Mom Entrepreneur: Karen Berg
Business: The Caregiver Organizer
I am developing a line of eWorkbooks called The Caregiver Organizer (currently called By The Book: How To Take Care of MY Kids – new brand to be rolled out on March 1). These books are for those of us who take care of others, whether it’s our children, a parent, our spouse, a friend going through an illness, who needs a break and must hire a caregiver to take over at times. The book is filled out with our loved one’s information in an organized format so the caregiver has all of the information they need to lovingly care for that person. And we can have some time to relax and take care of ourselves for a change!
What inspired you to start your business?
I was working outside the home full-time in sales and my company had just goen through a down-sizing. Although I did not get impacted, many of my friends lost their jobs. Melissa came to me with an idea that she had been thinking about for a couple of years but wasn’t sure how to get it off the ground. Together we decided to make a go of it.
How long have you been in business?
My business partner, Melissa Bishop, and I started Karmel Publishing in 2005, but really went full force with it in 2007.
What did you do in your past work life?
I have been in different sales capacities for most of my professional life. From 1994 to 2007, I worked in the the consumer credit bureau field. (Far cry from what I’m doing now!)
Describe your ideal workday.
After getting my kids off to school, I like to get all my emails answered, then go to the gym and work out. My afternoons are spent entirely on Karmel Publishing so I am ready for the kids when they get home. Ideally, that’s it for work, but of course I always find myself back at the computer throughout the evening and after they go to sleep!
What have been some of your major successes?
See above! I consider my challenges to also be my successes! Although my business is not successful by profitable standards YET, I feel I’m on the right path because of everything I’ve experienced and learned and the friendships I’ve made, especially in cyber space!
What have been some of your major challenges?
Learning everything there is to learn! Not just about the business, but also how to blend a friendship into a business partnership, how to balance working at home and being at home with the kids, learning the power of social media and connections, the list goes on and on of what I’ve learned over the past 4 years!
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Ha ha! Dr. Phil! I see how really messed up other people are so I figure I can do this!
Actually, sometimes I really just need to take a step back and take a break. And that’s okay. I don’t get down on myself, and Melissa and I understand that about each other. Sometimes we need to regroup with each other, sometimes alone.
Do you have a motivational quote?
Do or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I don’t know that I have a secret! I just really try hard to do all, or most, of my work while the kids are in school, or at least at times when it will have the least impact on them.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
The Mom Entrepreneur Support Group, headed by Traci Bisson. Great!
What is next for your business?
We are currently rebranding everything right now. New website, new book name, covers, blog, everything. It should all be rolled out on March 1. We will be introducing new books very shortly after that.
Your two cents sales pitch?
You are taking care of somebody right now – your child, your parent, spouse, friend. Whoever it is, you need a break every now and then. When you call in a caregiver to take over, how do you communicate everything to them that you have swirling around in your head? The Caregiver Organizer helps you with that. Just fill out the forms on your own computer, and all that information is ready for your caregiver in an organized and clear format. Because when you take care of YOU, you’re better able to take care of THEM!
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