October’s Featured Business Owner is Cheryl Heflin, “The Editing Empress: My “hidden” talent showed up powerfully in 8th grade English class, when Ricky, the guy who sat in the desk in front of me, constantly turned around and asked me to explain or help him with his grammar. It just seemed to come easily to me. Ricky went on to become our senior class president.

In every job I have had, my major job functions always included proofreading, copyediting, and rewriting, from online manuals and history searches to legal documents and websites.

So why not use my “gift” to help others who are building websites, writing novels, finishing term papers or theses, preparing reports, or sending emails?

You collect the information and allow me to format, proofread, and ensure the grammar is correct for a professional-looking product.


What’s your why?

I want to help young families stay home and raise their own children if they want to do that. I want to help older families educate their children after high school however they choose (college is not the only alternative). I want to help empty nesters travel if they want to do so. I want to help retired people live comfortably and enjoy their golden years.

And there’s this 3000-square-foot high-rise penthouse loft in downtown Austin I’ve been dreaming about for years. It has mahogany cabinetry; 20-foot ceilings; polished, stained concrete floors; a security elevator private to MY loft; security cameras connected to my computer; massive storage; two bedrooms; three baths; den; office; windows all around; a screened-in balcony area. Expecting 15 people, seven cats, and a dog to ride out Hurricane Rita in my 1000-square-foot, two bedroom, two bath condo made me dream big and it stuck!

Why did you start your business?

I was fired from a state government job after about 19 years of service, for which I was very grateful because I was miserable working there. I decided that I want to work from home in my pajamas and build my own home-based business in addition to my fledgling Shaklee business, in order to help others build their own businesses too. I enjoy copy editing and proofreading, which became the idea for my home business.

What has been the greatest help for building your business so far?

The guy who created my “sexy” website! The one I originally created wasn’t so good; the current website looks great and says everything it needs to say about me and my business. I also had two wonderful business coaches.

Are there any tools, software, techniques, resources, etc., that you have used that have been helpful to you in building & growing your business?

Copyediting is kind of a “gift”; as I read, the grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors virtually leap off the page or monitor at me. I cannot ignore them, which makes reading for pleasure a little difficult! Also, I’m learning to use the Dragon Naturally Speaking transcribing program so I may be able to add transcribing to my services.

What marketing technique have you used that has yielded the best results for you?

Word-of-mouth, Guru.com, Freelancer.com, Facebook, and Twitter; also the blog included on my website, offering free quotes and samples

Is there anything that you’ve learned along the way in your business that you wish you had known early on (“Hind sight is 20/20”)?

My business coaches told me that it wouldn’t be an overnight success, and they didn’t lie! However, persistence pays off. I stuck to it and kept working at it and people are beginning to know who and what The Editing Empress is.

What are your favorite quotes to live and work by?

“I’m SO grateful!”

“The feeling gets the blessing.”

“Worry is a prayer for what you DON’T want.”

“I don’t know HOW it will work out, but it always does!”

“Mistakes/failures are merely learning experiences.”

“Everything that has happened in my life up to now was supposed to happen exactly as it did.”

“I decide what everything means.”

“Everything happens for a reason at the exact time it’s supposed to happen.”

“When it’s your time to go (die), it’s your time to go. If it’s not, it doesn’t matter whether the plane crashes, the earthquake destroys, or you jump from the 40th floor; you will survive.”

“There IS a Higher Power; it doesn’t matter WHAT you call It: God, Universe, Great Spirit, Source of All, Jehovah, Allah, or any other name. And It IS in control!”

Do you have any favorite books on business and/or personal development?

I read “Good to Great”, “Built to Last”, and “First Break All the Rules” for a master’s course at St. Edward’s University. Each book analyzed companies that have been around for many years and how they managed to do that. I learned many excellent traits to include in my business.

“A Happy Pocket Full of Money” by David Cameron changed my life. It explained everything; I had so many “a-ha” moments while reading it. This book was the beginning of my new way of living and my new life.

Do you have any favorite web sites for business and/or personal development?

Wealth Beyond Reason, Secret of Her Success, Imagine-Wellness.com, PatHintze.com, SynchronicityExpert.com, OnenessMovementAustin.com

What’s your dream?

My dream is to be happy in my life; to live comfortably and enjoy every minute; to share what I’ve learned to help others; and to be full of joy, love, and prosperity.

Fill in the Blanks

Whatever you DO: When in doubt, don’t! Trust your intuition!

Whatever you do, DO NOT: Do not ignore your “gut”; that instinct can save your life!

What do you think is the secret to success?

Doing what you absolutely love to do, following your passion.

How does your business help women entrepreneurs?

When I read something that is poorly written, I think the writer must not be well-educated or is lazy and doesn’t care about the reader. Professional-looking documents or websites get attention for the writer’s business, and customers feel they can depend on a professional business owner. Therefore, anything a woman writes, for any purpose, I make look professional.

What words of wisdom, insight, or advice could you offer a woman entrepreneur on the way to her dreams?

Keep your energy and thoughts positive and strong. Visualize what you want to accomplish as if it has already occurred and FEEL it! Keep an open mind and consider things that are different from what you know. You CAN have a wonderful, fulfilling life!

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Connect with Cheryl

Business Name: The Editing Empress

Website: http://TheEditingEmpress.com

Facebook Personal Profile: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/EditingEmpress

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/The-Editing-Empress/115888678431499?ref=ts

Twitter: EditingEmpress

LinkedIn: Cheryl Heflin

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Filed under: Featured Business Owner Interviews

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