A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Attention Survivor Fans

Apparently our Survivor Contests have become quite popular and I guess you could say a bit of a tradition on the message boards.

And if you're a true Survivor fan, you're already aware that the new season starts on February 8th. (Woo Hoo!! I'm not just a Survivor Fan ... I'm a Survivor Addict!)

How's our contest work? It's simple.
- - - > Read the bios of each survivor.
- - - > Choose your favorite pick.
- - - > Donate a prize (usually around $5 - $10)

Usually the person who chooses the Survivor that wins gets all the prizes. However, some of us like to spice things up a bit by offering more than one prize for "other things". For example, Val is going to donate a prize for the poor soul who picks the Survivor that gets voted off first. We've had prizes donated to the person who picks the Survivor that wins the vehicle, the first Survivor that wins the individual immunity, the runner up, etc. etc.

So, here's your official invitation to join our Survivor Contest!
The more the merrier ...
But hurry, we've already started making our choices!

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Friday, January 26, 2007

We've Revamped Our Affiliate Program (And then some)

Here's a little of what we've done so far ...

More products!
Now you have the opportunity to make even more money with DirectSales Helpers! We've added 4 products to our affiliate program.You can view and sign up to each one at http://www.directsaleshelpers.com/affiliate.html

New Affiliate Center!
We've added an Affiliate Center so you can easily find everythingyou need to promote. You can view this at http://www.directsaleshelpers.com/affiliate-center.html

New Creatives!
We've added so many more ads (signatures, ezine solo ads, ezinesponsor ads etc. etc.). We've added more articles and more graphics. Plus, you'll want to make sure you check out the brand new mini courses we've created. With these mini courses, all ofyour affiliate links will be promoted automatically over a two week period. Set it up once - and the rest is done automatically for you over and over again! The mini courses are located in the files section of our DSH-Affiliates Yahoo Grouphttp://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/dsh-affiliates/files

There is one mini course in there right now and another will beadded in just a couple of days. After that, we will try to add more on a regular basis. This really is a great way to promote your affiliate links!

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Are you exchanging links?

While I know I've said I'm not that crazy about link exchanges, it's still a necessary part of business. Most of the time I prefer main to main page link exchanges, instead of stuffing links on a "link page".

Regardless, I have started to offer the option for main or traditional. This has opened the doors for more possibilities and better traffic as well.

Now because link partnerships are an ongoing thing, I'm always looking for links. I do requests on groups too, but the response is usually minimal. When it's a good time for some, it's not for others. That's why I decided the best way to fix this problem was to set up a group specifically for link exchanges. It has a database of people who are always looking for link exchanges, who might not always see the messages come through on groups.

So if you are one that's always looking for quality exchanges, I highly suggest joining Mom's Link Exchange to find partners. Do note, this isn't a place to really chat. It's a place to get down to business and focus on our incoming links.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

There's non-business stuff online?

I didn't think it was possible for me to actually use the internet for anything other than business. Sure I get the occasional funny forward or note from a friend, and I use Yahoo IM to stay in touch with a few people, but that's about it. Little did I know there was more....

When MySpace hit I didn't think it was anything special. Rather, I thought it was very ANNOYING. Millions of sites with bad layouts and automatic music. It's like someone had this great idea to take every single website no-no, and use them all in one place. Oh fun! NOT.

Well after some pressure from a very good friend, I said fine. I'll put up a profile just so you can add me, but I'm not doing anything with it. What's the point of that? I literally put up nothing on my page, because I didn't have time to mess with it.

Flash forward a few months, and an old friend happens to find the friend mentioned above. He tells me on Yahoo IM....."You'll never guess who found me on MySpace". Hmmmm really....maybe I should take a look?

I added her to my friend list, and even put a little blurb on my page. Heck I even put my favorite song on the page too. (It doesn't automatically start though - thank you for this option, now teach people how to use it!).

Then after a few days, someone I haven't seen in probably 10 years adds me to their list. Holy cow! You mean you can actually find people you WANT to talk to here?? Crazy! I went looking myself and found a slew of people I'd lost track of. How COOL is THAT?

