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Financial Strategies & Money Saving Tips
Mom of the Past, Present and Future
By Doris Stonas Dobkins

MOM OF THE PAST - I was a "career woman". I was successful, making a lot of money, managing large budgets and big expense accounts. I was also raising two kids through daycare, traveling many hours, going to work early and working late nights at the office. I was also eating on the go (if I ate at all), commuting two hours a day, tied to a pager, mobile phone, beeper, voicemail, regular phone and laptop computer. I told myself I loved it, that I thrived on it and that I was happy. The sad thing was, I believed it to be true, but my family knew it wasn't.

MOM OF THE PRESENT - It has been a little over a year now since I left the PAST MOM life. Wow! There were some incredible adjustments, some good, some bad, but mostly all good. I get up later, - that's a good one. I go to bed later - that is not so good. I'm not making much money yet but I will be. I am working hard but at my own schedule and pace. I do not spend hours driving in rush hour traffic. I am not tied to phones, voice mails and pagers anymore. I even got rid of my cellular phone. My kids get to spend every day with me and we are making great MEMORIES. My husband may not always come home to a clean house or dinner on the table but his children and wife are happy.

When I left my career, I didn't know what business I wanted to be involved in but I knew I wanted to have a home based business. I started spending a lot of time researching on the Internet. There was so much information available and so many opportunities to explore. Unfortunately, I was very susceptible to the many Internet scams promoted and I wasted a lot of time and money trying them out.

After wising up to some of the misleading home-worker opportunities offered on the net, I decided to create my own company. The first step was to make a list of all my interests to determine what kind of company I would create. Once I made a list, it hit me that I should combine my marketing skills with my financial savvy and write a book. I loved the topics of money, money tips, saving money, getting rid of debt, saving money on taxes, and saving interest on your mortgage. I would self-publish to reduce costs and then market it myself.

So I did! I wrote a book and found a printer who assisted me through the process. Now came the even bigger challenge, how to market my book to pay the bills and have some money leftover. With some more Internet research, I discovered several ways. First, I created a web site (actually my husband, "Webmaster Ernie" created it for me). He did a great job and I have had lots of great feedback on it. I also started a free online newsletter, which provides financial strategies and money saving tips to its subscribers. It is designed to encourage others to achieve financial freedom and realize true wealth. I also added a few links from my website to other organizations that helped me in the process of my business. On a regular basis, I look for related newsletters and Web sites to place ads or present articles to. I also submit my site to the search engines and look for joint venture partners, which either promote me or give me commissions on sales I generate for them.

Sometimes working from home can be a lonely and discouraging road. I have to share that my greatest method for achieving success and making continual progress is through goal setting and list planners. I create annual goals. Then I break these down into quarterly and monthly goals. I then make to-do lists for each week. As I accomplish things, I cross them off and redo the list each week. I file all the old lists in a folder and when I become discouraged or overwhelmed with my many tasks, I just pull out the folder and review my past accomplishments. It really rejuvenates my spirits and reinforces the need for patience, time and consistency.

Here is a quick snapshot of the PRESENT MOM. I run my business out of my home. I spend every day with my kids (unless they go to grandma's house for a couple of days). I am in control of my day and my life. I answer to no one but myself and God. I start the day when I want and end it when I want. I make promises and have the authority to keep them. I make plans and have the ability to change them to meet my needs. I am FREE and it is great!

MOM OF THE FUTURE - My kids will be a little older and a little more independent. My business will be generating a good income and many of my daily tasks will be automated. I will take four vacations a year and run my business from the touch of a lap top computer. And when I am old, I won't look back and say "I wish I had spent more time with my kids when they were little" and I won't be saying "I wish I had spent more time at the office."

NO! I will be saying, "The years at home, with my kids, and my home business, yes they were the best years of my life."

What I have learned through this process is:

* We have learned how to make a living, but not a life.
* We have added years to life, not life to years.
* A rich person is not one who has the most but is one who needs the least.
* Happiness is a decision. We can decide to be happy with what we are and have, or die from envy and jealousy of what we lack.

I choose to make my life, add life to my years, to have happiness and enjoy my success! I encourage you to consider a home business too.

Doris Dobkins is the author of "Financial Freedom from A-Z" which is available at http://www.creativefinances.com/book/index.htm or by calling 1-888-785-7435. She is also the editor of a FREE newsletter called $mart Money and President of Creative Marketing Solutions. Visit her site today at www.creativefinances.com or email Doris directly at dorisd@jps.net.

Book Author
By Liz Folger,
Author of The Stay-At-Home Mom's Guide To Making Money

My writing career started out with a bunch of rejections. I still have the ugly stack. My writing career really took off after I started writing for a local parenting publication. They gave me one assignment after another.

Another thing that really helped me. I joined a writing class taught at an adult school. My teacher, Bonnie Hearn, was and still is an editor for the Fresno Bee. But she was also a writer herself. So she knew what editors out there were looking for, but she also knew what it was like to be a writer. If you can ever find a teacher like this, take the class. You will learn some valuable information. Stay away from teachers who never submit their work. Many of them are out of touch with what is going on in the writing world.

I also took a online writing course on AOL. That is where I fine tuned my query for the book I just finished writing, The Stay-At-Home Mom’s Guide To Making Money.

Now as far as submitting your articles and book ideas. There is a great book out there called The Writers Market. There is a new one published every year. They have a huge list of editors and publishers. It includes the publishers address, phone number, editors names, what type of material they are looking for, if they give any attention to first time writers, book advance information and more.

That is a great resource, however, I didn’t use it to get my book published. I was on AOL’s writers forum one day and an editor had posted she was looking for parenting books. I e-mailed her my book idea and within a couple of days she wrote me back and told me to call her. About five months from that point I signed a book contract with Prima Publishing. Persistence and patience is the key here.

If writing a book is something you really want to do, THEN DO IT. Start reading everything you can on the subject, read the work of writers you really enjoy, start reading all the writers magazines out there, but most of all, start writing!! Write something every single day, be it only for five or ten minutes. Just get those great ideas of yours down on paper.

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