Olivewood Personal Chef Service
Goffstown, New Hampshire, USA
Year started home business: 2006
Hours per week: 35
Happy at home index: 1 - miserable, 10 – nirvana. 9
Success at home index: 1-starving, 10-fabulously wealthy 5
What kind of business do you have at home?
A personal chef service, although any food prepared for my clients is cooked in
What did you do before you started a home business?
I worked for 15 years as an Executive Assistant to CEOs of Technology startup
What was your biggest challenge in starting your home business?
Ignoring the nay-sayers and believing that I could start my own business!
What has been your biggest challenge staying in business?
Marketing my business.
What do you love about working from home?
I love the flexibility to do what I want, when I want and the control of my work load.
What do you dislike about it?
Now that I’m focused on cooking food for others, I am challenged when it comes to
planning my own family meals.
How do you do to inspire or motivate yourself everyday?
I’m more motivated now than I ever was working for others. I’m motivated by doing
what I love and the knowledge that the success of my business is directly related to
How do you separate home life from your work life?
I have a routine and I stick to it and make sure my clients appreciate my business
hours. If I need a mental break on my planning days, I’ll take a few minutes to toss
hay to the horses, walk outside with the dogs, or just cuddle with a cat.
How do you keep family/home/work all in balance?
I stick to traditional business hours. I allow myself evenings and weekends to relax
and enjoy my life with my husband.
Where is your office in your home?
My husband and I share one room that is designated as the office, it is technically a
small formal living room located in the front of our home on the lower level. The
office windows overlook a grassy area full of wildlife. As I type this, I’m watching a
Ruby-throated hummingbird at my window feeder!
What is your daily routine?
I wake up at 6:30 a.m., start coffee, feed the dogs and check e-mail. At 7:00 a.m. I
head out to feed the horses and clean the barn. When the barn chores are finished, it’
s upstairs for a shower. If I’m working from home, I will research recipes, menu
plan and organize shopping lists until the early afternoon, then I’ll take some
personal time to work with the horses or go for a ride. My husband comes home
from work in the late afternoon and we share a meal together. If I have a cook-date,
I go to the grocery store immediately after getting ready, then straight to my client’s
home. I’m home by 5:00 and end the day with a ride and a meal with my husband.
What is your biggest (or proudest) achievement so far?
My peers at Personal Chefs Network voted my
website Best Chef Website for 2007.
What are you working on right now to grow your
I’m researching appropriate venues in which to
advertise my services.
What advice can you give about starting a home business?
Don’t be afraid to take the leap!
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do (or not do)?
I would have spent less time planning and more time doing.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
My husband is a produce purveyor, so we share a passion for food. We like to
travel locally to scout out new restaurants and farmers markets. When I’m not with
my husband, I go for long trail rides with my network of “horse-people”. I attend
regional weekend trail rides with my riding club, where we camp with the horses
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