I registered for this forum last week, after listening to a great podcast on business meal etiquette, but just didn't have time to post anything. Now, I have a bit more time on my hands, so I thought I'd start with a short bio of myself.
My name is William Golden Wilkins. I live near Los Angeles. I'm the founder & chief executive officer of [url=http://www.integral-identity.com]Integral Identity[/url], a brand experience consulting firm I launched nearly two years ago (October 15, 2004). I'm also the VP of Communications for the [url=http://www.integral-identity.com]Southern California American Marketing Association[/url]. Before starting Integral Identity, I had no managerial experience and only limited entrepreneurial experience (I practiced graphics design on a freelance basis), and I have no college degree (but did complete several courses and managed to maintain a high GPA before deciding in mid-2005 to focus full time on building my firm).
I started my company for the reason that I was studying marketing and economics at the time (academically), and one of my clients wanted me to share some of what I was learning about branding with them, and so it essentially mushroomed from that point. I had, at the time, been enthusiastically studying business history, and felt a strong entrepreneurial impulse. I've had a great run, and a massive amount of fun, in the past two years. I plan on returning to college at some point in the future, as my long term academic goal is to get a PhD in management science, a field that has fascinated me.
One challenge that I've faced, and what drew me to this site, is that I have no relatives who are even remotely involved with business management, and while I do have mentors, it does feel awkward asking questions about really basic things. I've been fortunate in that I haven't made any really embarrassing faux pas in the two years I've been doing this, and I strongly desire to keep it that way, and thus, I felt very relieved to find this website.