By LaDonna Vick
Let’s see, why I started my home business? Well, it all started with the sound of a heart beat through a sonogram. I realized then I wanted to be more than a part-time mother but, a major part of my child’s life and working outside of the home was just not going to help meet that goal. It has taken 6 years, but finally I am pursuing my dream of working at home full-time.
Here’s where I began…
In 1992, I contacted an organization to purchase about 6 home businesses I could operate right out of my home. Well, I gave them my money and started operating a few of those businesses I thought I would like. I was disillusioned into thinking I was going to make a lot of money. What I really ended up doing is making money for someone else. That lasted long enough for me to realize this was not for me. It wasn’t something I really enjoyed doing, so I didn’t stick with it. Later, I tried some of the other "business opportunities" and pretty much failed at those. It was usually something to sell that I had little or no knowledge about. I hadn’t caught on that if it wasn’t something I liked to do, I wasn’t going to stick with it.
Meanwhile, I had been writing on different subjects, not really doing it as a business, just writing because I enjoyed it. Writing was something I just did. I didn’t think I was really good at it because I was not one of those writers who elaborated on things. I was pretty straight-to-the-point when it came to any subject. This drove my English teacher crazy. She would always write on my papers "tell me more, elaborate!" The classes I took encouraged me to broaden my statements to give my readers a visual picture of what I was writing about. I did well in those classes , but it was a struggle for me to give details on what was in my glove compartment. Which was one of our many assignments. A few years ago, I saw some booklets for sale through a mail order catalog and the light went on. I ordered a few, read them, and realized I had the talent to do the same thing. There were a few fields in business I already had working knowledge of, so I had a few ideas of what I could write about. I discovered I could write on "business" related subjects where my style of writing is excepted. This was something I liked to do and could draw an income from. It wasn’t long before I started reading up on writing and self-publishing booklets.
Now, I have my own forum for writing my straight-to-the-point style. This I enjoy! I currently have written three booklets (and one on the way) I self-published in my home office. They are "How to Develop a Business Plan For Your Small/Home-based Business", Tax Tips For Your Home Business", and How To Start A Home-Based Business In Six Easy Steps!". The one on the way is "How to Self-Publish Booklets". I also do the marketing for these booklets through the internet and mail order catalogs. Soon to come is my website where you can purchase my booklets and obtain the knowledge and inspiration you need to start a home business and self-publish your own booklets. The key is do something you truly enjoy and you will stick with it.
I now enjoy the privilege of taking my 6 year old daughter to school. We actually have time to eat breakfast together, not rushing her out the door with a Pop-Tart. There’s no amount of money that could replace seeing her smiling face when I pick her up. No longer does she have to spend 3 hours in the after-school program. We sit down and go over her homework, read, and discuss it. I don’t feel stressed or pressed for time anymore. I’m also able to be home with my 3 year old daughter and watch her grow and learn. I’m cherishing every moment I have with them. I consider this opportunity to be a blessing from God and plan to make the most of it. The question was "Why did I start my home business?" The answer is simply…MY CHILDREN.
by Nannette Gilbert
The desire to stay home with my children and spend time with my husband who works evenings as an EMT led me to work from home. Gilbert Guides is actually my third home business venture. I tried selling cosmetics and selling used homeschool books, but neither one was for me.
After closing the online used bookstore, I knew I needed to create my own product to be successful. At first I didn't know what to produce, so while I was researching I decided to create a webpage for myself. Since frugality has always been a way of life for me, it was a natural topic choice. One day while reading through message boards, I realized that there were often questions about grocery price books with only vague answers. I decided to write and sell my own grocery price book. The idea grew to become a 3 booklet set: "How to Cut Your Grocery Costs: Saving Tips, Price Book, and Meal Plan."
One of my biggest frustrations so far is a lack of start up capital. My only choice being to use my own advice to save on our grocery bill and apply the savings to my business. Most of my marketing is done on the Internet because of the many free and inexpensive resources. The good side to this is how much I'm learning and doing on my own. I've learned to design and manage my own website, track my income and expenses, plan for taxes, market myself, and more. The webpage has also grown to include 3 main sections: Budget, Health, and Home Business Guides, sponsors, and a download version of the booklet.
It's tremendous to watch my business grow and see what I've written help others. I've also been invited to be a contributing editor and monthly columnist on two other webpages. The rewards and responsibilities are endless.
I can't take all the credit though. My wonderfully supportive husband, Jeff, does his fair share of cleaning the house, watching the baby, and holding up me. My daughter, Alicia, and oldest son, Michael, are also great helpers. The baby, well, he's another story. The house can get messy, but we all have our own chores and responsibilities which takes some of the pressure from me.
In the future, I plan to keep writing more booklets and be home for my family. Owning my own business allows me to have the best of both worlds, a family and a career.
PO Box 201124
Denver, CO 80220