What I’ve learned about entrepreneurship & fighting fraud

It’s Global Entrepreneurship Week and International Fraud Awareness Week, and today’s Wall Street Journal tells us about the emerging entrepreneurs during the “Covid Economy.” In addition, I’ll soon begin my 22nd year in business. All of this has led to lots of thoughts about the crazy career path I’ve taken and my journey from librarian to […]


Home for sale

What what can business owners learn from selling a house?

As I write this, my husband and I are selling our house – our home for the past 27 years. When I think back on the months of preparing our home for sale, I see a lot of parallels with owning a business and some lessons learned. So, what can a business owner learn from […]


dog dressed as private investigator

How to become a private investigator

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 rewarding profession.  Many thanks to all who responded to […]


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Top post: Questions to ask before starting an investigation

I’m busy with holidays, client work, and completing a big new project (watch for announcements), so I’ll be running some oldies-but-goodies for the next month or so. Enjoy this one, originally published in March 2019. No matter the type of research or investigations that you do, it’s important to prepare. Before you start your interviews, […]


Celebrating 20 years in business

20 years later: Mistakes and lessons learned

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 20 years since that fateful email message – the one that changed my career. At the time, I was in grad school, about to earn a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. I was working two part-time library jobs, and one thing I learned from both jobs […]


Collaborate for better results

Collaborate for better results: Top tips for subcontracting success

I’ve just returned from Orlando after attending the incredible OSMOSIS conference, where I heard well-known speakers and networked with hundreds of other investigators. At the Bits & Bytes networking event, I also had the opportunity to present a short table talk on Subcontracting Success: Top Tips for Making it Work. I love this topic because, […]



The problem with checklists

Checklists are a handy tool, especially in investigations. I use them a lot. They help me remember all the steps that need to be covered, and they’re great for getting back on track after going off script to follow an unexpected lead. But checklists need to be used with caution.  As this news story highlights, […]


AIIP logo

Key takeaways from #AIIP19

I recently attended the annual conference of the Association of Independent Information Professionals in Philadelphia. This is my 19th consecutive AIIP conference, and I make it my primary conference for the year. While I attend several others, this one is in my calendar, and everything fits in around that. It’s in my budget, too, so […]


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Questions to ask before starting an investigation

No matter the type of research or investigations that you do, it’s important to prepare. Before you start your interviews, online searches, surveillance, or whatever it is you do for your clients, you need to take this extra step to ensure success (like a happy client). It’s tempting to jump right in and get started […]



The ins and outs of checklists

Mistakes happen. Sometimes we forget. Perhaps we’re stressed by tight deadlines. Or maybe we assume that something’s been done, and we skip steps. In investigations, risk is all about what we’re missing, and skipping steps can lead to trouble. Enter the checklist. While listening to a recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Hidden […]

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