What do you do? 

Beyond Bingo's goal is to create and bring to the world, Multidimensional Whole Life Wellness Programming, that is carefully designed to support Seniors in maintaining their independence; inspiring their continued personal growth and exploration; and filling their lives with joy and a renewed sense of purpose.  

Our team specializes in the creation of signature programming models, conducts staff and management training, and has presented at ASA, ICAA and Leading Age conferences with average participant feedback scores of 87% or higher.  Colleen is a named creator on the 2010, and a named contributor on the 2012 ICAA International Innovators Award Winners for outstanding senior programming. 

What inspired you to start your business? 

It is very simple.  I want to change the world. I believe Seniors have value to our society, our children and our world.  I believe they are capable and deserve our respect and efforts. not lipservice and warehousing. 

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner? 

High Points:  Making a difference.  Seeing a resident or a staff member that may never have painted before create something they are proud of.  Even better, seeing their face when others compliment them!  or their children or grandchildren try to "make off" with their creations to frame and hang on their walls!  There is no better feeling in the whole world than helping someone know that they are special and that they can create beauty in the world that others appreciate.  

Low point: I had truly believed that our yearlong lockdown and the massive negative effects it had on the seniors would have taught us as an industry.  That we would have learned, really learned how important programming was and that I would see a real shift in our industry where it needs to be in staff and supplies and budget for engagement programming. 

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner? 

You must be adamant about setting a schedule, carving out personal time and making it a priority.  This was my greatest lesson during the lockdown. I had no idea just how exhausted I was until I finally had some time off.

Now I schedule my weekends off. I will make exceptions two times per month on Saturdays for a special client or rescheduling, especially if covid is the issue. But Sundays I will not work and beginning in January, I only take four evening sessions a month. 

What is your relationship with SCORE? 
SCORE client
What influenced you to seek help from SCORE? 

A friend told me about them, I looked them up at the library on the northside, and that is where I met George Fink, my first mentor.  Since I knew absolutely nothing about starting a business, it seemed like a good idea.  I even laugh myself at the complete naivete in that statement.  I am still amazed I have done this sometimes.

How SCORE helped. 

Oh my goodness. How they have helped.  Books, additional experts they have brought in, suggestions, work lists and of course, my mentors.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business? 

My very first SCORE mentor knew the score!  He said it is 16 hour days 7 days a week for about 3 years til you get there if you truly want to make this work.  Are you REALLY ready for that?  Don't start if you are not.  He was absolutely correct.

The time requirement is FAR beyond whatever you might have imagined.  Be sure you are ready.  but if you think about all this and still want to do it? It is the absolute BEST decision I ever made!!!  I wouldn't change it for the world. 

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE? 

I have already sent three friends considering starting businesses to SCORE in their area.  My assistant prior to covid got temporary support business really going after starting with me and learning about SCORE. SCORE helped me apply for the SBA EIDL as well!