How does a small town girl with absolutely NO business experience become an entrepreneur and business coach? You do what you gotta do to take care of your family!
My mom and dad worked hard all of their lives. Dad worked in factories, as a groundskeeper at the local golf club, on construction sites, and as a janitor at the local hospital. Mom did everything from factory work to working as a cashier at the local supermarket. And yet, even with two incomes, times were often hard with 3 kids in the family. So later, as their health failed and they had no retirement to speak of, (my dad received $285 a month pension from the hospital), they had no safety net. That's how dad wound up at my house.
When Mom passed away in 2000, Dad was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. I knew he would not be able to take care of himself but no problem. He had his pension and social security. We would bring him to Arkansas and find him a nice assisted living facility that he could stay in close to us. I will spare you the horror stories of nursing home care and assisted living facilities. (Nothing like calling to see how your dad is and being told that he is missing!). I'm sure there are wonderful facilities available - if you can pay for them. But we felt we had no other choice but to care for him at home.
I live in the "country." Not too far from town, but far enough that things like Meals on Wheels and other services were not available. Caring for Dad meant finding a way to be with him and yet still make a living. Because even with two incomes, times were sometimes tight with 2 kids and Dad to care for. I tried several different work at home "opportunities", until I finally found a legitimate business that let me work out of my home. And so I went to work for one of the largest site selection and event planning companies in the world. Everything was going well. And then 9/11/2001 came and a recession and companies stopped having meetings. I continued in the business for a few more years. But I was having to leave home - and my dad - more often to get business and even then I still wasn't getting the business I needed. Meetings were still smaller and less frequent than when I started. Except for one group of clients I had picked up by chance - the internet marketers. Not only were they still having events, they were having more and more events all the time. Then I was invited to attend one of these events by a client. Curious to see what they were all about, I went. And it was the decision that started everything and changed my life.
It was at the jvAlert event in Orlando that I met Ken McArthur and his friends. And I discovered that contrary to what I thought, you don't have to be a business major to start a home business. You don't have to be rich or super-smart or know all the "right" people. All you have to be is determined and willing to work and willing to learn. And Ken and friends were willing to teach. I learned all I could from them and took it back home. And started making a better life for me and my family. I stayed with the event planning company a while longer, but thanks to the marketing ideas I picked up from my new found friends, I didn't have to leave home as much. I also rejoined a couple of those "opportunities" I had tried earlier - only this time I knew how to make them work. I discovered affiliate marketing. And I discovered there were a lot of people just like me that needed a way to bring in some extra money or actually make a living with a business of their own. And so in June of 2007, I decided to focus solely on my own business and WealthTogether was launched.
Today, in addition to business coaching, we do coaching for network marketers. Through Boomer Business Ideas, we focus specifically on the Baby Boomer who wishes (or needs) to become an entrepreneur. We produced the BoomerBizCoach teleseminar series (which is being reintroduced due to popular demand). Just for fun, I started a blog "written" by my little dog and traveling companion, Bob. Who knew it would become so popular that he now has his own gift and apparel line! And that I would take what I learned from that to start a similar line focused on grandparents that would also be hugely popular.
My dad passed away in 2008. I am grateful that I was able to find a way to care for him and still care for my family. I am also grateful to everyone that supported me along the way to where I am today. I only wish I had started sooner. And that's the point of this post. Don't wait until necessity forces you to step out on your own. As you can see from my story I'm nothing special. If the child of a janitor and a cashier from a small town in NE Pennsylvania can build a business (or businesses!) so can you.