So I've officially joined the bandwagon. Yes I have a MySpace page. It's actually got a nice background to it (my online training hasn't completely flown out the window - my page is actaully READ-ABLE), some pictures, and music. I've actually started playing with it, and you know what? It's fun!

Now I know there's lots that use it for business networking and all that, but I don't think it's wise. I don't list any of my websites, and don't even really dive into anything I do. You all may think "What??? You're passing up free advertising!!". But no, it's better this way. It's my personal space away from business. I wouldn't want my links tied in with some of the garbage you find there, and yeah it would be at least indirectly (friends of friends).

Will I post my profile link anywhere? NOPE. This is MYSPACE......if I want to network on a business level, I'll go to Ryze. ;)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Taking the Challenge

Several years ago, I met Rebecca Hagel on a message board. Hard to say which one exactly it was now, but either way we hit it off. She's a fantastic person I look up to.

She was my "goal buddy" for a very long time, and a damn good one at that. When she'd pass out the "Think Big Challenges", I got more than motivated to do all kinds of stuff. The results working with her on my goals were absolutely amazing. I went from living off my credit cards to making more than a full time income for just a few hours of work a day. She certainly knows how to motivate someone, and has a lot of wisdom to share at that.

When she told me about her new project, the Think Big Workshop, I was all over it. It's about time I got another wake up call, and boosted my income once again. I signed up immediately, and can't wait to get started.

It's about time my residual income got an update, so that's what I'll be working on in the 30 days this challenge will take. I HIGHLY suggest checking this out if your business needs a major boost. The challenge starts on February 1st, so you'll want to make sure you get in now!

Sign up with us!

Snow snow and more snow

Here we are in Iowa, sitting for much of the winter without snow. We even had temps well above freezing, and loving every bit of it. Well, the snow is finally here, and I think we now have enough to make up for the past several months.

Yesterday we got dumped on for the second time in a week, but luckily it was done by the afternoon and we all got dug out without much problem. Even still, my drive is starting to look like a tunnel. One wrong move while backing out, and I could find myself stuck. Wouldn't be the first time. *rolls eyes*

Since it stopped snowing early in the afternoon yesterday and everyone said the highways were fine, I didn't even think twice about getting my kids up and ready for school. When we got there, the place looked empty aside from a few cars that looked to be dropping people off. Luckily someone was nice enough to say "There's a 2 hour delay!". My reply....."For WHAT?" LOL. Seriously, it's not snowing and even the side roads (which are ALWAYS crap) are decent enough to drive on.

When I was a kid, it never mattered what the weather was. I lived in the country, and the school was out in the country too (no I'm not THAT old - it wasn't a country school or anything like that). Since we lived close to the big city, our school always went by what the city's school were doing (closing, delay, etc). Which was the STUPIDEST thing in the world! Most don't understand it can be perfect to drive in town, but country and highway can be total crap...even a day or two later! So there we were, forced to go to school while everyone else around us closed. It could still be snowing and we'd be standing out at the ends of our drives waiting for the bus. I can't tell you how many times we were late because the bus driver got stuck in the snow on a gravel road. Or we had to go pick up kids from another bus that got stuck somewhere. NEVER failed.

So this to me is just puzzling. The roads are fine! It's not snowing! There's only 2 schools in our school district, and I know damn well both towns AND the highway between them are just fine. What gives here? Kids today have it too easy.....

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Your favorite color is camouflage?

As I'm putting the milk away after breakfast yesterday morning I notice my son's "week in review" paper hanging there. It's then that I realize that I missed the fact that they were supposed to wear a shirt that is their favorite color. I yell back the hall, "Hey buddy, what's your favorite color?" And in turn he looks down at his shirt and replies with "gray" and a shrug.

This of course is the color he already has on. Not so hard to get along with, is he? Which is exactly why sometimes I go out of my way to do something "special" for him ... because he's so easy going, he'll just do what everyone else wants.

So anyway, I told him that we had plenty of time to change ... it'd only take a minute. So, standing in front of his closet, he's scanning over his shirts and he promptly stops at one with the comment - "Camouflage! That's my favorite color!"

"Okay buddy, camouflage is your favorite color?" (Curiosity growing now, lol) "I'm sure you're teacher is going to ask why you like camo. So tell me, why is camouflage your favorite color?"

