I had an interesting interview yesterday. Here are her excellent questions, and a summary of my answers:
What do you think is your spark?
The positive energy I receive from connecting with others, and what I do with that energy.
Have you always been a self-starter, or have you learned this skill over time?
I have always been very bright and independent, but lacking in self-confidence. This is a constant challenge for me.
Why did you feel called to write about midlife issues?
I went through so much personal change in my late 40s – a divorce, and then job loss a couple of years later, which led to spending much time alone. This increased my awareness that “doing what I’d been told to do” wasn’t working for me, causing me to pay closer attention to my inner wisdom and all of my possibilities both personally and career-wise. I started asking myself, “What do I need to happen before I die?” and “How could I move in that general direction?”
So in late 2007 I started my blog MidifeCrisisQueen.com to reach out to others, because I had felt so alone when I experienced my own midlife crisis. I really wanted to offer encouragement to others. My original purpose? Public service, not a business.
What are the biggest challenges you faced when you started your business?
Believing in myself and my mission, which has evolved gradually from writing to coaching and public speaking. It all started with my blog – developing my voice, my own style, and respect for my own needs.
What do you enjoy most about writing your blogs?
The responsiveness of my audience and learning how others are coping with their own midlife challenges. Feeling connected to others.
Please tell me more about your books?
First I wrote Midlife Magic: Becoming The Person You Are Inside, to tell my own story and inspire others to not give up when life gets tough in midlife. Then I added my Midlife Change Workbook, to help them work through their own changes at their own pace.
Last month I published How to Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust and Your Own Inner Wisdom, to encourage others to find the confidence inside to finally attract the kind of love they seek. Too many give up too soon because of major disappointments in their past, or because they feel they do not deserve one experience with authentic love in this lifetime.
I went through a complicated process to finally find true love at age 49. I started my own dating service which led to some great comradery among my clients. This made me begin to wonder if I still believed in love. I decided it was important to share with others the various ways I discovered to renew my own faith in love. I met the love of my life soon after I changed my attitudes about myself and others, right before I turned 50.
What mistakes have you made along the way and what have you learned?
My essay: How the Internet has changed the business of writing summarizes much of what I’ve learned. In addition, don’t let “business think” control your decisions. Follow your heart and your inner wisdom and do what uniquely works for you, because your business should be a reflection of who you are.
What do you think is the most important thing most entrepreneurs can take away from your journey?
Like everything else in life, developing a business is a process. Pay attention to yourself and your own needs along the way.
Also give some thought to whether you wish to reach a national and/or international audience or just local. I have learned that it is much easier to sell my books face-to-face than through online channels. Almost every person I talk to directly about my books buys at least one, and some request a coaching session too. I believe in this hyper-connected online world of ours, more than ever we all crave that up close and personal touch!