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Jessica Padilla Bowen, Carlsbad library community relations manager, left, introduces Robyn Koenig, a self-improvement specialist, during a Feb. 4 workshop as part of the city's annual "Business Boot Camp" at the Cole Library. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Carlsbad hosting business ‘boot camp’

CARLSBAD — For startups to those businesses functioning for years, the city is offering a slate of workshops to help strengthen those entities.

The “Boot Camp for Businesses” began on Feb. 4 and continues on Feb. 11 and Feb. 18 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Cole Library, 1250 Carlsbad Village Drive. Admission is free.

Jessica Padilla Bowen, community relations manager for the library, said the annual workshop also highlights resources available at the library, such as databases, business literature and space for podcasting, meetings or using the library as an extension of their offices.

As for the workshop, she said typically several dozen people attend, and one of the big draws is social media.

“I think it’s important to demystify social media for business,” she said. “I think people know about it using it personally but using it for business is a different realm.”

Upcoming are workshops on interviewing and marketing with keynote speakers Dean Nelson and Fumi Matsubara, respectively. The Feb. 4 session was headlined by Robyn Koenig, who focused on positive change and how shifting mindsets can lead to new pathways.

Nelson, a journalist and professor, will dive into the art of asking questions to draw out the most important and relevant information during an interview. He will reveal tips from his book, “Talk to Me: How to Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers and Interview Anyone Like a Pro,” highlighting how to structure questions, note-taking and ethical dilemmas.

As for Matsubara, he launched Defy Digital in 2012 and focuses on online traffic and conversion. He said he prefers flexibility as a way to curate needs for his clients, as each has different wants.

Matsubara, who also sits on the Carlsbad Village Association Board of Directors, said his workshop will discuss social media advertising, but his high-level goal is to collaborate with those in attendance and provide practical information and advice.

In the course of his business, Matsubara said the number of platforms for advertising, such as Google, Facebook and others, makes it easy for a business person to understand. Even though there are numerous resources, practical knowledge is what business owners are looking for and how to implement those on a day-to-day basis.

“One anchoring goal we have is making the program accessible and to bounce the ideas or be a soundboard,” Matsubara added. “It’s important that we help our clients … to see tangible improvement in the performance of their business.”

As for Koenig, her business centers on self-improvement. The podcaster and coach said her focus is to help people take a different look at what they are doing to achieve success and use the tools people already possess to create change.

Some obstacles people face, Koenig said, include fear, overcoming barriers and burnout. Taking action, she said, is a way to create a positive change to knock down those roadblocks.

“It’s not magic,” Koenig said. “It’s tapping into what you already have, like a superpower. You have to understand where your mindset is and where you want to be.”