Terina J. Hicks knows all about baking. Cheesecakes, turnovers, pies and cobblers — especially cobblers — have been her passion since she was 14, learning from her mother how to create mouthwatering perfection from scratch.

But if you asked her about quarterly taxes and bookkeeping for a small business, she was far less confident than she was in the kitchen. So when she opened her baking business, CobblerWorld, LLC, she knew she needed to brush up on her skills.

Hicks enrolled in the CORE FOUR workshop in the spring of 2016, and she gained new insights that helped her expand her business, which today includes a storefront as well as a made-to-order component.

“The Core Four program opened up my eyes,” she says. “Things that you are not really good at, like taxes, your books, your marketing, your website – you need to have a team of people around you so you can do those things.”

Hicks hired an accountant, ramped up her advertising efforts, opened a business bank account and currently is making plans to update her website so customers can place orders online.

Formerly employed by Carnegie Mellon University as well as several banks, a law firm, and other locations, Hicks knew she needed those things prior to CORE FOUR, but she adds, “You never know how hard it is until you’re in the mix of things. Trying to do everything on your own — it’s a lot. The course broke things down for me and enlightened me.”

Today, Hicks believes the program helped her inch out of her comfort zone. A shy person by nature, she learned to cultivate enough confidence to talk about her business so she could reach out to grocery stores and coffee shops. She also speaks to schoolchildren about entrepreneurship.

“I enjoy setting my own schedule, and I work harder than I ever did for anybody else,” she says. “When it’s your baby, your business, it’s nonstop. And I’m fine with that, because I enjoy what I do.”

Read more about the WCDC’s CORE FOUR Workshop