the marketplace and grow your business.

Who should take this class?

You have a storefront or online site that sells products or crafts (Etsy, Nevada County Makes, etc.)

You offer design or consumer services;

You have a tourism-related business;

You're part of the food industry;

You have a blog and want more followers;

You have a Facebook page for your business and want to maximize interest or sales.

You do ANY social marketing for your business.

In this fun and informative two-hour class Coryon will teach you how to:

  • Pinterest basics
  • How it works and how to get started
  • Create a business profile
  • Browse feed to see what’s trending & tap into trends
  • Collaborate with other pinners
  • Promote your pins and send traffic to your website
  • Show off your interests, your expertise and your content
  • Use widgets, apps and button
  • Find users, boards and content to participate and collaborate
  • Connect Pinterest to Facebook and other social media

If you want to drive people to your site and sell more products and/or services, you can’t afford to miss this class.

Cost: $30 Non-Member, $27 SC Member

Save! You can also register through mail or in person, with no additional registration fee if paying by check, money order or cash. 792 Searls Ave., Nevada City, CA 95959




Etsy Success

Earn Supplemental Income from your Crafts, Hobbies & Passions

Presented by Ruth Chase, Stack'd Everyday Napkins

Saturday, January 26th, 10-12pm

Ruth Chase is a local fine artist who like many of us has a second or third income. On Etsy she has been able to make up to $1000 a month with her $15 cloth napkins.  But it didn't start out that way!

For the first few years she had one sale every 6 weeks. So how did she grow her sales on Etsy?

This workshop will teach you:

  • Secrets for success
  • Tricks to opening an Etsy store
  • What to do…
  • And what not to do!
  • Tools you need to start making money from your creations

The workshop will end with an opportunity to have your individual questions answered.

You can also register through mail or in person, with no additional registration fee if paying by check, money order or cash. 792 Searls Ave., Nevada City, CA 95959

Call (530) 265-8443 for more information.


Create the Next Big App at the Nevada City Hackathon

Dec. 1st, 8am-late and Dec. 2nd, 8am-6pm

Sierra Commons is excited to announce the inaugural Nevada City Hackathon.  The goal of the event is to strengthen our local community of tech-savvy professionals and enthusiasts by bringing together programmers, and graphic and interface designers during this weekend event.

The hackathon includes a presentation on cutting-edge technologies, plenty of time for development, food, and collaboration.  The event culminates with demonstrations of participant’s work and an award ceremony where products will be judged in the Attendees’ Choice, Most Marketable, and Hyperlocal categories.

Benji Brown, owner of Studio B Flat Games and Sierra Commons member, is helping organize the event. “After going to the iPadDevCamp 2010 hackathon and winning Best Open Source, I continued to participate in various hackathons.” states Benji, “These events allowed me, over the course of just a couple days, to practice my rapid prototyping skills, meet and work with great talent, and all the while working on building something from the ground up that was totally exciting. It’s pretty fun having a cool idea become reality in just 48 hours.”

Sponsors of the event include: No Problem Associated Techs, Clientworks, Microsoft, ForeclosureRadar, Sierra Commons, Studio B Flat Games, Environmental Consumer, qatab

A hackathon is a gathering of designers and developers. Participants come together for a few days to meet other professionals, start a new project, get ideas and inspiration, learn new skills, race and compete on a theme, and visit a new place. The Nevada City Hackathon is focused on software projects primarily, but other than that, what you make is up to you.

Registration is by donation (suggested $15-$30).



Innovative thinkers and doers from Nevada County or the nearby Sierra
Nevada Foothills are encouraged to submit their idea worth spreading
for this year's TEDxGrassValley to be held on Sunday, December 2, 2012
at the Center for the Arts, 4-9pm. TEDxGrassValley, an independently
produced event, operated under license from TED, will webcast the
programming and talks from TEDxWomen along with presenting local
speakers. This is the fourth TEDxGrassValley to be held and third
event to be held around TEDxWomen.


For the first time, the TEDxGrassValley committee is opening up
speaker selections to the general public.  Those interested can apply
online at  It is open to both men and women.
Deadline November 2nd.


TEDxGrassValley speakers can help shape the future of women and girls
in Nevada County and the Sierra Nevada Foothills to change our view of
ourselves, our community, and our role in the world.  “The Space
Between” is this years theme, which focuses on how women and girls are
changing the world we live in. Speakers are asked to provide bold,
unique new insights into emerging research and innovations that may
fundamentally shape the course of things to come – both in their
disciplines and for all of society.


We’re interested in adults and students from all walks of life and
professional specialties – arts, design, technology, health, wellness,
business, education, community building, and a million other areas.
Each speaker will have 17 minutes to inform and inspire the
TEDxGrassValley participants.  Speakers will have the opportunity to
work with a professional coach on their idea and presentation.


Past TEDxGrassValley speakers have included Chameli Ardagh – Author
and Founder of Awakening Women, Reinette Senum – former Nevada City
Mayor and the first woman to cross Alaska solo, Rainy Blue Cloud –
North San Juan Fire Department Captain, Olivia Lawerence-Weilmann –
High School Senior, Molly Fisk – Poet, Writer, and See Jane Do
co-founders Jesse Locks and Elisa Parker.


TEDxWomen — hosted by Pat Mitchell and the Paley Center for Media –
takes place on Friday, November 30th and Saturday, December 1st, 2012
in Washington, D.C. TEDxWomen – themed The Space Between — will live
stream to the global TEDx community. Organizers of TEDxWomen events
will watch the livestream of TEDxWomen, and have the opportunity to
host local speakers.  This is the second edition of TEDxWomen – the
first brought to the stage speakers such as Gloria Steinem, Dr. Oz and
Jane Fonda and was viewed by 120 TEDx communities around the globe.
The event was inspired by TEDWomen, which took place in 2010.


More information at or call (916) 548-7716