The (Not-So) Glamorous Life of an Entrepreneur (+ How to Add a TOC Page to Your eBook)

It occurred to me today that entrepreneurism runs in my family. Both of my parents were self-employed before they retired; my dad had his own insurance business and my mom did home loans and real estate. It kind of makes sense now that I also embraced the all-so glamorous life of an entrepreneur.

I’m so kidding about the glamorous part, if you can’t tell. 😉

If there’s anything I’ve learned about having your own business, it’s that you—and only you—end up doing everything to keep the business going. (That is until you make it big and can afford to pay people to do things for you.) I’m talking about a lot of manual labor and blood, sweat, and tears (especially the last bit!). As an indie author, this means learning how to do everything from making your own book cover, editing your story, formatting your manuscript for publishing, and marketing your book once it’s published.

Eeks. It’s so not a glamorous life. 😉

The boy in the photo is pretty much what I look like when I’m trying to do one of the above tasks. But (here’s the silver lining, folks!), I’ve grown so much in my skillset over the years that I could actually provide these services to other authors and charge them for it. See what a savvy entrepreneur I am?! LOL. I’m totally kidding though because I’m not a fan of self-torture and I still want to have time to write books (oh, and take care of my family, too!). However, since I’ve gained so much support from other indie authors and know how important it is to have “a village” as an entrepreneur, I’m more than happy to share what I’ve learned with other authors.

One thing I can do fairly well now is create a Table of Contents page for an ebook, which I’ll share below. There are several steps to navigate through, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it without too much moaning and groaning. Trust me when I say if I can learn how to do this, anyone can. 🙂

How to Add a TOC (Table of Contents) Page to Your eBook (for Microsoft Word documents):

  1. Insert a blank page in your document where you would like the TOC to go.
  2. Type “Table of Contents” at the top of the page and list the chapters and additional back matter pages underneath it. (See the image for an example.) 
  3. Go to Chapter One in your story and select the words “Chapter One” (place your cursor at the first letter and drag the mouse to the right until you reach the last letter).
  4. Go to the “Insert” menu and choose “Bookmark”. Type in a name (an abbreviation such as “Ch1” is a good idea since you’ll be doing this multiple times) and click “Add”.
  5. Go to the TOC page in your document and select the words “Chapter One”.
  6. Go to the “Insert” menu and choose “Hyperlink”. Click on “This Document”, then click on “Bookmarks”. The bookmark name you added in step 4 will appear. Select the name and click “OK”.
  7. The words “Chapter One” on the TOC page should now be underlined. Check to see that the hyperlink is working by clicking on it (it should take you to Chapter One in your story).
  8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 for the remaining chapters and any additional back matter pages.

Easy peasy, right? 🙂 If you have any questions at all or if anything I wrote is unclear, please leave me a comment and let me know. I’ll try my best to help and share a virtual tub of ice cream with you if needed.

Here’s a song by Jason Chen called “Blank Check” to inspire you while you work.

Are you an entrepreneur or know of someone who is? What pros and cons do you see about having your own business?

Celebrating 15 Years of Marriage!

I was driving with a girlfriend a while back and she was kindly holding my phone up so I could hear the directions from the GPS. Midway through our route, my phone beeped to signal that an incoming text had been received. A preview of the text then popped up at the top of the screen, causing my friend to gasp in surprise.

“Is it your anniversary?!” she exclaimed.

“Huh?”

“D just texted that he misses you!”

She held up the phone for me to see and, sure enough, there was a short text from my Honey (that’s actually the name I have for him in my phone, LOL) that read “Miss you!” with a couple of kissy face emoticons next to it.

Hehehe. 🙂

Nope, it wasn’t our anniversary that day, but it is TODAY! And I am soooo thankful to be celebrating 15 years with hubby today!

I almost feel like we should receive an award of some kind for all our effort (’cause according to hubby, 15 years of marriage has felt like a loooong time, haha), but the best reward we have is the blessing of waking up and being able to “do life” together these past 5,475 days. And looking back, I know we couldn’t have gotten here without the help and support of:

Our friends, especially in the early years when we were navigating through the ups and downs of a new relationship.

Our Pastor P. and his wife, M., who counseled us in the early stages and helped us tie the knot.

Our families, who have been especially helpful in offering to babysit the munchkins so we can go on dates and have grown-up time.

Our kids, who always seem to squirm in between us when we’re sitting next to each other on the couch, but who unite us as partners in parenting.

Our favorite TV shows (hello, Lost and Fringe fans!) that gave us something to do and talk about when we were up to our ears in diapers and tantrums.

Our cell phones that make it possible for us to communicate throughout the day and send one another mushy texts like the one referenced above. 😉

Our church, for reminding us of what’s important in life and providing lots of material for deep discussions.

And most of all, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who brought us together in the first place and has been growing us into better people and better spouses. Because of Him, we have reason to die to ourselves in order to mature in love.

It’s been a fun and wild ride and there’s no other person I’d want to take this journey with. Happy 15 years, Honey! 😀

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This song, “Thank You”, by Jason Chen perfectly sums up how I feel today.

Who do you want to say thank you to for supporting you in your life?

Monday Mentionables: Hasselback Sweet Potatoes, Fudge Babies & Jason Chen

Hi everyone! Hope you had a good weekend. This pretty much sums up mine:

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Haha. At least I can laugh about it now. A Saturday Costco trip (never realized how many manners-challenged, hungry, eager people go there for samples) and too many kiddie meltdowns had me grumbling and praying for patience one too many times. I am so glad it’s Monday and I have a moment of peace to myself. 🙂

Here are today’s mentionables:

1. Hasselback Sweet Potatoes. I have grown to like sweet potatoes because they are healthier and sweeter than regular potatoes and they come in pretty colors (the purple ones are yummy). I saw a recipe going around on Facebook for fancy baked sweet potatoes and gave it a try. The trick to getting the sweet potato sliced evenly is to place a pair of wooden chopsticks next to it to act as a buffer so you don’t cut it all the way through. This method worked pretty well except for the fact that my chopsticks were round and kept rolling around on the cutting board. Maybe this square gal needs to invest in some square chopsticks instead? 😉

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They taste the yummiest right out of the oven!

2. Fudge Babies. Another new recipe I tried out recently was for these yummy, healthy walnut-cocoa-date balls. The kids even liked them momentarily (the first day), which meant I ended up eating the rest (which was fine by me!). Mine didn’t turn out quite so pretty or round as the picture in the recipe because I used a Magic Bullet instead of a food processor. I think next time I’ll crush the walnuts with a hammer first – good way to get stress out, too. 🙂

3. Jason Chen. I am a softie when it comes to romantic movies, books and songs (even though in real life hubby is the more romantic one, haha). I stumbled upon this guy on YouTube and his song “Best Friend“. It’s very cliche and cheesy, but cute. I also think it’s cool to see an Asian guy going after his dreams of becoming a singer instead of the stereotypical engineer or doctor. Yay for non-square people!

Have a wonderful week!