The Catalyst Course for Small Business (November 2018)


The Catalyst Course for Small Business (November 2018)


Do you feel like your small business should be bigger and more impactful than it is? Are you good at what you do, but as a business, feel like you should be getting better results, in terms of profit, enjoyment, efficiency, and more time for yourself or your family? This course is about taking your work to the next level by fostering change in yourself and in others. You will learn goal-setting, decision-making, discerning action under real-life constraints, and how to market well with limited time. Join a small cohort of fellow business owners and solo practitioners, and acquire the skills, commitment, and accountability needed to execute your next big step.

Add To Cart

Date: Mondays, November 5, 12, 19, 26
Time: 6:00-9:00pm
Location: Week 1 - Taborspace | 5441 SE Belmont St; Weeks 2-4 SE Uplift | 3534 SE Main St.
Tuition: 12x your hourly wage, $400 minimum

Space is limited to 8-12 students. To form a strong cohort, this course is by admission. Apply here: by October 31. Once you have been admitted, you will receive a link to submit your tuition.

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

- Annie Dillard

Do you feel that your business should be giving your more enjoyment and making a deeper impact on your community and the world? Want to feel like it’s growing and that you can build some security by putting money away for the future? Want to create better boundaries between obsessing about your work and your own personal time? Or get to choose your audience and serve it better? Your work is important to the world and to your own financial future. We all have more capabilities and untapped potential within us. Each of us is capable of far more than what we’re doing. What’s principally holding us back is… us.

The Catalyst Course is designed to spark significant change in you, and thus, your business. Because that's always where the change needs to start. Based in part on Seth Godin's altMBA, a $3000 online business program, it is for people on the cusp of something big, for businesses that should be more impactful than they currently are. It’s a catalyst for you to gain more business acumen and savvy while gaining more clarity on what you offer, what sets you apart, and how you serve others.

Change is hard. Inertia and busy-ness are obstacles. The Catalyst Course is about rejecting the stagnancy of the status quo and taking a leap towards building a business that fuels the life you really want, while making a contribution to your community. You’ll learn how to make a plan, how to iterate and be flexible, how to find the audience you want and then market your business to them. It will be a significant amount of work. And the willingness to change internal scripts. But anything remarkable requires that. Here, you do it with the support and accountability of others doing the same.

Ready for a spark?

Week 1: This link and Goal Setting.

Week 2: Enlisting Others, Marketing through Radical Empathy.

Week 3: The Beauty of Constraints.

Week 4: Pretotyping: Experimentation, Failure, and the Lean Startup.

Note: The class is an in-person cohort of small business owners and solo practitioners, with online assignments to be completed beforehand. In all likelihood, the result will be an engaged community of small businesses that continues to support each other on an on-going basis.

Testimonials from past offerings of the Catalyst Course:


Douglas Tsoi has been a lawyer, a schoolteacher, and a climate change activist before founding Portland Underground Grad School. He teaches a number of courses at PUGS, including Financial Freedom 101 and 201, Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the How to Teach Workshop. He also runs GameChangers GO, an online program helping people create change through studying wisdom, purpose, and integrity.