page contents Google



Jackie B. Peterson

Jackie B. Peterson

You’re reading this post because of one person.

Jackie B. Peterson.

In a changing world, she rides the change wave.

Call her a change agent, a fan of success. Call her a professor, a guide through dark waters.

Or call her the author of Better, Smarter, Richer and you’ll be fine.

Part of Jackie’s time goes to teaching the principles of her book to her students.

Before you jump to an image of adult education as a mixed age classroom split between floaters and sinkers, these are the principles:

Seven Principles for Solo and Creative Entrepreneurs (from Better, Smarter, Richer)

1. Focus on a deep narrow niche.

2. Articulate your unique value proposition.

3. Fend off mission creep.

4. Develop a business mindset.

5. Avoid the time-money squeeze.

6. Understand your target audience.

7. Market every day.

Without the class or the book you may wonder what she means. Instead of encouraging you to take her class, or just buy her book, I’ll tell you what to expect when you do.

Jackie is proof that her vision of success is real. She wanted to reach interested parties through the platform of Portland Community College, but needed a Masters degree to qualify.

This CPA got a Masters.

She wanted the framework a book provides so her students have a ready reference. She wrote Better, Smarter, Richer.

Who are her students? They are therapists, lawyers, and high-tech professionals. They are marketers, designers, and bloggers. Together they represent a slice of the pie known as solopreneurs, people who feel they want more than a cubicle and a screen.

They want the feeling you get when you wake up ready to lift the world instead of pushing a pile.

That’s where Jackie comes in. She takes their dreams from a nebulous notion of what-if, to the concrete reality of making it real.


In 2001 I joined the Small Business Development Center at Portland Community College. At the SBDC, I’m in charge of an entrepreneurial development and technical assistance program — we combine classroom teaching with one-on-one individual counseling for traditional businesses and solo and creative entrepreneurs, all of whom are working to take their enterprises to the next level.

What happens when you sit down with Jackie for one-on-one individual counseling? It’s different than any counseling you’ve had in school, career, or marriage. It reveals something unexpected.


The college counselor looks at your academic record and lays a path toward graduation. Maybe they give you the long way around with classes that benefit the college more than you.

The career counselor helps improve your productivity, skill set, and attitude. You’ve got questions unasked, they’ve got answers untold, and you leave with a vague feeling of emptiness.

The marriage counselor works to improve communication in the trickiest forum on earth, two people trying to understand why one is such a jerk. You leave that session with dread, knowing the work needed but doubting your ability to do it.

Jackie’s counseling combines elements of all three, plus a gentle taser to remind you of your intentions.

  • In this role, I’ve become something of a local legend among entrepreneurs — counseling hundreds of small businesses, many of them creative enterprises, to increased growth, profitability and success.

You’re thinking about stepping out on your own but get lost every time you open the door? Jackie draws a map.

  • I also help bring an innovative approach to help other business advisers help their solopreneur clients.

You wonder what makes one counselor more effective than another? Jackie follows her own principles. She talks the talk, and walks the walk. From writer, to speaker, to teacher, she’s gathered several lifetimes of experience to bring to the table. And she shares it with you.

  • They often tell me how much they appreciate the wisdom and strategies found in Better, Smarter, Richer and about those moments when a solo or creative entrepreneur sits in front of them and says, “I want to make a living doing what I love!”

Think of a favorite book or movie and how you feel at the end. The people who created the story know their craft like farmers know their fields: When to break new ground, when to plant, and when to harvest. And they give you the bounty of their harvest to call your own when it’s over.

Jackie Peterson is an expert, an authority as steeped in modern business culture as any online ‘guru’.

She travels the nation with her message. You can find it right here. She does the hard work and so can you.







About David Gillaspie


  1. I highly recommend Better, Smarter, Richer for any solo or encore entrepreneur wishing to grow a thriving business. Jackie’s knowledge and experience forged over years of working with hundreds of small business owners is transferred to the clients in her service through this very important program.

    Tammy Marquez-Oldham
    Director| PCC SBDC

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Hi Tammy,

      The best thing Jackie does is isolate the different streams of information that go into project. With her online presence as a model, students can see how much or how little they need to engage for their own success.

      She brings the sort of energy to a room that says “This is important” which transfers to her students and boosts confidence in their work. If a student wonders if Better Smarter Richer is right for them, if it will work, author Jackie B. Peterson could say “Yes, because it’s field tested.” She is her own best proof.

      Thanks for coming in Tammy. You’re doing a great service for individuals and the region.


%d bloggers like this: