Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in professional development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jazz Patterson, Founder and President of Process Village, LLC., located in Waxahachie, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Process Village is an organization created to support the professional growth and success of students, employees, and business owners through the application of lean six sigma principles and training. We build strong community-based relationships by supporting the execution of operational and consumer-focused improvement efforts within local businesses. The collaboration nurtured through these relationships, in turn, results in new opportunities for others in our communities to succeed.
Tell us about yourself
I received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University in Washington, DC, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc., and an Advanced Master Certification of Lean Six Sigma from Villanova University. My Lean Six Sigma career began at Vought Aircraft Industries in Dallas, TX, where I worked for 9 years to improve the efficiency of products such as the V-22 Osprey, CH-47 Blackhawk Helicopter, and the Airbus A320. In 2008, I transitioned to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where I later became the Manager of the Operational and Clinical Excellence department, a group of Lean Six Sigma Black Belts charged to promote and grow the hospital's culture of continuous improvement.
Throughout my career, some of the most significant factors in my professional growth can be attributed to the mentorship, guidance, and exposure I obtained from the brilliant leaders who trained me. The knowledge they shared with me has truly been a blessing, and my goal in creating Process Village has been to not only pay that same level of mentorship forward to other professionals interested in Lean Six Sigma but also use continuous improvement to benefit the communities we live in. The ability of Process Village to positively impact our communities and the people who live in them is what motivates me each day to do what I do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We are very proud of the fact that our work extends beyond just enhancing the profit margins of well-known corporations and businesses in the United States. We have supported efforts to make tangible contributions to sociological and healthcare improvements in this country as well as abroad. For instance, one of our former students from Texas had strong family ties to the Middle East. She obtained her Lean Six Sigma certification in December 2020 by successfully facilitating a project to reduce the time to achieve US naturalization for Afghan linguists who worked with the United States military abroad.
The completion of this project meant that linguists associated with her company could shorten their wait time for clearance into the United States. The impact of this project really came to light during the withdrawal of the United States troops from Afghanistan in August 2021. As United States citizens and their allies scrambled to evacuate Afghanistan during the final few months, we really reflected on the impact of improving that process and others like it. This is the reason we often say, "The Village is Global!"
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a small business owner is the requirement to wear so many "hats" at one time. I love almost all aspects of running Process Village, but there is not always time to devote as much effort as you would like to each "hat."
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you have a clear vision and passion for the service or product you want to provide.
- Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to make sure that your talents and abilities line up with your business vision. If you are weak in some important aspects necessary to start your business, don't be afraid to get help from trusted resources.
- Make sure your business plan aligns with your current life dynamic and goals. This means taking time to consider appropriate work-life balance, current financial status, and other aspects of your life that are important for you to maintain. I would also recommend re-evaluating this alignment periodically as your business grows.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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