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Courtesy of Norm Williams' "Big Money Publishing Newsletter" August 8, 2003





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 manner.


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 investment portfolios.


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 mistakes.


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 and Photoshop.


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 in college!


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. Subscribe to "BIG MONEY PUBLISHING."

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