MY STORY

Welcome, and thanks for being here. I am Dr. Lisa Burnside and I have a passion to help people succeed.

My work life consisted of 30 years spent in the insurance industry, managing, owning, teaching, and consulting. After reading the book, "I Can See Clearly Now" by the late Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, I was inspired to resurrect a goal I set for myself in my late 20's - to have a PhD by the time I was 50. Since I had my masters and I wanted to do some research and write a book to enhance my consulting business, I thought it made sense to pursue that next step. I had to adjust my goal slightly since I was already 50 when I read the book. Then, I called Walden University's admissions office, and after conducting the interview I was told that a PhD was probably not the best route, but to pursue a Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) instead. Okay, the journey began.

 

I enrolled in the online D.B.A. program. It didn't take too long before I started feeling overwhelmed by the coursework, my regular job, and my homelife. I needed to kick in my organizational techniques and create systems to keep it all together.

 

I selected a chair that I thought would help me fast track the process, because that was what he told me. For the next six months I worked on a problem statement that I was passionate about, and was ready to spend the next couple of years with it. However, my second chair would not let it pass. She kept kicking it back, telling me there wasn't enough peer reviewed research on that problem specific to the insurance agency industry. On my third try, attempting to simply focus on small to medium enterprises and just happening to conduct the interviews with leaders of insurance agencies, my first chair said, "Let's give it a try." What? No, either it will fly or it won't, advise me. My second chair turned it down once again. Therefore, I filed to have my second chair moved to the first chair position to get this thing done, and I completely changed my focus.

 

Out of frustration while staring at a golf course, I thought, "Just for giggles, I wonder how much peer reviewed research there is on golf courses." After only one quick search, I found tons of it. So, that's what I did, "Marketing Innovation Strategies to Attract and Retain Customers for U.S. Private Country Clubs". In business, marketing was never my strong point and the only connection I had to private country clubs was that I was a member of one that was struggling to attract and retain members.

 

So, all that time that I thought I was being efficient in my classes and researching insurance and knowledge management between the generations was pretty much wasted. I needed to start all over from scratch and research this new topic, pull articles, come up with a problem statement, etc. When it was time to write my literature review, I didn't have any annotated bibliographies to pull from since they were all written on my old topic. Panic was pretty much setting in. Then I bought a book on how to complete your thesis in two semesters or less. One huge take-away for me was that my chair was not my instructor, but was going to be my colleague and I was the project manager of my study. It was up to me to learn it, write it, and coordinate it. That's exactly what I finally did.

 

It took me four terms more than the minimum required terms to complete the requirements for graduation. So, more money and more time than I anticipated when I started the process. I learned some great techniques from my new chair and the books I read about the process. My chair encouraged all of us to work together and pool strengths. My mom worked for an ad agency when I was a little kid and she taught me how to proofread. I proofread everything and set my systems up to help me edit for academic grammar, since that type of writing is not the way we talk or the way I was used to writing in business. I helped people in my D.B.A. group with their studies and started watching our documents move through the process. It was pretty exciting.

 

I then realized there are probably a lot more people out there that felt like I did, on an island, overwhelmed, and just wanting to get this thing done. Therefore, I have created this coaching program to help others get their programs completed in the least amount of time, with the least amount of frustration, and with the best resulting document. I am offering one-on-one and group coaching, training, self-editing techniques, and proofreading to help you get to graduation. I wish you great success.

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