Peri Pakroo, Author & Coach

I welcome opportunities to speak at events or with the media on small business, nonprofit and communications issues. For press inquiries, contact me at 505-453-3155 or at peri [at] peripakroo [dot] com.

Articles & Press Mentions

Avvo 1-on-1: Pandemic Advice for Small Businesses
I share tips for small businesses on how to deal with the epic upheaval of COVID-19.
Avvo 1-on-1, 9/02/20

What’s your reason to wake up every morning?
I offer tips on finding your ikigai: your reason to wake up every morning.
Times of India, 7/1/17

Stay alive in business even if love dies
“The Profit” column asked me to give advice for couples going into business together.
CNBC.com, 11/10/14

Systematize One Process at a Time
My article on a simple approach to system-building for busy small business owners.
The Huffington Post, 6/20/11

How to Register a Start-Up
I’m quoted in a New York Times article on small biz start-up tasks.
The New York Times, 3/31/10

How to Improve Your Financial IQ
My article on how to stop avoiding your numbers — there’s nothing to be afraid of and everything to gain.
Entrepreneur.com, 8/25/10

Speaking Gigs

Keynote Speaker, Congressional Art Competition, 2017 & 2018
Hosted by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

“Nurturing Your Creative Workflow,” 2015
99u Local Albuquerque

“How to Be Self-Employed with Maximum Confidence and Minimum F**k-Ups,” 2016
Adobe Creative Jam

What's My Deal?

From working for a series of super-scrappy start-ups just after college, to being a self-employed author, publisher and business consultant, I’ve spent a couple decades as a small business geek. My books include The Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit, The Small Business Start-Up Kit, The Small Business Start-Up Kit for California and Starting & Building a Nonprofit, all published by Nolo. (See the Books page for more info and links.) In 2012 I started a podcast, Self-Employed Happy Hour, and in 2013 I launched an online magazine, Pyragraph, featuring first-person stories and practical career resources for artists and creatives worldwide.

Writing how-to business books came about pretty organically for me. I’ve always had a knack for understanding bureaucratic processes — and a somewhat perverse pleasure in tackling them. As long as I can remember, I’ve been the go-to person among my friends and family for advice on handling these sorts of tasks. As in, “Peri, how can I drop my Psychology 101 class after the drop deadline without paying a penalty?” or “Peri, how can I get my car un-booted from DMV when I can’t find my driver’s license and my car still has out-of-state plates?” That sort of thing.

I’ve also always been drawn to small, independent businesses and creative start-ups. After college and during law school I worked at a couple start-up weeklies and learned the good, the bad and the depressing about starting and running a successful small business. From that point, I knew I wasn’t interested in working at any big corporate jobs — or practicing law, for that matter. Instead, after getting my law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law in the mid-90s, I moved to the Bay Area and got my first “real” job as an editor at Nolo, the nation’s leading publisher of how-to legal and business information. It couldn’t have been a better fit for me.

After a few years at Nolo, I transitioned to full-time self-employment and moved back to New Mexico. Besides continuing to write books and other resources for Nolo, I work with clients in a number of ways, including coaching, advising and providing editorial and publishing services. I spent several years teaching classes at WESST, a nonprofit working to grow New Mexico’s economy by cultivating entrepreneurship. I’ve always worked a lot with creatives — musicians, artists, craftspeople, photographers, etc. — which prompted me to start Pyragraph as a way of creating an information resource to help artists (who typically can’t afford fancy consultants) forge independent career paths.

Particularly since starting Pyragraph, I’ve been active in efforts to build and support Albuquerque’s creative economy and other community economic development projects. When I have the time, I participate as much as I can with local nonprofits, community groups and initiatives. Sometimes this means speaking at events; other times it means sitting on boards or helping plan or promote community events. And still other times it means political organizing — which has moved to my front burners after the 2016 election. I am like a moth drawn to the creative energy of people trying to make our world better. It’s often a struggle to find the time to be involved in everything I want to be involved in, but I find it impossible to not keep trying.

For me, the best part of self-employment is freedom — including freedom to organize my days as I see fit, and creative freedom to execute my ideas, my way. And as much as I like my work, I love the freedom to put work to the side whenever that’s feasible. I’ve got too many interests and always seem to have some harebrained project underway, from making meatloaf sushi to shooting short films about alcoholic potatoes with my husband Turtle O’Toole. I am a hacky singer-songwriter and have played in a number of bands including my own downer-country project, Peri & the FAQs. I feel incredibly lucky to have as supportive a husband/partner in crime as I do with Turtle, and our two kids keep me inspired every day.

My Team

When you’re self-employed, nothing is as valuable than the folks you work with. I am incredibly thankful for all the people I’ve worked with over the years, including the ones that taught me the more painful lessons. Here’s some info on the rad folx who help me out on the regular these days.

Lisa Barrow — Editor
Jordan Tate — Design Director
Eva Avenue — Art and Video Director
Javier Romero — Technology and Platforms Director

My Values

The common thread through all my projects and business pursuits is a desire to empower passion-driven people in bringing their plans and visions to life. To me, supporting entrepreneurship doesn’t mean chasing tech unicorns; it means supporting the diverse world of bootstrappers and micropreneurs who make up the vast majority of ventures in the US and beyond. I use diversity, equity and inclusion practices in managing my business and my team. My priorities are to support underserved communities, promote sustainable business practices, and help develop new economic models that serve not just profits, but also people and the planet.

P-Brain Media LLC

My publishing and media development work is done through my company, P-Brain Media LLC. I founded P-Brain Media on the belief that quality content matters and thoughtful communications can change the world. 

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