Work-At-Home Success Profile: How Carol Gee Turned Her Love of Words Into A Thriving Career
After a 21 year career that required wearing camouflage and combat books (the U.S. Air Force), and another 28 years in higher education at both the junior college and university level, Carol Gee, M.A. is finally living her dream. Owner of A Feast Of Words, LLC, a one -woman writing service.Gee is also a freelance writer and author.
- How did you get started working from home?
The last seven of my over twenty-eight years in higher education (21 of these at Emory University) I was employed as an editor and business writer. With age and time in service, when management decided to do away with my position, I realized that many of my duties,copy editing scientific manuscripts, researching and writing business case studies that were taught in classes, were transferable skills that I could do at home.
- How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
Writing has always been a passion of mine. It was also something that could be done at home or anywhere. With a husband with chronic health issues, I had frequently did copy editing and had worked on my cases at home while he recovered from a procedure.
- How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I had copy edited the manuscripts of several professors at universities outside of Emory on the side, as well as a number of other writers’ manuscripts, so knew that working from home could be my third act.
- How did you get your first client or customer or job?
A former professor whom I had worked with on a number of projects in my old department at Emory accepted a professorship at another university out of state. As I had edited several of his books as well as written a number of cases for him, he hired me to write a number of cases that he wished to teach in classes at his new university, so contracted with me to do this after he had left Emory.
- How do you market your business?
Owning my business and writing, I am finally following my passion, and what I have come to realize is my purpose..Entrepreneurship and having a side hustle, runs in my veins as growing up, my mother worked a twenty-year civil service job while working and eventually owning beauty shops for over forty years.
With steady income from past careers,I have the luxury of working only on projects that resonate with me. For instance, most recently I researched and wrote a case for a retired Three-Star general at Emory. He was in Haiti on the day the 2010 earthquake devastated that island.
As such, he led the rescue and humanitarian relief there. Being a retired military vet, the professor who recommended me, knew that I could and would do a good job telling the story of this officer’s leadership during this crisis. The last two years this case has been taught to students at Emory’s Goizueta Business School and elsewhere.
While I have a website and Facebook presence, 75% of my projects comes from repeat clients or referrals.
- What does your usual day look like?
When I am not working on client projects, I write for magazines or promote or market my newly released (April 2016) books, Random Notes (About Life, “Stuff”And Finally Learning To Exhale) and Gilded Pearls (Vibrant Thoughts, Tips and Tidbits for a Full Life). So a typical day usual finds me in my home office as early as 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning,even earlier depending on the project or idea for an article or a book promotion/marketing idea.
Throughout the day, I pitch other writers’ stories where I am often quoted for their particular pieces. I may do a podcast, do a conference call for more information for a story, etc. One such pitch, lead to my husband and I being featured in the article, “Stand By His Health” in the February 2017 issue of Essence Magazine I may return to my desk in the evening if an idea hits me.
- What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
How satisfying it is to do what you love, and make money doing so. Had I known this I could have been doing it on the side much sooner.
- What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Working from home is not for everyone. First, you have to like to work by yourself for long periods of time.You also have to have discipline, good time management and other skills. Much of these skills were honed in the military and my university career as an administrator.