When Dion Shaw completed his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1997, he had several years of professional work experience, in addition to perspective from negotiating one giant hurdle. Regarding a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in his early 20s, Dion said, “It put my priorities in order. It makes me want to help others, to give to others, to look around and see what matters.”
Years later, working as a management information systems manager for a large manufacturing company, and pursuing a master’s degree in project management with UW-Platteville Online, Dion was laid off. He spent 2009 looking for work and volunteering with the Illinois WorkNet, helping unemployed workers with résumé-writing and interviewing skills.
At the Project Management Conference in Platteville in 2010, Dion engaged faculty, shared his experience, and was encouraged to take a special topics course to pursue his idea of creating a resource for workers who want to start homebased businesses. Dion designed, developed, and maintains Homepreneurs, a blog that does just that.
As a recent guest on Unity Online Radio’s Beyond Blind Spots, Dion discussed the importance of researching and planning a business, explaining that “the business plan can be brief, something to remind you of where you’re going...a dynamic document that evolves along with the business.”
Dion is halfway to completing his master’s degree. He divides his time between school, parenting, working full-time for CompUCom, and maintaining the Homepreneurs blog. Two years, over 400 posts, 600 comments, and 40,000 visitors later, it’s a valuable resource to many, and illustrates what is possible when a person follows his passion, identifies a need, and gathers the expertise and community to implement the plan.
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