My name is Troy Anthony Burgher [aka Professor TAB]; a self-proclaimed “Accidental Socialpreneur” of technology training” (I’ll share more about that later). I am a former resident of the New York City Housing Development and that is where it all began! Little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey that would become my career and life’s mission!
It all started one hot summer afternoon after playing basketball with a few of my friends from the neighborhood. Standing in front of the local community center stood a very distinguished gentleman wearing a suit and passing out flyers. I am not sure what caught my eye the most…was it the fact that some unknown person was passing out flyers or that the individual was wearing a suit in 100-degree weather?
So, I left my friends to inquire and to satisfy my curiosity. I asked the gentleman why he was passing out flyers and he informed me that it was to announce a new business program at the local community center. He mentioned that it was a course that taught people how to become business owners and entrepreneurs. I am sure that I heard of the word entrepreneur before but asked the gentleman to explain what it meant. He proceeded to tell me that it was simply an individual that went into business to sell a product or service rather than with partners or employees; a kind of one-person operation. The gentleman would also go on to state that the class taught people how to make money doing something that they like to do, like a hobby, but would get paid for the things they sold or services they offered. We talked for about 30 minutes and he invited me into the community center to meet the instructor (and business owner) of the training program to talk more about the class and to see if I would register. It was really a no brainer…once the gentleman mentioned that I could make money doing something that I like to do, like one of my hobbies, all I needed to know was where to sign up.
We proceeded to enter the community center where I would meet the instructor and owner of the business program. He was also dressed in a suite and shared more information about the program. Wow…two people in the middle of the summer dressed in suits…that was a rarity in my community.
I was a bit embarrassed as I was sitting there still sweating from playing basketball just 30 minutes before meeting both gentlemen. Wishing I had showered and changed my clothes before entering the community center. I could tell he was able to see how uncomfortable I was and reassured me that everything was OK. He appreciated the fact that I stopped by and did not let that stop me from inquiring about the business program.
We continued our conversation, discussing my hobbies and how they could be developed into a potential business. At the time I was caught up in the world of “hip-hop” music and working with computers. Imagine if I would have been able to combine, back in 1994, the two hobbies into one career…anyway, I shared how interested I was in the program and I signed up right on the spot. The classes were held during the evening and the next one would occur later that night. So, I had time to go home, take a short nap, eat and prepare for my first class on entrepreneurship. I was very excited and anxious to begin learning how to make money doing what I loved to do (either with music or using computers).