Karen Kolb, Site Creator

Karen Kolb, the creator of basic-life-skills-made-easy.com, has been involved with social service agencies for more than 20 years. Her volunteer work, B.A. in social work and paid positions have all provided extensive experience in creating and facilitating skill-building workshops for inner-city youth and others with significant barriers to success.

In 2000, Ms. Kolb was hired to develop a program for domestic violence survivors. For the most part these are women, who because of low self-esteem, find it hard to access resources and difficult to believe they can be successful. The result was the creation of The EXCEL Program©Synergy Services, Inc., a 5½-hour life skills and job skills program that includes five workshops (Self-image, Communication, Workplace Relationships, Goal-setting and Job Search).

EXCEL quickly became a resource that could benefit anyone with barriers to obtaining and/or maintaining meaningful employment. At the end of 2007, EXCEL was offered at 14 locations throughout the Kansas City area. This included all six domestic violence shelters, two county detention centers and two homeless shelters. From August, 2000 through 2007, more than 3,000 men, women and teens participated in at least one of EXCEL’s five workshops, with 95% reporting increased understanding of the topics discussed.

In 2008, Karen Kolb started Skill Power LLC , a motivational products company that offers a variety of books and programs – all written and/or created by Ms. Kolb. (Mini-posters, bookmarks and gift ideas based on those books and programs are also available.)

Karen Kolb's life skills/job skills books include: Life Skills Made Easy, Commonsense Management/Leadership, Job Search Basics, The Power of Skills Workbook, which is the book version of the Power of Skills Program and Basic Life Skills and Job Success, which is the book version of the Skill Power Mini-workshop Series.

In 2010, Ms. Kolb was contacted by one of Kansas City’s domestic violence shelters and asked to create and facilitate a Job Success Program for the women in shelter. The result has been a five-part series based primarily on the books Basic Life Skills and Job Success and Job Search Basics. To date more than 200 women have participated in this program and each has received a copy of both books to use as resources in the future.

Having worked with thousands of people skeptical of overcoming their current situation, Karen Kolb promotes the development of strong basic life skills. The challenge of helping people believe they have the power to take control of future success continues to be Ms. Kolb's primary motivator, and the reason for creating and maintaining this informational website. Basic life skills made easy provides fundamental, easy-to-apply suggestions for building basic life skills and becoming more successful in the future. Additional information and resources will be added as developed.