"Because with camo - I can hide!"

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Snowing - YUCK!

I sure am glad the kids already had the day off today, because I would have hated to go out there and shovel while it's still snowing. I do NOT like winter. I've found myself yelling "Stop snowing!!!" out the window a few times. The weather is not listening to me though, and it's still accumulating quickly.

The kids of course are begging to go out. Which means I have to locate all kinds of winter accessories. Joy.

Luckily I have some VERY nice neighbors who have expensive toys they like to play with. My friends next door have already been over with their snow blower to clean out my drive. Can we say, "YIPPIE!"? I don't have to shovel! Major happy dance over here. Although now I just have to figure out how to repay the favor.......

If it's snowing in your neck of the woods, I hope you are enjoying the day inside!

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Favor for a Friend

This is not something I do often.

Usually you will not see me promoting "the next big product" to hit the internet. But this is a bit different. Rebecca Hagel is a very good friend of mine, and asked for a favor.

Rebecca Hagel is sending her 72-year-old parents off to Europe. This will be a complete surprise to them - they have NO idea what she's doing! This is the vacation her parents have always dreamed about, but she needs a little help raising money.....

Since Rebecca has helped me so much along the road, I decided saying no just wasn't an option. Not to mention she's put literally thousands of dollars worth of information into this one package.

You'd expect nothing less than fabulous from Rebecca. Yet again, she's absolutely amazed me. Her 2007 Blow Out Sale is one of the best you'll ever see, packed with information from top names in online marketing. I really wonder if she's completely lost it offering all this info at this price!

Here's what you'll find:

=> 20 Audio Interviews
Interview with today's top marketers -- resell rights included!

=> Private label resell rights
Two special reports and ten bonus articles. This is not fluff or junk articles you find anywhere else. These are written by the masters themselves!

=> 13 Personal Use Reports
Reports designed to kick your marketing into high gear. I personally own several of these. Let me tell you - these are MUST have!

=> Customer-Only Affiliate Program
Can your downline benefit from this also? Gain instant access to the customer-only affiliate program after purchasing.

I have known Rebecca Hagel for several years online. Not only has she been a true friend, but someone I truely trust in business. What she writes and sells is pure gold. The "no fluff, no hype" kind of stuff which is so hard to find online. If this is the last time you buy any marketing materials, this is the time to do it!

The price will go up on Wednesday, January 17th and keep increasing daily. You'll want to grab this package ASAP!

For details, visit:

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Quitting Smoking - Day 5

Working on day 5 here ....

It did get a little tougher. I was afraid of what might happen when I came home. In the hospital, I had no choice but to ignore the cravings (unless I just decided to go awol, lol). But now at home, I do have that option/ability of being able to just jump in my car and go get a pack of cigarettes. (But I haven't ... and I won't!)

Like I said, I had been on the patch in the hospital. And for those wondering ... the nicoderm patch does work (well at least for me anyway). Problem is, when they sent me home from the hospital, they also sent me home with $127 worth of prescriptions too!! So, let's add this up a bit ... no work for 2 weeks = no money coming in. Now, let's add another $127 for prescriptions (and that wasn't even getting them all filled) ... nope, no money left over to buy the patches now.

On a side note ... And I won't go crazy on these because I easily could ... but yeah, I'm going to mention it!! What has our country come to? That $127 that I'm having a hard time paying ... that's AFTER insurance has paid! And we have a semi-decent prescription plan!! So, how does one possibly survive without insurance? It's crazy!! I'd be praying every day I didn't get sick - or worse yet, that one of my kids didn't get sick!!

And ... what's up with the insurance company NOT paying for patches anyway? Yes, I know if I add up what I spend on cigarettes, it's going to save me a lot of money in the long run ... Just because I buy cigarettes, doesn't mean I buy them a couple cartons at a time. Sell me one patch at a time then?? So, the insurance company won't pay (or even help with) quitting agents ... they'll just wait until they have to pay for the oxygen tanks we lug around or more and longer hospital stays ... and unfortunately, kemo treatments???

Okay, off my soap box ... I didn't do too badly there.

