Entrepreneur and Mom
By Jennifer Dugan
When I was 12 years old, I had surgery with complications. I was told there was a chance I would
not be able to have children. Growing up I could not imagine my life without children and worried about it often.
When I got married close to my 21st birthday, my husband and I hoped that we would be lucky enough to have
children. Luckily, I found out I was pregnant almost a year later. However, soon after the great news, I got very
sick. I was working full time at a corporate travel agency and I could not work. My doctor told me that I had to
take care of myself or I would be at risk to lose my baby. My employer got very nasty with me and was not
compassionate about my sickness. I almost lost my job, but my doctor was able to get me medical leave from the
family leave act. The experience was horrible. I vowed to never have to choose between my career and the health of
my baby. I began to look for ways to work from home. I tried Mary Kay Cosmetics but I was terrible at it. It didn’t
feel comfortable and I really had nothing to make me want to be successful.
When my son Dillon was born in February 1997, it was one of the best days of my life. I quit my job
and tried to stay home full time. I was able to stay home until Dillon was three months old. Then I went back part
time at a travel agency. I hated leaving him even for the few hours I had to. So I decided to start my own travel
agency from my home. I knew the travel business well enough to be on my own, but I did not know very much about
being a home business owner. For the next two years, I had to learn so much about running a home business. I got
help from other work at home moms. I met them online and it was so helpful.
I created a website and began actively advertising for business. I read anything I could on having
a home business. I learned as much as I could about the internet. I began brainstorming on how I could expand my
business. I decided to specialize in family vacations since I had a growing family. My second child, Travis was
born January 1999. I began to learn how to balance having a family and a business. I worked whenever I could. Many
nights I work late at night when my children are sleeping. My husband is very supportive.
I finally started becoming successful and was gaining more customers each day. I started taking on
independent agents and helping them start their own agencies. I let them work with my agency because I had already
paid what it took to start the agency. I trained them and began building my business by helping others get into the
industry. I took a small percentage of their commissions for running the agency. It slowly turned into a full
fledge training program with a handbook and a website dedicated to my agents. I also created a website for people
who wanted to join the agency. I marketed to find those who would be interested. The agency has continued to grow
as the word has spread. What I offer people interested in the travel industry is unique since I accept those
without prior experience and train them for free.
I have been interviewed by several magazines and featured in books on home businesses. Currently I
have over 200 independent agents working with my agency. Our sales have skyrocketed. In 2002, we did $20,000 in
sales for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. In 2003, we did $147,000 in sales. We are growing in so many ways. I am
still very active in the agency. I still answer my emails myself and strive to personally know all my agents. I do
not have anyone helping me at my home office. I do have my very first agent as well as many who have been with me
for years helping out. I handle all the bookkeeping, shipping, daily business issues, advertising, website
maintenance, and many other of the important operations needed to run this business. It has become a part of
My goal is to have 300 agents by the time I am 30. I hope to be able to get some help handling
day-to-day operations. I would also like to continue to grow to become more recognized in the travel industry. I
want to help as many people as I can who want to start their own home based travel agency. I want to continue
building my business and each year find something new that I can do to be more successful at this business.
I wrote my own ebook on starting a home travel agency. This offered information to those interested
and helped spread the word about my agency’s program. Each year we grow more and more. I have written two other
ebooks since my first one. One is on juggling a home business and family. The other is on marketing a home business
on a small amount of funds. I am just now beginning to have more money available for advertising. What I have done
to date has been still on a limited budget. I am just now beginning to spend more money on advertising.
My family has been very supportive. My boys are now 5 and 7 years old and they try to help me out
as much as possible. We go on family vacations and I can use it to help my business. I have been able to save on
childcare from not having to work outside the home. I was able to be with my children as they have been growing up.
I didn’t miss their first words or steps. I also have been teaching them that anything is possible. I want them to
know that if they have the drive to do something, they can do it. Every day that I got discouraged, I would think
of the fact that if I did not succeed, I would have to go back to work full time and put my children into
My 5 year old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last May. This was a hard adjustment for our
family. He needed me more than ever. I was able to be there and everyone involved in my agency understood. I was
able to take the time I needed to stay with him in the hospital and learn how to handle his diabetes. My agents
pulled together and helped me out. I can’t imagine how things would have been if I had a full time job outside the
home. I was able to take care of my child without worry.
I feel very fortunate. I had a dream and I was able to make it come true. I also have something I
can call my own. I love being a mom. I also love being an entrepreneur. It is very satisfying looking at what I
have accomplished in 6 years. I know the possibilities are endless. I know as long as I continue to work hard and
be creative in growing my business, I will continue to be successful. I am now able to help others who want to
start a home business. I wrote three e-books and I get to write articles to help others. 6 years ago I would have
never imagined this would be my life. It just proves that anything is possible if you really want it bad
Jennifer Dugan CTA
Owner of Dugan's Travels
About The Author
Mother of two who started a homebased travel agency in 1997. She has over 200 outside agents
working with her agency and is active in the travel industry. She has been an agent since 1993. She is the author
of three ebooks.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
So how does someone decide which home business is right for them? Research is the key by reading honest articles
from a variety of sources. This web site seeks to collect a host of ideas and opinions on a variety of
business ideas that your can read and assess for yourself.
Good luck - live long and prosper!
The Perfect Options Team
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