Creative Connections event was a blast!

If you’re the “self-employed woman entrepreneur” type, there is someone you need to meet.

Here’s the story. Fellow writer and my dear friend Anne of McAuley Freelance Writing had been talking about someone called “Coach Erin” for a while. I eventually looked her up on Facebook, then Instagram and quickly realized that Erin is “my people.”

When I heard about her upcoming Quarterly Creative Connections event on February 20th, I knew I HAD to go.

creative-connections-new-logo-with-vision-explanation

From Erin’s website

 

The description (from EcoachErin.com) says it is “about making connections and getting inspired.  Each event focuses on you getting to know the other women in attendance on a personal and professional level, connecting with those you can create collaborative marketing and joint ventures with, sharing referrals and inspiring you to create more momentum in your business.”

It was that and so much more! Erin’s activities and exercises were fun, thought-provoking and effective and she even offered a small dose of “coaching” along the way! I learned new things about myself, got to know the women in the room in  a new and unique way and truly enjoyed my time there. It was refreshing and inspiring!

One of the activities involved creating a “billboard” for what we do in our business–this is Anne and me sporting ours!

creative connections February event ecoacherin fantabulouswomen.com

Rather than giving a commercial, we had to silently move around the room and let the other ladies read our billboards–it was a hoot! (I told you it was fun and unique!)

I can’t say enough good things about Erin and this event and I am already looking forward to the next one! 

Find out more about the event here. The next one is Thursday, May 22 and I’ve love to see you there!

Erin is adorable, delightful and knows her stuff! I am so glad she is a part of my world. I hope you’ll find her on her website, on Facebook or on Pinterest and PLEASE tell her that Tabitha sent you!

P.S. I have a phone call schedule with Erin tomorrow and hopefully a forth-coming coaching session–I’ll keep you posted!

Want to contribute to my book?

During my Birthday Brainstorming session, my tribe and I concluded that it’s time for me to get published! But…

I want to publish YOUR story! 

fantabulouswomen roses

My stories can wait. I want to get YOU published in a FanTABulous Women compilation book! I’m thinking of short stories of about 500 words, submitted by you and edited and curated by me. Let ME get YOU published!

I’m not sure if the book will have one central theme with many different stories that fit the theme…or if the stories will have several themes that emerge as YOU submit them. I believe that will become clear as I begin to collect them–like something of a patchwork quilt.

Let’s get started! 

For now, I’ll be collecting your stories (and eventually a short bio and possibly a picture, too) and see where it goes. Of course I’ll keep you in the loop as the project evolves. I’d like to feature CEOs, stay-at-home moms, grandmas, 20-somethings…anyone with a story to tell and a willingness to “put yourself out there.” Submission guidelines and such will also be a work in progress.

I know some of you have a story in your heart, just waiting to be set free! Some of you may have dozens of stories! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Suggestions:

  • overcoming a challenge
  • getting a new perspective
  • story of a faith journey
  • a funny story of virtually any topic!
  • lessons in motherhood (step mom issues, pregnancy loss, learning to let go, etc.)
  • secrets to business success
  • life taking an unexpected turn
  • lessons in love
  • dealing with loss
  • finding joy
  • so many others!

So! Wanna get published?

Want to be a part of a collaborative effort that results in a digital and hard copy of a beautiful book that you can give to your friends, family and colleagues?

Get on the mailing list! Don’t worry, I will only contact you with pertinent information, deadlines and updates. And the first step doesn’t obligate you to ANYthing. Yes, eventually there will be waivers and such but for now, I just need to know who is interested.

Know someone who might be a good fit for this project, too? Feel free to send them the link to the Book Project Page or share this post on your social media sites.

Expect an email at the first of the year to launch this very special project!

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Announcing some new partnerships

I am celebrating my two-year anniversary with Mary Kay AND my one-year anniversary with “Let Me Rephrase That” this month and VERY excited about what’s to come in 2014!

Changes are in store!