So, back to my patch ... I did manage to be able to bring one patch home with me. I was holding off as long as possible to change to the new one (yeah, sucking every bit of nicotene out of there!) The new one was supposed to go on last evening. Last evening was a little rough. I couldn't stay out of the fridge or the pantry either Guess it's a good thing the doctors WANT me to put ON weight? Cause put me on steroids ... and quit smoking?? Oh yeah, I see some weight coming on, how bout you??

Anyway, I didn't put the patch back on last night. I got up this morning and I was okay for a while ... for a little while. Then it was starting to bug me a bit. So, I chewed a piece of nicorette. That does help, but for me in my opinion, it doesn't help as much as the patch and it doesn't last nearly as long. I finally gave in and changed the patches ... and yeah, it made a big difference. So, at least it's going to get me through one more day.

Put another check on my calendar. I really want to make this happen this time!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Top 5 Ways to Kick Start Your Online Business

This article was originally written for MHMM Ezine but we decided to publish it in the DirectSalesHelpers.com newsletter yesterday instead. So, I figured I'd share it here today...

Top 5 Ways to Kick Start Your Online Business

It's a brand new year and time and the perfect time to give your business the kick start it so desperately needs. Did you ever get the feeling that your business is at a standstill even if you've been in business for a while? Of course it does. It happens to everyone - I know that because it's happened to me time and time again. In the following you'll find the top five ways to give your business a boost.

1. Build a Website
Yes, we're starting at the very beginning here. I've seen too many folks who for example are affiliate marketers or direct sales representatives and they're still working with their "company issued" website. Sure, that might be the ideal (and easy way out). However, it is time to break out of that shell and build something better.

2. Learn SEO
Build It and They Will Come - Bull! That just does NOT happen so get that out of your head now. Take the time now and learn a little about Search Engine Optimization. Why waste the time building a website if the search engines can't find you? There are a lot of things out there that you should be doing and more importantly, things you shouldn't be doing. Learn how to build your website the right way now and you'll thank yourself later.

3. Start a Newsletter
Hopefully you already have one but, if you don't - start one now! You NEED a way to keep in front of your customer / visitors on a regular basis. Build a list of folks who WANT to know when you have specials, know when you have a new product, etc. etc. Your newsletter doesn't have to be something huge and elaborate. As a matter of fact, here's when the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetie)concept comes into play.

4. Advertise Your Business
To gain exposure/brand recognition, gain immediate sales, announce new products/services and search engine optimization are just a few of the reasons why you need to advertise. Very few businesses can survive without some type of advertising. It's also one of the most important aspects in running certain types of businesses. Unfortunately, it seems
to be one of the biggest steps missed and/or done incorrectly. Take the time to learn more about online advertising, sales copy writing and don't skip this important step!

5. Online Promotion
There are many, many other ways to promote your business online (in addition to traditional advertising). Ebook writing, mini courses and article writing are just a few tactics. Believe it or not, these CAN be used with ANY online business (even affiliate marketers and direct sales representatives). Make it your goal to write one of the above this year.

Anita DeFrank is the author of Kick Start Your Online Business. The online world is full of possibility. It gives you the power to meet people from all over the world that you could never dream of meeting and better yet, Do Business with these people. Stop wasting time sifting through all the advice that may or may not be useful and learn from her mistakes. Learn more about her book at http://www.mommyshelperonline.com/kickstart.html

Lemon or Lime?

Jello that is ...

Apparently Jello is a staple for every lunch and every dinner in the hospital. And this is okay ... I don't mind jello. Actually, I rather like it. But, does it really have to be just lemon or lime? I mean those have to be the lamest flavors of all! How about some cherry or orange?

Now don't get me wrong ... I AM eating it, ROFL. And every other single bit of food they bring in front of me. Is this hospital food some great food that you'll find in a 5 star restaraunt. Hardly, but it can fool me! See, I'm also on some high doses of steroids (no pills here ... nope, we stick it right through the IV ... much quicker response that way!) So now, I've now aquired this bottomless pit called a stomach. I had some chicken for lunch and let's just say those bones were bare! ROFL! I'm starting to get embarrassed because for the most part I am not really that big of an eater but this is getting ridiculous!

