It Takes A Village

M & M & M...

She calls them her eight M's. And while Susan Trainer can't explain why all her life helpers have either first or last names beginning with the letter "m," she does know that without them, she wouldn't have the time or energy necessary to run Trainer Public Relations, her company in Danville, California.

"Some people might think all this life and business support is a bit frivolous, but it makes good economic sense for me," says Trainer. "Without [my support team], I wouldn't be able to focus on work, which is very lucrative, and my husband and four kids, who are very fulfilling."

Here are Trainer's eight Ms and, in her own words, what they do for her:

"Marina Malayan is my Alice of the `Brady Bunch.' She does the shopping, goes to the dry cleaners, makes breakfast for the kids, schedules carpet cleaning and does everything [a spouse] would do.

"Maureen Yajko watches my three- and four-year-old [children] during the day. She was the first person I hired.

"Mary Miller is my accountant who works with me every quarter.

"Bev Meyer is my bookkeeper, but never comes into the office. We communicate solely through voice mail, fax and e-mail.

"Martin Harris is the billing person who works with us `remotely' every day.

"Melanie Bentley is a personal shopper who finds my work and non-work wardrobes. She understands my style and is very considerate about staying within my budget.

"Michelle Biggs is the fitness trainer I see [twice a week] who ensures I stay feeling good about myself.

"Marta Zelaya-Cuevas is the hairdresser I see once every six weeks. She manages an important part of my overall image."

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