I am now thrilled to be working with three amazing and inspiring female business owners:

:: editor and ghost writer for Linda Stanfield of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing (based in the Phoenix east valley)

:: Content Strategist for Jasmine Holmes of 910 West (a marketing firm based in Gilbert, AZ)

:: Project Manager for Shari Braendel of Fashion Meets Faith (based in Charlotte, NC and pictured with me and my mom, below).

tabitha dumas shari b and mom

Supporting these women behind the scenes (and occasionally in front of, too!) is truly a dream come true and fulfills the mission I had when I began this journey two years ago!

You’ll be hearing more about it in the months to come and you’ll see me streamlining my offerings and services so that I can focus more on them and their needs. It’s going to be exciting!, and YOU will benefit, too! 

I’m back!

I unofficially extended my Tabbatical into September but I’m slowly coming back, albeit in a more focused way.

I got myself a brand new website for my Let Me Rephrase That writing business, too! I’m having a lot of fun geting that going.

My youngest in now in preschool and my oldest is now in football so life got even busier. It’s a good thing I’d decided to re-prioritize and regroup or I’d have been in WAY over my head.

fantabulouswomen roses

Even now, I am trying to be strategic and focused with ALL of my activities, including FanTABulous Women.

I want to produce quality content and useful offerings to best serve you.

As a people pleaser and “yes woman,” it’s easy for me to get overwhelmed and stretched too thin. I know I cannot serve you well if I am stressed because I’m trying to do too much!

So, be on the lookout for more of a focus on color, image and marketing for professionals. You’ll see more from the writing side of what I do, too, which I hope will help you.

Please let me know what I can do for you and I hope you’ll connect with me in real life!

 

The #1 Secret to How I Built a Business I Love In Two Years

Two years ago, I came home to the east valley of Phoenix when our little family packed up and moved into my parents’ neighborhood in Chandler, Arizona.

When we relocated, our mortgage payment increased along with our our living expenses. Our sons were ages two and five and quite independent.

My husband affirmed what I had been thinking: It was time for me to find a job.

I had been “working” from home since my first son was six months old, but mostly dabbling in various direct sales companies and even running an Etsy shop for a couple of years.

It was time to get real.

But…I didn’t want to get a “real job” in an office or in a retail store. Having one son still at home during the day, I determined in my heart to become a work-at-home mom. I wanted to create a small business all my own and work from home so I could earn money to help our family while also parenting our sons, managing our home and volunteering within the community…and enjoy every aspect of it.

So I set out to build a business for myself. Boy, oh boy, has it been a journey! 

I am being absolutely vulnerable and authentic when I tell you that only in the last two months or so have I moved past being a “hobbyist” to actually turning a profit.

But I did it all in two years and with virtually zero capital (along with a very supportive and understanding husband by my side and a LOT of help from my parents, friends, extended family and cohorts).

In a way, I wish I had started sooner or could have sped up the process…but looking back, each obstacle, phase and success was another perfectly timed and vitally important step of my journey. I can honestly say that I have no regrets. 

Whether you think building a profitable home-based small business from scratch in two years is impressive or pathetic, if you’re still reading, I bet you’re wondering how I did it.

What’s the secret, you ask? I can summarize it in one word: networking.

 

Anyone who works as their own boss or works on commission knows about the power of networking.

There is a lot of power in the use of marketing and sales strategies, social media, honing your skills, personal development and the myriad of other areas of growth for a young small business—but networking is the one that fuels and propels them all.

See these business cards? They are just a small sampling of the cards I amassed over the last two years.

fantabulous women networking

I didn’t, however, merely go from meeting to meeting collecting cards! These cards represent hundreds of connections, contacts and resources shared. Many of these cards belong to people that I now call “friend!”

In my opinion, networking is a key component of any small business’s success. It took me two years to build my network to the point that it buoyed a profitable small business.

 

Yes, I’ll be writing more about this topic in the weeks to come and revealing the actual secrets to effective networking. I have a lot to say on this topic! Stay tuned!

What about you? Are you a master networker, a newbie or something in between? What do you want to know?

 

Copyright Tabitha Dumas, online and in-persona image consultant Gilbert Chandler, Arizona. All right reserved.