So, I guess I really shouldn't complain too much about the lemon or lime jello and just be happy it's one more item on my tray, right?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Quitting Smoking Update

Well, I'm working on day 2 here. My goal got started a little more quickly than I had originally planned since I ended up in the hospital and I'm not allowed to smoke here.

I did ask for a nicorette patch and they got me that soooo, believe it or not, it's not been too bad! (Phew!) Don't get me wrong, I certainly have my cravings at times but it's not really been that.

I'm really determined to make this happen this time! Hubby said he's going to quit too. Although, those long exhales I hear when I'm talking to him on the phone aren't saying that, lol. But, I've asked him to make sure there wasn't anything left in my car. Like I don't even want to see an empty pack in my trash bag! I've asked him to get rid of the ash trays at home and not to smoke in there for a couple of days till I get home.

I'm no dummy ... I know my house is still going to smell like smoke. I won't ask him to like sanitize everything while he's trying to take care of the kids himself, working full time and making sure he comes to see me in the evenings. But, any little things will help and he's been a complete doll for me!! He's really "holding down the fort" and making sure everything is taken care of! What would I do without him?!?

So, from here it's just going to be one day at a time. In the meantime, I think I need to come up with a nice little reward for myself ... Like something special I can buy myself or do for myself in a week or a month or something ... I mean think of all the money I'm going to be saving!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

New Year's Eve Word Fun

New year's eve here was quiet interesting. I had no babysitter for my kids, so I was pretty much stuck at home. There was a CSI marathon on that night, and I figured that was going to be the extent of my plans.

My friends had something else in mind though. Since I was stuck at home, they decided to bring the party to me. My best friend (who I've known since we were kids) came over with her kid, husband, and one of their friends. Another one of my close friends also showed up a few minutes before midnight.

The kids had a great time playing together, while us "adults" sat around and talked for awhile. Once they were in bed though, the alcohol came out. Yes I drank, but only wine. Well, at least until someone thought it would be interesting to put something a bit harder into my glass without me knowing. I don't remember much past 3am, and waking up with my daughter at 8am was not very fun. Thankfully my friends were still here, and one felt so bad she let me sleep an extra hour. At least until the Tylenol kicked in. ;)

Anyway, back to the point of this post.

I have some very smart friends. I kept hearing them use the word "inebriated", and couldn't figure out what they were talking about. Used in context, I figured it meant drunk, but wasn't sure. I finally asked what the heck that word meant. That's when they looked at me and said "It means your DRUNK!". HA! Aren't friends great?

So in an attempt to make myself look less stupid, I blurted out "I'm an online copywriter, I'm not suppose to know big words!". I don't think they had the foggiest clue as to what I was talking about, but I felt better anyway.

It's the truth though! Writing sales letters and other copy online means using small words. Rule of thumb is you write at a 9th grade level. Everyone should be able to understand what the heck you are trying to say. Now really, if I would have said "Man was I inebriated on New Year's!", would you have a clue what I was talking about? Well, maybe if you knew me and how much I like wine....HA! Just kidding, I'm not an alcoholic. ;)

There's my fun story from New Year's. Hope I'm not the only one who was a little "inebriated" by the end of the night, asking really stupid questions. ;)

Unfinished Business

Did you ever get that feeling that you've left something "unfinished"? Ever since I finished Kick Start Your Online Business I've had that feeling. Then every time I watch a sale come in from it, that feeling gets even stronger. There was just something missing.

During my quest to start automating things a little more, Val Selby recommended Aweber (which I'm loving by the way) and the answer became more clear. I constantly harp about following up and I forgot to do that exact thing myself!

So, now I have about 2 weeks consisting of 7 messages to follow up my book! With that said ... I've killed two birds with one stone. That feeling of unfinished business is gone and there's one more thing off my "to do list". Ah, now I feel better!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Non Business Goal

I do have another goal that I'm going to be working on and it has absolutely nothing to do with business ... I vow to QUIT SMOKING!

I've made this goal and tried so many other times it's not funny. But this time well, this whole pluerisy thing has really scared the heck out of me. If you look it up online the C word is mentioned a few times. And to give you a little background here ... my father passed away at 52 from lung cancer. Hello?!?! Am I a moron or what?

