Instructor Series: Hal Brown

Meet Hal Brown, an Interise instructor who has been teaching the SBA Emerging Leaders class in Austin, TX since 2015. Hal is the founder and CFO of Home Health Company.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I am a Navy veteran and retiree with 23 years, 11 ½ months of military service. My wife (Shannon) and I founded Universal Nursing Services of Texas in 2005. I am a native of North Carolina, and I have enjoyed a full military career, and I am enjoying the challenges of business ownership and the experiences as an adjunct professor. After retirement, we decided to build a home and a business in the San Antonio, Texas area. We have raised two children together, Terrance (a Navy Submariner), and Olivia (gaining working experience).

How did you first get involved in entrepreneurship/small business?
I observed that home health companies were not fulfilling their responsibilities to my elderly parents, so it motivated me to start this company to better care for seniors. I entered into entrepreneurship with the idea of helping others, so I have been successful in the business and education arenas. Other than starting my own business, I volunteered at SCORE for several years to learn how to become a business coach/mentor, and it allowed me to improve my education and public speaking abilities. It warms my heart to help individuals go from “dreamers” to “successful business owners.” A skilled coach can see when the transition begins, and it is exciting to help the mentee set and achieve goals to ultimately open and run their business with success.

How has being an Interise Instructor impacted your own business?
Being an Instructor for Interise has made me more aware of some of the weaker areas of my own company, as I offer constructive and instructive advice to our Participant/Students. The first year, our management and directors implemented some of the procedures and systems from the class, and it made an immediate impact of $300,000 to our gross annual sales for 2015. Since we were more aware of what to look out for, in 2016 we are on pace to add another $100,000 - $150,00 to the annual sales. The Emerging Leaders program has enabled us to understand the need to call clients to conduct our own surveys (current and past clients).

What are you doing personally and or professionally that you want people to know about?
Personally, I am working on Public Speaking and Leadership through Toastmasters International. I have set a goal of completion of my “Distinguished Toastmaster” designation by the end of May 2017. Also, I am just completing my last formal class while working on my Doctorate in Business Administration with a concentration on Health Care Management. The goal I have set there is to complete my Doctorate by the end of August 2017.

Professionally, I am a university professor at two private universities in San Antonio, I teach Business Management and Health Care Management courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Also, I am still a volunteer for SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business, where I mentor potential entrepreneurs as they seek to start their businesses.

Why do you teach with Interise?
I genuinely enjoy helping others as an educator! The teaching position with Interise has provided me with the ability reach more people and learn more about the strategic planning aspects of business and strategic management. The Interise experience allows me to improve my facilitation skills which helps me to deliver a much-improved educational experience for my students in the Emerging Leaders Program, my university students, and my mentees through the SCORE San Antonio program. When preparing to instruct CEOs and senior Executives of a business, I find that I go the extra mile to prepare for each class, so that I am able to lead the class through any subject that may arise during the three-hour session. Interise has made me a better leader, instructor, facilitator, and it makes me enjoy teaching even more than before.

Austin Emerging Leaders graduating class of 2015

What is the biggest misconception about owning a small business?
From my mentoring and teaching encounters with potential entrepreneurs, I engage in discussions with many people who believe that if they have enough interest and drive to learn a new industry, they believe they will be able to run a successful business. The will strongly decline the notion to gain experience in the industry prior to starting a business. Many times, I have tried to slow down or stop individuals from spending the money to open a business without the necessary experience in the industry. They disregarded my warnings and opened the businesses anyways only to end up closing down after six months or less. It was quite painful to watch each time, and the story started and ended the same way for each entrepreneur.

What’s one book every entrepreneur should read?
I have read many books for school. work, and for pleasure. The one book I would recommend to my students and mentees is “The Power of Purpose: How to Create the Life You Always Wanted” by Les Brown.

You may ask why I would recommend this particular book. I will tell you that “If you can figure out the purpose and the meaning for what you do well on this earth, then you will likely give more than 100% dedication to doing it for as many people as you can!” With that dedication and internal drive, and if you make that your ambition (to help as many people as you can), then it is more likely you will be successful in the endeavor.