I was told I should “write my story” so here goes….
My name is Carol Mikel and I am the owner of CM Consulting & Management. This is the story of how, and why, I started my business.
Early in 2006 the company I was working for went out of business. About that same time my son, who was 12, got sick, and his pediatrician could not figure out why. We had to put him on homebound schooling because he just couldn’t make it through a day of school. It took about a year to get an actual diagnosis of gastroparesis, then about another year to find the right mixture of medication. One of the reasons it took so long was because at that time a good pediatric GI doctor was hard to find and even harder to get an appointment with. Another contributing factor was that gastroparesis is normally associated with adults, not 12-year-old kids. By the time it was all figured out we had pulled him out of school completely and was homeschooling him. He later graduated summa cum laude with a criminal justice degree from Sam Houston State University. (Yay for homeschooling!)
During this time, I needed to be at home for my son and I was also enjoying being able to volunteer at the school my daughter attended, but I felt my brain was going to mush and I needed a way to make some money! One day while reading Redbook magazine (an actual magazine with paper, not an online edition, if you can believe that!) I found an article about being a virtual assistant. I had everything I needed to start a VA business, basically a computer, internet connection, and some admin skills, so I decided on a name and filed the paperwork.
At first, I focused on doing general admin work, but it just wasn’t challenging me and I quickly grew bored. I found the tech side of things was what really interested me and also helping to guide other business owners. I started working on my tech skills and eventually focused on digital marketing and website design. I am completely self-taught and very proud of the fact that I started this journey at the age of 40. They say life begins at 40, well maybe not my life but what I consider my career really did.
I’ll spare you the details of business growing pains, we all have those, but I have now been in business for myself for over 12 years. If you are an entrepreneur you understand that’s a big milestone. I am still learning daily and I try to keep building my tech skills. I always say you are never too old to learn something new.
I am extremely proud of both of my kids! My son is now a police officer and, boy, that kept me awake at night for the first few months! I’m getting used to it now though I do still have my moments. My daughter recently graduated from Sam Houston and double majored with degrees in psychology and criminal justice. She is working on her master’s degree now and I can’t wait to see what life has planned for her!
More about Carol…
Carol was born and raised in Texas, so please do not be offended if she says “Yes ma’am” to you. Her momma would be proud! 😉 She currently lives southwest of Houston with her husband of 32 years and has two children, two dogs, and a cat. She strongly believes you are never too old to learn so it’s no surprise that one of her favorite hobbies includes learning new technology. She also enjoys reading, camping, boating, being outside and just relaxing on the patio, usually with a good book (on Kindle of course)! Carol’s favorite place to shop is, where else? Amazon!