BEATING THE ODDS
At the age of 27, while working as a public relations specialist for the University of North Texas, Hattie decided she should either sell something or own something.
After two years of research, Hattie purchased a franchise of Leadership Management, Inc and incorporated her business as Leadership Development Corporation. The franchisor is the largest producer of business education materials in the world. During her first three years, Hattie rose to the top. Out of 400 active franchise owners worldwide, she consistently out-produced 90% of the other franchisees and was the first woman to be among the top ten.
For fifteen years Hattie taught management, sales and customer service in the classrooms of hundreds of small businesses and from the convention platform. She has presented seminars in 47 states and has produced original teaching materials for many of her customers including ABC/Cap Cities and Frito-Lay.
In January of 1993 she began to work on the concept of bringing her classroom to public television. Since there was nothing on television teaching how to start, run and grow a business, Hattie believed there was an opportunity to create such a product.
Today there are 130 half-hours episodes of SMALL BUSINESS School. Shot entirely on location, from Tampa to Seattle and from San Diego to Boston, small business owners tell how they do what they do. The national sponsors of the 2001 season are IBM and the US Postal Service. With many local sponsors, including Qwest and Verizon, the series can be seen in nearly 90 million US households via 225 public television stations and it reaches the world via the US government Worldnet Global Satellite. The show even has fans in Mauritius and Mongolia SMALL BUSINESS School went up on the web in 1995 and this year after looking at 15,000 sites, the University of California School of Business said, “sb2000.org is the definitive site for small business owners.” The newest venture is SmallBusinessSchool.org, a 4th media experience bringing to the desktop online learning with streaming video and interactive study guides.
Flying Leap, the small business she owns with her husband, Bruce Camber, is virtual. With phone, fax and internet connectivity, Hattie and Bruce live and work in San Diego, their business administrator works from her home office in New Orleans and their producer works from his studio in Dallas.
Hattie’s book, Beating the Odds, has been in bookstores everywhere. Hattie received the Award of Excellence from the White House Office of Small Business Advocacy for their success in bringing the story of small business owners to television. In January 2001, SMALL BUSINESS 2000 was complete and SMALL BUSINESS SCHOOL began airing on PBS-member stations. SmallBusiness2000.org is being phased out and SmallBusinessSchool.org is now dominant on the web.