My Library and Courses
Last Update: Tuesday June 15, 2021

Lifelong learning for small business owners & employees

What makes a business sustainable?

Jim Schell

USA: Starting a business is in our blood. Pulitzer-historian Oscar Handlin documents how the founders issued the 1776 Declaration of Independence in large part to be able to freely form a corporation.  Today, when we start a business, it is our personal declaration for fiscal independence.
And then we even surprise ourselves. The business grows! Of the largest 1000 businesses in the USA, 33% of them are still family businesses. Virtually every business starts as a family business.  
Starting and sustaining a business is the path to wealth and the only true path out of poverty. This small business revolution should be, and can be, the #1 export of this country.

How does a business make it beyond the first year? ...third year? ...and fifth year? These are benchmarks. Milestones. Most startups do not get past them. So, when these veteran entrepreneurs answer the question, "How did you do it?," there is a lot to learn.

This television special outlines the common qualities found in companies that make profits for decades.                More...

Nominate a business you love...

They will  be Listed and  Linked

on the Index for Learning Companies!

Know a great business? they always seem to be improving? Nominate them! Register -- you have to be a real person -- and that business will be listed and linked from this site. If the business uses this site, they will be considered for a local episode of the show. You can also self-nominate. It's encouraged. Let's tell the stories of good businesses!?!  

Nominate your favorite business today.

Why shouldn't there be an American Idol  for good businesses!

Eight steps open many paths in business

    Four Steps to start and run test
Step 1. Initial Idea $
Step 2. Start-up $$
Step 3. Incubate $$$
Step 4. On Your Own $$$$
   Four Steps to run and grow test
Step 5. Employer $$$
Step 6. Growth $$
Step 7. Sustainabilty $
Step 8. Exit at the top $$$$

Participating in a Small Business Index of Learning Companies


  • 4M listed within the index and 4M who are members of their local public television stations through the efforts of Small Business School.

  • 400K who have a profile-transcript-study guide under development  and have become members of their local station's Producers' Club.

Everybody is a producer.

Cameras are abundant; the kids are learning to edit; production qualities will only get better. And, each of our local public television stations just may become the places where some learn how to do it for television.

We are encouraging every good person to tell their story. We are suggesting that every good business have a camera rolling (or digitizing) when special events are happening. Roll footage whenever you can and begin editing together special vignettes. Get ready because someday soon you may be selected for a local episode of the show!

We encourage all good business owners to register and then get your key people registered and together develop your overview, transcript, case study guide and then a homepage to be displayed within this site.

You and your company will then be in the  queue for consideration of a local episode of the show based on that information.

Questions & Answers.

Questions and answers from weekly television productions since 1994 are here online to help you answer the questions from your own history, perspective and insight. You will be answering the same questions Hattie has asked business owners over the years. 

There are a core group of questions that require an answer; all the rest of them are to help you share your motivations and dreams, and your successes and failures, so others can learn from you.

All the people -- business owners and any employees and suppliers -- who become a member of their station will also be listed and linked from the SBS Index of Learning Companies. These are all very special small businesses. The goal is to have at least 400,000 profiles of the very best small businesses out of the 25 million in the USA.

As the show increasingly attracts a global following, there will be even more from all the other countries throughout the world.

The process becomes self-selecting among all those people who are committed to lifelong learning and who operate their business with integrity and ethics. Only a person who loves their community and is loved by their community and respected within their industry would read this deeply.  Taken together, we are all advocates for all small businesses.

All the information with the web site and the weekly television show are organized within one of eight steps: four to start and run a business and four to run and grow a business. In each step owner/founders discuss how they got from one step to the next.

The Magic.

You see people like yourself who had an idea for a business.  They act on it, and surprise themselves and everyone when it becomes successful. . You see how others overcame the obstacles and self-doubt.

Today, every question and answer is being pulled into  one-to-five minute capsules so you can ask a question and get an array of answers. Called Interactive Questions (IQ) within Question-Answer Arrays (QUAYS).

If you answer these Interactive Questions online, you'll be building pages – a profile – on this site. Once enough questions are answered, these answers can be reviewed first as a profile - overview, then as a study guide, and finally as a transcript. You can then request that they become public on this site.

Once they do, you are then part of those who will be considered for a local episode of the show