I did say that I want to wait until I get through this pluerisy though because well number one, I've done nothing but sit on my rear all week. The meds make me smoke more. And, I don't want to have to deal with withdraw while this is going on.

But, I already asked the dr for a prescription to help me quit. As soon as I'm better I will be taking Wellbutrin, going back to the Nicorette AND taking St. John's Wort. As you can tell, my goal is not to just quit smoking but also to quit without totally freaking out on my family!!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

You Can't Get There ...

You can't get there if you don't know where you want to go!!!

Val Selby
Busy Momma Wellness

Boy, did she say a mouthful or what? Val started a great topic on our message boards ... I made it a sticky and we're all going to keep after it ALL YEAR LONG. Some rambling thoughts for the new year ....

I'm getting to the point where I want to have just a couple of websites and that's it. I "cleaned house" not too long ago and sold a handful of things sitting around that I didn't have much time to work on like I should. It's time to do that again but I only have a couple left that I want to re-evaluate.

I want to start writing more again. I enjoy it so much but just haven't had the time (or should I say haven't taken the time) to do it.

This year I'm going to start automating a lot more things. I guess I was always afraid of loosing that "personal touch" but there are so many things that I am doing by hand that really shouldn't need to be without loosing that personal touch.

Along with automating things, I'm also going to start outsourcing some other work so I can concentrate on the things I want to do.

(Please forgive me as I ramble along ... I've been sick all this week but I'm also not sleeping so I've have had lots of time to think, lol. Time to get it down so I can come back!!)

MommysHelperOnline.com has grown so big, the traffic has been great, my adsense and advertising income has been better than ever. Soooo, stop building more sites and let the really good one I have grow, right?

Side Note: Not that there is anything wrong with building a bunch of sites!! Please don't get that impression. I personally don't have the time that I used to. I get all these great ideas but don't have the time to promote as I should.

And that side note brings me to another thought. I'm never going to give up building more websites. I have way too many ideas and enjoy web design too much to not do anything with that ... so, I'll probably continue building more but selling (Nice little addition to my income.)

I need to start working on one project at a time. This is so hard for me because when I have an idea ... I have to go with it NOW. Then I end up with a whole bunch of little projects started with nothing finished!!

Perfect examples ...

I wanted to revamp my Direct Sales Company Directory and I did. For the most part it IS done. There are a few minor things I want to change BUT, I'm still sitting here doing everything myself (even though I have a VA ready and willing) simply because I haven't taken the time to finish the little stuff OR build my renewal page. And you know what? I bet if I actually sat down and just DID it ... It might take me an hour or so to finish?!? I started this back in November.

I have a great idea for a free ebook to write. LOL till I'm done, I probably SHOULD be charging for it however, I feel pretty confident that the viral effect will go into full force here and there are quite a few affiliate links within the book. Guess when I started this? Back in September!!

So after that long ramble ... Organization, Focus, Automation and Outsourcing is HIGH on my list for 2007!!

Who's next? I'd love to hear your goals for the New Year!
Post em here ... or Post em here

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm Scared

I was working today on the new idea I had last week, and realized something.

I'm scared.

Why? Because it's something new.....something I've never done before. Something I have to approach in a professional manner or fall flat on my face. Something I know I'm good at and love to do, but have stiff competition for. Very professional, established, experienced competition. I have experience, but not near as much as the others.

Should I say "Nevermind - I'm not good enough"?

Hell no! I'm scared yes, but that's a good thing. Exciting even. I know where my flaws are, and also know I need to absorb as much information as possible before I officially start. I know what my niche in the market is, and who my "average client" will be. I know my rates will be based on my experience/talent, and have no doubt it's a GOOD price (not high, not low). I know what disclaimers I'll need, and a general idea of what the website needs to look like.

To make up for what I lack, I just ordered a few books off Amazon. I'm also reading other articles as I research today. Which, much to my surprise, I'm sitting here nodding my head because I already KNOW the majority of the info I'm seeing - how cool is THAT?!.

My test client is all set, and I'm more than ready to get going on this. Being scared only tells me this project (service actually) is worth starting. Today has been mostly research which will continue tomorrow (while one kid at least will be in school - HURRAY!!!!!), but I'll be ready to launch soon. This month even, if all goes well.

Wish me luck? ;)