When I was first contemplating writing

Secrets of Millionaire Moms

, I wrestled with what kind of subject matter I wanted to tackle.

Should I write a business book, offering what I have learned from my own experiences as an entrepreneur -- sharing mistakes and tough lessons learned?

Or, should I write a book that shares the stories and life profiles of many of the women I have come to admire -- women who have guided me both directly and by example? Each had elements I thought important for other women who want to start or grow their own business. I chose to write a book that strives to do both.

First, I identified a number of key business concepts that I believe are important and which, based on my frequent communication with women entrepreneurs, present the greatest challenges. Next, I identified 17 extraordinary women who, based on their own success and experience, could help explain these core concepts and offer inspiration.

They are some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our day, with businesses ranging from retail to manufacturing and public relations. These are not women who have ascended the corporate ladder to reach the CEO level (a significant but very different kind of achievement). Rather, each of them had an idea that they developed -- some quite literally from their kitchen tables -- and grew into multimillion dollar companies.

I chose to feature mothers, in particular. I wanted to provide examples of women from several generations who managed to love and care for their families while turning their passions into a means to financial freedom. The unexpected gift many of them share is that their wealth has enabled them to give to others at a level that they never imagined possible.

In this book you'll find many of their "secrets." Their highs and lows, their personal histories, and most of all, their business methods, all of which I hope you will find intriguing. You'll learn about everything from goal-setting and understanding financials to achieving life balance and overcoming adversities of many kinds. It's all meant to provide inspiration and information to help get you started -- or get to the next level -- whether your own endeavor is a multimillion dollar business or not.

As a mom and entrepreneur myself, I wanted to share the information as I have experienced it: as a complex process inextricably linked with my personal life.

As a result, each chapter in this book includes both personal and business information. The first chapter, in particular, discusses the history of women's ambivalence toward money and techniques for addressing this. Later on in the book, I examine challenges and myths around the endless struggle for life "balance." I also share how these successful women have found the strength to do what they've done, often in the face of enormous adversity. And I provide a framework that I hope will help you see what it really takes to create the life you desire. Of course, I focus directly on several key business requirements, including developing a business plan, raising money, using creative marketing and understanding "the numbers."

Most importantly, the insights each of these remarkable women share are interspersed among the chapters. Each chapter includes the personal profiles of two of them. All are entrepreneurs and all but one are moms, the sole exception being Maxine Clark of

Build-A-Bear Workshop

(BBW) - Get Report

, whose brilliance and wisdom, as well as all the children she serves (including my own daughters, who love their "furry friends"), make her an honorary mom here.

Tamara Monosoff is founder and chief executive of Mom Inventors, Inc., a business she launched from her own kitchen table. She is the bestselling author of "The Mom Inventors Handbook" and an expert columnist for Entrepreneur.com and WomenEntrepreneur.com. For more information, visit her Web site at www.mominventors.com.