Inspirational quote: Go the extra mile. It's never croweded.

Beyond completion: The art of going the extra mile with deliverables

As an investigator or researcher, it’s easy to get caught up in simply answering client questions, meeting deadlines, and checking tasks off our to-do list. The true mark of excellence, though, lies in going beyond the bare minimum and delivering work that exceeds expectations. We can do that by “going the extra mile” and delivering […]


Picture of conference name badges to illustrate in-person networking

Use social media for better in-person connections

A couple of weeks ago, I attended what’s now become my must-attend professional event. It was the second annual, and second for me, Fraud Retreat, hosted by Jo Erven in Denver, Colorado. Don’t call it a conference, because it’s not that. No large crowds, no exhibit tables. This is more of a family affair, as […]


Screenshot of LinkedIn

Getting results with LinkedIn – What you need to know

If you own a small business, you probably don’t have a lot of time or much passion for marketing. When I first started as Phelps Research in early 2000, just the thought of dealing with sales funnels, cold calls, and endless coffee meetings, in addition to actually running my business, created a lot of stress. […]


typewriter, candle and books of a writer

Tips for becoming a better writer

After 22 years in business, I’ve learned that writing is one of my biggest business assets. As a private investigator, my findings mean nothing if I can’t explain them to my clients clearly and succinctly. I blog and write articles to learn and to share what I’m learning with colleagues. For some reason, though, at […]


parenting 101 on a chalkboard

Top Post: The best parenting skills for working with clients

I’ve taken some time off from the blog for the summer for more time at the beach and with my camera, so here’s a favorite from August 2021. Some of the best client management tips come from the parenting experts. No, I’m not advocating that we treat our clients like children. In fact, my favorite […]


vintage megaphone with one person speaking to many

Best marketing advice I’ve ever received

Since starting my business, I’ve had the honor of mentoring with some of the top people in the business, including Amelia Kassel, Mary Ellen Bates, and Kim Dority. They all gave me the same advice: Speak to many, instead of just one. As solopreneurs, they said, we don’t have time to meet each prospective client […]


No Thanks note on stack of business papers

Things this private investigator doesn’t do

After becoming a private investigator, I discovered that investigators are a diverse group. We have different backgrounds, areas of specialty, and clientele. We also have different work styles, and, over the years, I’ve discovered some of my non-negotiables, like doing client work on weekends and not verifying degrees until I have the proper paperwork in-hand. […]


Door to private investigator's office

Top post: How to become a private investigator

This updated post was originally published in May 2020. How do I become a private investigator? People often ask me this question, and I generally offer some standard advice, but I decided to tap into my network of fellow PIs to see what else I should be  telling others about breaking into this exciting and […]


parenting 101 on a chalkboard

The best parenting skills for working with clients

Some of the best client management tips come from the parenting experts. No, I’m not advocating that we treat our clients like children. In fact, my favorite advice is based on the Golden Rule and treating children–and our clients–like equals. Treat them just the way you would want to be treated if the roles were […]


Magic wand and laptop

Librarian superpowers

I recently participated in a panel discussion for an AIIP webinar, Running a Successful Private Investigations Business, along with Michael Donaldson, Tim Hardiman, and moderator Eddie Ajaeb. One of the questions for me was about how my background as a librarian prepared me for PI work. I love this question, because it gives me the […]

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