Archive for March, 2011

“The future’s not predicted – it’s created”  was a closing of a recent blog post I read. I love it! Since I have been reading “Poke the Box” by Seth Godin it was meaningful.

Godin believes in creating your own future. In his book he encourages readers to start projects,  take risks and take steps toward creating change.  He says success is tied to defeating the fear that holds us back from creating something new.

Kent Jensen, our newest franchisee plans to create something new in Coastal South Carolina. He plans to work hard to build a  successful future and COMPUTER EXPLORERS business. He didn’t read “Poke the Box” but he’s living Godin’s principles.

Kent has never owned a business. He is a former educator that decided he wasn’t ready for retirement. In his own way he poked the box. He made a decision to start something new. Create change in his life. Take a risk.

Kent attended his first COMPUTER EXPLORERS Conference the week before training began. He didn’t want to miss the opportunity to spend time with the franchisees to learn from them. Kent said attending conference was “overwhelming but informative.” Thomas Scott from Brand Journalist wrote a blog post about the conference – you can find the link  here

Godin says we must start projects. He says to “just jump in and do it.” Kent was intimidated in training when Lorri Wyndham told him he was going to have a blog. But he jumped in and just did it.  You can find the post here.

Godin says that if we believe what we are doing is worthwhile then we will stick with it even during difficult times. Starting a new franchise is not an easy decision nor is it an easy job. Kent has made a commitment to himself and to his fellow franchisees to work hard and stick with it.

Kent left Texas this week as a new business owner. He is ready to create a successful business in Coastal South Carolina. We wish him the very best and he knows that the CE Corporate Team will be available to support him every step of the way! We are just a call, email or Tweet away.

Deb and Kent Jensen with graduation cake

QR Code Frenzy

IFA QR Bar Code

You never know what “aha moment” for one will become an avalanche of aha moments.  During one of the COMPUTER EXPLORERS conference presentations  QR codes were mentioned. Very innocently one franchisee raised their hand and openly admitted they did not know what a QR (Quick Response) code was. That’s one of the things I love about the COMPUTER EXPLORERS franchisees. They are not afraid to ask a question.  This time there were several franchisees that were unfamiliar with QR codes. As a group they were very interested in how they could apply QR bar codes to their business.

We took a minute away from the scheduled presentation and I explained that Graphic Management designed stickers linking to the  IFA (International Franchise Association) Website which I distributed as part of my recent presentation at the annual convention.

We also discussed how QR codes can be coded with  contact information. The 2D bar code can be scanned by a smartphone and the contact information then can be saved directly into the phone!

With a few key strokes and less than 5 minutes I created by own  QR code by using the open source –   ZXing Link here

QR Code with Deb Evans contact information

How to generate a QR code was not part of the conference agenda. That did not stop the franchisees from networking and learning together.  During breaks and in the evening I would find franchisees huddled together with their smartphones designing their own QR codes and discussing ways to implement.

Sometimes the best sessions are those that are not planned and actually cause a frenzy of learning.

COMPUTER EXPLORERS Conference Attendees

Every organization has a culture. It may evolve and change over the years. As leaders of the organization change and employees leave and are replaced the culture may change.

Over the weekend I participated in my 16th COMPUTER EXPLORERS conference. Many things have changed over the years: our management, our geographic location of our headquarters, franchisees, corporate staff, etc.

One thing that hasn’t changed is our culture. Our  commitment, trust, customer focus and most of all fun are still characteristics of the COMPUTER EXPLORERS culture!

We opened our conference as we have over the last few years with an entertaining video. Sometimes there is a theme or a story to tell. This year our goal was simple. We wanted to laugh at ourselves with our franchisees. “CT” our Computer Turtle mascot opened the video with out-takes of previous videos.

I hope you enjoy it as our franchisees did.

Lorri Wyndham

Meet Lorri Wyndham, the Tiara wearing COMPUTER EXPLORERS Operations Manager. Lorri accomplished a monumental task organizing the COMPUTER EXPLORERS Un-Conference. For weeks she worked on the details to organize a conference that would provide an opportunity for the franchisees to gather, network and share their wealth of information and learn from one another.

Lorri is known as a extremely organized, control freak making sure every single detail is handled flawlessly. I’m sure there were minor breakdowns but it was undetected by the attendees. What was observed were clear goals and objectives for conference, transportation organized, meals coordinated, meeting room set up, AV organized, door prizes, vendor invitations ….

As President & CEO I am receiving congratulations for one of the best conferences in COMPUTER EXPLORERS history.

The success of this conference goes to Lorri and the franchisees that attended! Lorri’s labor of love in planning and the franchisees determination to grow their business was captured in the video below created by Thomas Scott, Brand Journalist.

Must watch short video here

Did you read World Wide Rave by David Meerman Scott? Scott  shares how to use viral marketing with free valuable content to create online success.

Cyndee Perkins

Cyndee Perkins, COMPUTER EXPLORERS Curriculum and Program Development Director read Scott’s book. She is the author of the COMPUTER EXPLORERS blog and put together a celebration for the month of March. She shares the history of the franchise and why the plush lovable turtle named “CT” is used as the mascot.

Perkins enlisted the lead curriculum writer Roz Shafer to develop a fun short video that  young children can relate to (see below). The best part of the campaign is the free access to the password protected eTots portal where children around the world can access the best online activities from home!

March may come in like a lion or a lamb for some but for COMPUTER EXPLORERS March is all about the turtle! Please help us celebrate this month by sharing the links below!


eTots Portal for Children Around the World!