Three years ago my wife Taunya retired from Microsoft (she worked in Corp Analysis Relations) to pursue a new career -- mom. She has certainly found the experience rewarding and a great opportunity to develop the mind of a precocious young lady. Six months ago, we added to her workload with another beautiful little girl. Over the last couple months, the fog has started to clear as we both are getting good sleep. Over the years, Taunya has helped countless friends and family polish their resume and position themselves to take the next step in their career. It was always a rewarding experience to hear people so thankful for the services she provided. It is even more rewarding to hear about their new jobs, different career paths, and exciting financial changes to their lives.

Several months ago, a relative encouraged his office mate to pay Taunya to fix his resume. She did her usual magic and he sent her a small PayPal payment. Taunya enjoyed writing again and the experience of helping someone move their career forward. She didn't want to give up her most important job of playing with the girls, but started thinking about what would be involved to set up a small business that would give her something interesting to do when the kids were napping or after they went to bed. The idea of writing resumes fit all her parameters perfectly as she only had to accept jobs as she had time available. Her clients are flexible and simply appreciate the great work she does.

After jumping through the hoops of setting up an LLC (Secretary of State, City of Kirkland and IRS), she went about setting up her business using Office Live to find an available domain name and create a web presence (http://www.branecompany.com). Setting up the domain and working through the site creation was unbelievably easy. She really loves the instant email account and domain email addresses feature. She sent email to friends and family telling them about her new company and requested reference quotes from them. She used Publisher 2007 to create a business identity (cards, letterhead, notecards, and a flyer that I dropped around the Office and Windows buildings telling people about her new service). She uses DRM technology to send her clients a draft resume if she hasn’t received payment.

Business is really, really good. She gets a new resume job every day and makes between $129 to $495 for each job (depending on the amount of work needed). Taunya really enjoys working with people to articulate their experience and open new opportunities in their life. It is funny—she loves looking at her site traffic report. She gets excited when 4 people visit her site in a day. She hasn’t bought any search engine key words yet, as the referral network is keeping her busy (likely something she will do in the future if business slows down and we need some extra cash for Dora the Explorer gear for the girls J).She doesn’t expect to get rich from her resume hobby.

Kudos to the Office Live team for creating such a great tool that allows Taunya to project a business image that reflects her high quality of work. We both think the Office Live team is doing a great job nailing the requirements of a small business owner. She is really looking forward to the new site development tools and advertising services in Office Live 1.5 that is about to be released.