Courtesy of Norm Williams' "Big Money Publishing Newsletter"
August 8, 2003
BIG MONEY PUBLISHING NEWSLETTER
Friday, August 8, 2003. Issue 127 from Crystal Beach, Florida.
This newsletter is about people, not about products or stuff
or hype or baloney. You can subscribe by sending an e-mail
with "subscribe" in the subject. Norm Williams, artist and writer.
Q - Can you tell me about your business background?
A - I am the founder and
president of MotionTemps, LLC, a virtual assistance, management
and communications firm with offices in Chicago and Paris. I
launched MotionTemps from my home in Chicago back in 2001 after
leaving a job as a communications manager with a PR agency.
MotionTemps provides back-office administrative support (PowerPoint
presentations, copyediting, copywriting, desktop publishing,
data entry, answering services, word processing, etc.), but
also marketing and public relations consulting services to home-based
professionals, non-profits, frequent global business travelers,
and small to mid-sized consulting firms. This is actually my
first stab at being a business owner and I'm enjoying it tremendously.
Q - As a person on the Internet, how did you get started?
A - I've actually been
on the Internet since 1995. I took a job as an administrative
assistant at a dot.com company in Chicago called A2S2 Digital
Projects. Most people thought I was nuts when I did, but what
attracted me to the job was the opportunity to work in politics
and also learn more about the Internet. I was instantly hooked!
I learned a great deal from my colleagues, and in a very short
period of time, I became the Marketing Manager and PR Coordinator
for two web sites: an online public policy magazine (IntellectualCapital)
and a public policy resource portal (Policy.com), which were
very successful. We even launched a Russian edition of the public
policy magazine, IntellectualCapital.ru. Eventually I handled
marketing and PR for a parenting web site with 16 distinct web
channels. Being on the Internet has been a lot of fun. The greatest
thing about working in Internet marketing at that time was the
fact that you could throw out everything you'd learned about
conventional marketing, because it wasn't applicable yet and
there were no rules.
Q - How long have you been in business online?
A - MotionTemps, LLC celebrated
a second anniversary in July 2003.
Q - What online businesses you are involved with?
A - MotionTemps is my
primary online business, but I also serve as Executive Director
for the Paris Chapter of World Women in Technology (WorldWIT).
It's called OuiWIT, and it's an English-speaking e-mail discussion
list for professional American and French women in Paris. I'm
also a member of the International Virtual Assistance Association.
Q - How did you learn what it takes to succeed?
A - It sounds like a cliché
but through hard work. On average, I work 12 to 14 hours each
day. All of this with two small children at home, ages six and
10 months! I still believe the keys to success are determination
and persistence. Sometimes it can be very difficult to be in
business when you are a woman. However, I tend to work with
other women who have the same drive that I possess, and we seize
opportunities. I believe you have to be relentless in your pursuits,
and you have to actually take what you want but in a gracious
Q - What office equipment do you use?
A - I actually have three
computers in the office - two laptops and a desktop. They are
all PCs with two running American operating systems and another
running a French operating system. My main computer is a Gateway
500 L, which works really well. In addition, I have every piece
of equipment you'd need in any office: inkjet and laser printers,
digital camera, scanner, copier, zip drives, etc. Because I
currently live in Paris 10 months out of the year and in Chicago
the other two months of the year, it's imperative to have high-speed
Internet access and that I also be mobile.
Q - Do you do all of your business online?
A - Absolutely. I've been
purchasing books, software and music online for so long that
I've almost forgotten how to buy them in a brick and mortar
store. I also buy shoes and clothing as well. I've even purchased
furniture online, and my computers were purchased online as
well. I also use the Internet to maintain my bank accounts and
Q - What are your biggest gripes about the Internet?
A -That there is now so
much information on the Internet that it becomes increasing
more difficult to find what you're looking for. You have to
wade through too much information.
Q - Do you mostly do publishing or other enterprises?
A - Publishing is actually
a new venture for me. My core businesses include the virtual
marketing and administrative services offered through MotionTemps.
I added the publishing component because I wanted to share marketing
tips with the average small-business owner.
Q - Are there any tips or advice you would like to offer?
A - I still recommend that
new business owners find a niche for their businesses. Really
take the time to research your industry and your location to
discover what truly make you different from the competition
so you can showcase your talents. Study your competitors and
pay attention to what they do well, and try to learn from their
Q - Do you use any clip art in your publications?
A - Sometimes but I'm also
starting to create my own graphics using Photoshop.
Q - Are people more interesting than product stories?
A - People are much more
interesting than product stories. As consumers we are always
interested in products that work and will make our lives or
work easier, however, it's the people behind the products -
what drives them, their motivation - make for interesting reading.
Q - What are your goals and aspirations for the future?
A - To expand awareness
about MotionTemps so that it truly becomes a multinational corporation.
I want MotionTemps to become the premier virtual assistance
firm in the world, and completely change the way small-business
owners everywhere address staffing needs. The people I know
in the VA industry are quite talented, multilingual and come
from diverse business backgrounds. The VA industry ultimately
will change the way we outsource services in the future. It
never would have been possible without the Internet.
Q - What software do you use to make your websites?
A - Dreamweaver, Fireworks
Q - What are your favorite books or computer programs?
A - I actually don't read
as many computer books as I should, but these days I'm fascinated
with Java scripts, so I spend a lot of time at online tutorials
or Java Scripting web sites. I love testing them out on my web
site. All this from a woman who was afraid to use a computer
Q - What is your best time for working on your computer?
A - After 10 p.m. is the
best time for me to work at the computer because my children
are usually sleeping.
Norman Williams, artist and writer in Crystal Beach, Florida.
"BIG MONEY PUBLISHING."
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