Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2008-02 > 1202932587

From: Dee Dee King <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] viewpoint on Professional Genealogy
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 11:56:27 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <001b01c86e77$0b4ae380$21e0aa80$@com>

Elizabeth and Elissa - well said. Starting a new business endeavor requires an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication. Some business principles are universal and apply to a genealogy practice. Everything you'd need to do for other new businesses, you need to do for this one. And Elizabeth is so right, almost all new businesses do not last five years, with most failing the first year. Most businesses do not see a profit for 3-5 years. Almost all successful entrepreneurs plow income back into improving the business during the first few years. It's scary stuff.

Some of the hurdles are caused by that elephant - we don't see how or where to start the small bites. If we had "grade levels" like in school, we'd be taking courses on schedule, with tests and feedback. We'd know "where we are" in comparison to others in the upward movement towards professional standards. We'd know if our work compared to that of a "freshman", "sophomore", "junior" or "senior". Or if our profession offered something like apprentice, journeyman and master level practitioner - then we'd have steps with standards at each level by which to measure. I think what scares us most, is not knowing where we are realistically.

The business end aside, when we look at the professional standards in Pro Gen and BCG guide and manual, it's a very personal decision whether we decide it is too much and not worth the effort, or that we have to figure out the best route to bring ourselves up to the standards - bites of the elephant.

Best regards,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Elissa Scalise Powell, CG" <>
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 1:31:34 PM (GMT-0600) America/Chicago
Subject: [TGF] viewpoint on Professional Genealogy

In many respects today's transitional genealogists have greater advantages
than those who transitioned 10 or 20 or more years ago. You get to look in
the window and see the profession in action through private and public
conversations, and through publications and websites that give advice. Most
of this was not available until this century and previous generations could
only guess at what it meant to be professional.

If by looking in the window it jars their sense of what they think they
should be viewing, then this reality check that helps them to picture
themselves as a working professional is worth it. It might save those who
decide not to pursue professional genealogy a lot of time and expense and

We all love doing research and think it is peachy-keen when we can get paid
for something we love doing. But with that comes several realities:
working to your client's schedule - not your own;
working within your client's budget - not your own;
writing up every piece of research that you looked at, whether positive or
negative, in language that your client will understand;
taking advantage of marketing opportunities when you have a full research
handling "mommy" or "family" guilt;
letting your own genealogy lapse because you want to help your clients.

These are just some of the "grass is not as green on the other side"
perspectives. If you find yourself working them out and it is okay with you
and your family, then you will be more apt to become what you desire. If any
of these things deter you, then perhaps the client research part of the
genealogy umbrella is not your cup of tea. No one says it has to be. There
are many other genealogy related fields that one can enter. Writing the
definitive family history on your own family is also a wonderful cause that
doesn't incur other people's constraints on you and you can tell the family
that it is for them that you labor.

IMO the hardest part about this stage of being a transitional genealogist is
mindset. Deciding on making this professional a priority over certain
things. You have to decide for yourself how far you are willing to go.

I was very fortunate that in my transitional days that my husband was very
supportive of my genealogical meetings and activities. One night I was
putting our young son to bed when he asked where Daddy was. I said Daddy was
at a meeting. "Oh, no," he said in his 4 year old voice, "Only mommies go to
meetings." That hit right in the heart.

It can be a great ride, but one that needs dedication, hard work,
cooperation from those around you, organizational skills, and yes,
sacrifice. And after all that, be careful of what you wish for, since you
will probably get it. <g>

Best wishes,

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists used under license after periodic evaluations
by the Board.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 1:39 PM
> Subject: [TGF] Fw:
> As much as anybody, I want to encourage new prospects for the field. But,
> IMO, we do them a disservice if we don't help them understand what it is
> they are taking on. We want them to succeed, not start and fail. The
> is that, in that process of learning what successful professional
> genealogists do (and have to do), if they feel it is best for them to drop
> their plans or postpone them, then they are probably making a wise
> If, once they know what lies ahead, they decide this is still what they
> want, then they'll have a far greater chance to succeed.
> Elizabeth
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
> Samford University Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research

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Dee Dee King, Certified Genealogist
133 N Friendswood Dr Suite 325
Friendswood TX 77546
telephone/fax 281-431-3525
Member Association of Professional Genealogists, Lone Star Chapter.

CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the
Board for Certification of Genealogists used under
license after periodic evaluations by the Board.

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