Shelly’s story was featured in Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul: Advice and Inspiration for Fulfilling Dreams.


“In high school, I set a goal for myself. I was determined to be a millionaire by my fortieth birthday. When you are in high school peering at the world through rose-colored glasses, anything is possible.

At that time, I did not realize that youth can cause the mind to play tricks on you, cruel tricks that are seldom revealed until later in life when you are suddenly faced with reality as I was in 1989. There I was, recently divorced, standing in line at the grocery store with my two daughters, amid friends and neighbors, food stamps in hand. Day-to-day survival was the new goal, not a million dollars.

Though I was dependent on government assistance, I did work hard. I was a licensed cosmetologist and also drove a school bus. I had no social life, and frankly, could not afford the luxury of ever thinking of one! Then, I met Dennis Hartmann. We had known each other for some time, but it was not until we were both facing similar situations in our personal lives that our relationship blossomed. In 1990, we married, and I suddenly found myself wed to a third generation blueberry farmer – a real blue blood!”

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