Saturday Business Feature: Tracy Clark, Building Thinkers-Building a Summer Blueprint to Prevent the Summer Slide & Spark Joy! | Hill Country Moms

Meet Tracy Clark, the driving force behind Building Thinkers. Tracy Clark is the founder and CEO of Building Thinkers, a learning experience design and strategy company in the Hill Country. As an avid believer in the power of learning, she brings 15 years of hands-on experience – both in the classroom and as a consultant – to design and facilitate transformational learning experiences where participants are able to gain new perspectives that challenge prior-held notions.
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to equip your child with the tools they need to thrive academically and creatively this summer!

Register now for Tracy’s upcoming virtual workshop next week: ‘Prevent the Summer Slide & Spark Joy! Learning Blueprint for Busy Parents.’ Let’s embark on this journey of imagination and growth together!

Where are you originally from and how long have you lived in the area?
Houston. We’ve lived in Central Texas since 2010 and Driftwood/Wimberley since 2016.

Tell us about your business.
I am the founder and CEO of Building Thinkers, a learning experience design and strategy company where we design and facilitate learning experiences (think 🡪 workshops, retreats, masterclasses, keynotes, self-paced courses) that are full of joy, rooted in research, and ideally experienced in community. 

I’m particularly interested in work in the social impact space that helps people unlock their potential (think 🡪 career growth, productivity, goals and habits, organization, learning agility, creativity & innovation.) 

My clients include Fortune 500 companies (Procter & Gamble, Charles Schwab, Cummins) best selling authors, leadership consultancies, school districts, universities, startups and non-profits.

In 2022 I launched my podcast, Building Thinkers, where I highlight a core belief of mine — there’s no limit to what we can learn, explore my 12 favorite problems with international expert interviews, and share insights from my social impact clients and signature learning experience, the Learning Agility Cohort.

What brought you to open your business? What did you do previously?
I spent the early part of my career as a bilingual teacher in the public schools of Texas and Mexico, which deeply inspired and shaped my views on learning and education. I also served as the Director of Professional Learning Initiatives at ProComputing where I launched their professional development department and co- founded an edtech app, Infuse Learning, which reached over 1.5 million students. 

From there I became a lead consultant with the CA Group, where I helped develop and lead the design strategy and facilitation efforts for a decade long statewide education innovation initiative, Raising Blended Learners, a Charles Butt Foundation program, which is currently projected to impact over 900,000 Texas students. 

All these experiences influenced what is now Building Thinkers. I think what I realized was how much I enjoyed the process of creating something from nothing (#entrepreneurship) and even better when that something (learning experiences, a keynote, a strategy session) helps make a specific impact for a client, organization, group of students, or individual.

When did the idea of creating your business start? How long have you been in business? What was your inspiration to start?
Building Thinkers launched in 2015 with a desire to take what I’d learned about creating learning experiences and merge it with what I’d learned about product development and UX (user experience) form the app world to create an agile, creative business to, well — build thinkers. I’d seen a lot of bad and ineffective training out there and knew my squiggly career path could bring a different set of skills to create a new way of developing learning experiences and partnering with clients as an extended part of their team and collaboration partner.

What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?
I love the creative freedom of building something that has never been built before and partnering with incredible leaders where we can take their vision and make it happen.

What makes you unique?
I think again, my squiggly career path (having done lots of different things over the years), gives me insights from different fields (education, business, international work, tech, UX, LXD). Even things like my background in early childhood and neurodiversity helps me think about designing with the brain in mind and understanding the power of play and experimentation for all learners, no matter their age.

Can you tell a few things you offer?
I offer learning experience design services. Which means I can help you turn an idea into a workshop, retreat, masterclass or run/ facilitate those sessions for you or your company based on a specific need, area of improvement, or desired outcome.

I also do inspirational type talks, keynotes, and presentations. (Topics include: Learning Agility, Adopting a Posture of Experimentation, and how to Dream Big when it comes to your career/life)

Free Growth Resources: All my Podcast and associated Thinktivities are freely available through my email list and soon to be updated on my website too (work in progress). One of my favorites is my Goal Guide for Multi-Potentialites which is a free download.

What is your favorite part about what you do?
Helping people and organizations grow from things we co-create.

What does the future look like for you and your business?
Oh my, I have some big dreams! 

I want to write a book about Learning Agility because I have seen it’s power in my life and now in the folks who have come through my Learning Agility Cohort. I am enjoying some long-term client projects right now in the social impact space like one with a university where we are fundamentally redesigning the higher-ed student experience, curriculum, and competencies and another for a Fortune 150 where we are building a prototype learning experience to help Latina women dream big about their career pathways. 

I am also excited about launching more direct to individual courses / learning experiences. So, y’all tell me what you want to learn how to do, because I’d love to make things that will help people. For example I just launched a new workshop on how I set up my kids with routines, activities, and learning over the summer while I am working and they are with my mother-in-law and at camps and such.

What advice would you give to others that want to start something new?
Three things, frames of mind really. 1) Momentum is messy 2) Don’t Ask, Don’t Get – ask for what you need, put yourself out there. 3) Don’t be afraid to be seen trying. Also, here’s a bonus one – no one really knows what they are doing, we are all figuring it out (especially right now with so many changes happening in the world of business and tech).

Any advice for juggling all the things in daily life?
There is power in setting real, aligned goals to how you want to live your life. Then from that place of knowing what you want, you can say yes and, more importantly no, to things that don’t align to your goals. I know now the power of priority in my life and so instead of going a little way on 100 things I’d rather go a long way on 3 key priorities.

Check out Tracy’s upcoming VIRTUAL webinar, follow along on social media!

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