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 WAHM > Work at Home Mom Business Success Stories > Interview with Patricia Cobe, co-author Mompreneurs®


Interview with Patricia Cobe, co-author Mompreneurs®
Interview & Article by Alice Seba, editor of InternetBasedMoms.com

In case you don't already know, Patricia Cobe is a nationally recognized authority on work-from-home business. Pat, along with her co-author, Ellen H. Parlapiano, have appeared on numerous TV and Radio shows across the country including, Oprah, the CBS Early Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, CNN and CNBC. Their first book, Mompreneurs®: A Mother's Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Work at Home Success, has been featured as a top trend-setter in Time Magazine, Business Week and other large publications. We are honored to have Pat drop by and share with Internet Based Moms.

About Pat & Her Work from Home Career
Prior to the birth of Pat's first child, Pat had been working as a magazine editor. Like most of us, she didn't want to go back to an office all day long and leave her child to be cared for by someone else so many hours every week. That's when she decided she would take her career in a new direction and began freelance editing and writing.


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Pat began by calling everyone she knew to let them know she was out on her own. She had her first freelance assignment when her son was three weeks old and worked steadily from there.

Looking back on her work from home career, Pat says she would change very little. However, she says she would have taken a little more time off instead of diving right in so soon after her son was born.

 Perhaps, she reflects, she should have been pickier about the jobs she took and might have chosen more interesting and career-advancing work. In the end, things seem to have worked out just fine for this mother of two.

Pat is happy with her choice to stay home and work and says the freedom and flexibility is the best part. She has always been able to set her own schedule, to work around her kid's school hours, attend their functions, performances and sport events without ever having to ask her boss for permission.

Pat's Advice to Aspiring Writers
"If you don't have contacts in the publishing field and can't get a paid assignment, write for free just to get published and get noticed. Websites welcome free articles, so find one in your specialty and offer to write a couple of pieces. Print them out and start a portfolio of clips. You can also contact your local newspaper, a local or small magazine, even your community or school newsletter. It's important to get clips to show or send to editors you are interested in writing for."

Pat also recommends the publication, "Writer's Market". It is a great source to show what types of articles magazines and other publications are purchasing. This book also provides contact information for each publication and it can generally be found in your public library.

In addition, Pat recommends going to writing conferences or workshops when possible.

On Working in a Partnership
Pat and Ellen originally formed their partnership when they contracted to write their first book. They lived near each other and had worked together before on magazine articles. Their friendship bonded through a group called Westchester Mothers Who Write. This was a group that met once a month to exchange ideas, leads and referrals over lunch.

They decided to write a book (Mompreneurs®) for and about work at home moms because they saw so many moms doing just that in their area. When asked what it was like to work together in a partnership, Pat says the two women always divided everything in half. For the books, they each did half the chapters and at iVillage, they divide their time on the message boards and in chats.

Although, they always strive to divide the work equally, Pat says this is the biggest challenge of working in a partnership. Pat stresses the need to ensure that no partner feels overburdened. Always keep the communication lines open and put everything in writing, even if you are best friends.

Just this year, Pat and Ellen formed an LLC (Limited Liability Company). Pat would recommend this to anyone working with a partner as it decreases your liability and legalizes your partnership.

The Importance of Networking
In Mompreneurs® Online: Using the Internet to Build Work @ Home Success, Pat and Ellen stress the need for networking. When asked about the role of networking in her success, Pat states that she began her business, the Internet was not a reality and she did a lot of face-to-face networking. This included joining a couple of professional organizations, attending their meetings, going to press events and conferences when she was able. By doing so, Pat remained "visible" to her potential clients and the clients would think of her when they had an assignment.

In the writing of Mompreneurs Online® and Mompreneurs®, networking was absolutely crucial. These books required the two authors to reach out to other work at home moms through phone calls, written surveys, email and the Internet to find antecdotes and case studies to include in their books.

They also contacted professional associations that dealt with women-owned businesses to acquire information. These organizations got to know Pat and Ellen as the "work-from-home experts". This led to speaking engagements, TV and radio spots and their regular column and message boards on iVillage.com.

Pat's Number One Home Biz Tip
What is Pat's single most important piece of advice to a work at home mom? She stresses that there is no reason to feel guilty for hiring a babysitter or using day care if it's necessary. Also, moms working from home should realize that at some point, it may likely be necessary on a part-time basis. As children grow from infants to toddlers, their demands grow as well. Part-time child care gives moms the time to make important phone calls and time to get some uninterrupted work done. Once children are in school, it may be easier to work around their school schedule and any extra child care may not be necessary.

Mompreneurs® in the Future
Pat and Ellen are looking to do to more consulting work with corporations that want to reach out to mom-owned home business or that want to set up telecommuting programs.

They envision speaking at more conferences and are considering giving their own workshops about starting and running a successful home-based business.

Finally, Pat and Ellen plan to expand their Mompreneurs® trademarked brand beyond books and magazine articles. Keep your eyes open, Mompreneurs® may be coming to your town.


Patricia Cobe is an accomplished writer and nationally recognized work from home expert. She has co-authored two books with Ellen H. Parlapiano: Mompreneurs®: A Mother's Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Work-at-Home Success 2nd Edition (Perigree, June, 2002) and Mompreneurs Online®: Using the Internet to Build Work@Home Success (Perigree, 2001). Their website is http://www.mompreneursonline.com  and you can also find them on iVillage's Work Channel.

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