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By Mary Mullins

Hello readers. As a mother of six, a grandmother of 2 and a former nurse, perhaps you will find my journey into the big world of Internet business interesting, if not inspiring. I don't have a business background and my closest link is my brother in the UK. who owns a successful International Advertising Business, with 7 offices spread over 4 continents. I was born in the UK of Irish parents and after qualifying as a nurse came to Ireland in 1971 to get married. My nursing career continued until October 1997 when an old back injury and a more recent car accident caused me to retire from my post as Manager of the Galway Hospice Home Care Team. I was founder member of the Galway Hospice Foundation in November of 1986 and during my time with them became closely involved in the planning and development of the new Hospice Unit for in-patients. During this period I worked with the architects and project manager, fulfilling greatly the creative side of my personality. I always had a keen interest in architectural planning so much so that our own home is one of 4 I have designed and seen built.

An interest in computers grew during my time with the Hospice, as part of my work was in compiling, producing and presenting an annual statistical report of the clinical side of our service to a large audience of clinical professionals, politicians, journalists and out team of volunteers and staff. This meant many long hours on the computer manually in-putting stats that finally resulted in a 40 page graphic and text report. At that time we were not computerized with data bases unfortunately, so a full 3 months was given over to this work, as you can imagine.

On leaving my nursing career behind I decided I would like to make my computer work for me so spent 18 months training in Web Design and invested in the necessary new equipment and software for my first step into my unknown world of business. My first paying customer arrived in April 1999 and it was indeed an exciting project, with the index page translated into 6 other languages.

I now own and run Moytura Graphic Design, designing and marketing web sites for small to medium sized businesses that are taking their first steps into this new world of Internet Marketing. I feel that there are thousands of small business owners who want to have their businesses on the Internet but are wary of all it entails. For this reason I gear my work towards the smaller business and delight in seeing the positive results to be achieved in a good Internet presence, allowing the smaller business owner to compete with multinationals. I also have the added comfort of being able to do the work I love from home, allowing me to be here for our two younger lads when they come in from school.

Before my decision to finish nursing I had started a degree, my first attempt at third level education, and am now in year three of a BA in Management. I felt at the time that I was managing professional people with so many letters after their names they were tripping off the paper and that I should do something about it.

Last summer I was presented with another business opportunity and, through my Internet work, recognized its enormous potential. I now have a second business involving on-line computer training. I realized the scope of any new Internet venture and the fact that this new business could open a global marketplace for me.

In tandem with my web design business I am also a part-time Independent Consultant for a US company that has been in the IT and Computer industry for many years. In fact earlier this year Deloitte & Touche placed them as 325th of the top 500 fastest growing world-wide technology companies. This company is a Certified Microsoft Solutions Provider and has been trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange for 10 years. This fact alone strengthened my resolve to become involved as I felt it added credibility to the company. Their product is a revolutionary new streamed technology which allows delivery of high quality computer training via the Internet at 90% cheaper than conventional computer training.

The more involved I got in my web design work the more I realized how good this business could be. The company only launched their product this time last year so I knew that anyone taking this on as a new business venture would be in at the grass roots level and now I personally think this company will be a brand name within a year or two. There are literally millions of people who need some form of computer training and with 25,000 new Internet users registering world-wide per hour the marketplace is huge. In 2 years time it is estimated there will be over a Billion Internet users. The company offers over 120 courses from the top software applications at a fraction of the cost of conventional computer training. People can do their learning at home, in the office or in schools, which gives them more freedom and reduces their training costs considerably. I looked at it carefully and saw that this was a business that was low risk but with potentially enormous yield. It's a business anyone can start up and I now have people from all walks of life working with me from housewives and tradesmen right up to business people and professionals. I really think that there is a latent entrepreneur in a lot of us but the 'costs and risks' of starting a new business scare people off.

I am now in the process of developing teams throughout Ireland, the UK and the US and hope to see my new business venture expand to many other countries. Recently a gentleman in Russia contacted me about it all and I already have someone from Pakistan taking this on as a new business venture in his own country.

As someone who is the other side of the big 50 I feel that it is never too late to get up and run with a good business idea. I certainly see this new business opening the world to me. What seems to attract others to it, apart from its great potential as it is Internet delivered, is that no computer skills are required to run the business. All it takes is a belief in oneself and an entrepreneurial spirit to have the courage to take off on a very interesting journey. I am certainly looking forward to the next 10 years with this if God gives me the good health to continue. Well that's my story folks, I hope you enjoyed it all. If anyone wants to see where I live and learn a bit more about me you can do so at the first URL below. The second URL is all about the second business venture - bon voyage.

Mary Mullins, Cregmore, Claregalway, Co. Galway. MOYTURA GRAPHIC DESIGN
Phone: 091-798407; Fax 091-799280; Mobile: 087 2255739.
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