Business Suit and Heels to Jeans and Sneakers
It was a chance sighting on a billboard in the Norristown area that changed my life. SCORE advertised that they would help people start a business – for free. I was at a crossroads after the birth of my second daughter in 1984. Work vs. Family – I faced a dilemma that many mothers faced in the 1980’s. I resigned from my position as an account executive/industry consultant for AT&T. In order to get ideas to replace that income, I consulted with a SCORE volunteer.
We talked about business ideas that I could pursue while caring for a new baby, Katelyn, and an active toddler, Robin. We narrowed the choices by evaluating my strengths and weaknesses and finally opted for starting a child care business in my own home. Since it seemed like a great way to be home with the kids while at the same time earn a supplemental income, I thought that maybe other mothers at home would be interested in a little “how-to-start-a-child care business” booklet.
As I learned about licensing, zoning and insurance, I jotted down notes on a yellow pad. When I discovered a recipe for homemade modeling clay, I wrote down the ingredients. As the weeks went on, the pad filled with rainy day activities, outdoor games, and the day-to-day happenings in caring for a house full of children.
I had the good fortune of meeting an editor from Doubleday who was interested in publishing my book Start Your Own At-Home Child Care Business. When the book came out, I was invited to be a guest on Oprah Winfrey, Sally Jessy Raphael, CNN, Financial News Network, Maury Povich, CNBC and many other television shows.
I figured that in order to continue to attain ongoing media attention and interviews, I needed a “cause” or “mission.” I dubbed my self-styled nationwide tour the “The Child Caring USA Tour.” I offered to present seminars on child care and related topics at libraries around the country. My new van was custom-decorated so that it was covered with hundreds of multi-colored teddy bears and the words on the side panel said “Do you love children? Start Your Own Child Care Business – Ask Us How!”
I scheduled fifty media interviews and thirty library presentations during the summer as I traveled around the country with my family. (1989)
I went on to write 7 more books. Six years after my initial introduction to SCORE, I contacted the branch in Fairless Hills, PA. With the help of another SCORE volunteer, Nat Matlin, I launched a new venture – the Team of Angels Project. Nat Matlin, a retired marketing consultant guided me on marketing an inspirational poem attached to a trio of angels lapel pin. I am happy to say that there are close to 125,000 Team of Angels pins that have been distributed worldwide. The pins were featured in many magazines such as Woman’s World and Family Circle. We were even guests on the CBS Early Show – a seven minute segment. The Team of Angels project made the front page of the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. All in all, it has been a great 28 years since I first carved a new career for myself- all because of a chance sighting of a SCORE billboard and with the help of the wonderful SCORE mentors.