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  • Writer's pictureRachel Feit

Crash Learning for Dummies

Starting a new business is bit like jumping out of an airplane: exhilarating and terrifying all at once. Since opening my doors I haven't had a dull moment. I have had to become a web designer, a marketer, a bookkeeper, an insurance and credit negotiator, a certification expert, an HR manager, a blogger, and learn a ton of new software applications. None of these things is what I actually do professionally. I am a historical archaeologist by training, and cultural resources manager by experience. My work is about developing and performing studies of archaeological sites, objects, historic properties, buildings, and landscapes in advance of infrastructure and development projects. My work exists because of statutes like the National Historic Preservation Act that require consideration and assessment of cultural resources on publicly owned lands, or prior to federally sponsored undertakings. In my career, I've traveled to many parts of the United States and the world to work on diverse projects from a Greek Farmhouse in the Crimea, to Austin's Red Light District, to a Cold War Era Missile Launch Complex in Utah. I've learned something new with every project I do and that's a big part of why I love my work.

I just left my job of 11 years to strike out on my own in this business. I'll be honest: it's a huge risk for me to leave a great job working with smart people on amazing projects. But like so many small business owners, I was at the point in my life where I wanted to exert more executive control over the direction of my work. And I was ready to learn something completely new in my industry. Be careful what you wish for; I am now getting a crash course in Small Business 101.

Sometimes, it's hard to keep track of everything I need to do not only for Acacia Heritage Consulting, but also for the technical work that pays us. To keep organized, I like to make lists. Trying to keep on top of it all can be daunting, but I have found the best way to do it is to just take one task at a time, crossing them off the list as they get completed. This is one task I can cross off my list for now: finish and publish website. Now I can turn my attention to some of the exciting new projects I have lined up. One of them is in Texas' Angelina National Forest. Keep checking in for more updates!

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