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?


Are you irresistible to your customers?

I had my two sons, ages six and three, in the race car shopping cart in the grocery store last week and they both clamored to get a closer look when they saw this display: Betty Boop standing in a sea of strawberries.

betty boop marketing

I stopped because strawberries were on my list but I wasn’t expecting my sons’ reactions.

“Mommy! Get that one!” my older son insisted (the son who doesn’t even eat strawberries).

“’Dat one, dat one!” my three-year-old strawberry fanatic pointed. “Get it from her!”

“Which one? What are you talking about?” I asked, mock clueless.

“The one the lady is holding!!”



They wanted me to choose the one from Betty Boop’s tray, not the ones in the case. Why? Because it was more fun!

Later I wondered…how many people who came into the store with no intention of buying strawberries that day bought strawberries just because the display caught their attention?

Betty Boop in the produce department was a stroke of marketing brilliance. Who could resist buying whatever she was selling??

My sons knew what we all instinctively know: given options, we’ll always take the one that’s more fun. And, if a pretty girl is holding it, people will impulsively buy almost ANYthing.

Marketing is all about capturing your customer’s attention. People are attracted to things that are unique, visually appealing and that offer a fun experience.

How can you capture your ideal customer’s attention?
How can you make yourself, your brand, your product or your company irresistible?
How can you bring more FUN into your customers’ lives?

Let me know in the comments how you plan to give your customers a “Betty Boop in the Strawberry Case” experience this week. And whatever you decide to do, wearing red high heels probably wouldn’t hurt.

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