Tell me about yourself
I believe that we’re all born with gifts and mine was writing. I grew up in Ontario, Canada and was one of those highly sensitive kids who consumed books, kept a journal, and preferred my imaginary world to reality. I wrote a novel when I was in first grade and, in high school, was probably the only student who looked forward to writing essays. Decades later, I’m still a voracious reader and love to learn.
So why a degree in business?
It seems odd, right? I majored in accounting at Ryerson University in Toronto, passed my Certified Management Accounting exams, and even taught accounting at college for a while. I chose to become an accountant because it was a stable profession. I believed what I was told – that nobody could earn their living as a writer and I needed a something to fall back on.
Then life intervened. My husband got transferred from our home in Toronto, Canada to Phoenix, Arizona. I did not want to learn the American tax code or take the CPA exams. So I started a company called The BizWriter and was able to combine my passion for writing with my knowledge of business. It was a great niche, because many of the writers who studied journalism were intimidated by the business community.
Where do you live now?
In 2007, due to another of my husband’s job transfers, my family moved to Long Island, New York. I consider myself lucky to have lived in two different countries and three very different locations. Due to the magic of technology, I work with clients in Canada and the United States.
What is the Solopreneur Academy?
The Solopreneur Academy is an online education and support community for female entrepreneurs. I started this community to provide networking, support and education to women who are working to balance their lives and their businesses.
What made you start the Solopreneur Academy?
Two things. The first was that I was burnt out. I’d spent several years writing for plastic surgeons and it was becoming difficult to think of new ways to describe breast reductions and tummy tucks! I originally decided to write a book about burnout in entrepreneurs. However, as my research progressed, I realized there was a need for a community to educate and support entrepreneurs — to keep them from burning out in the first place! I had managed to combine self-care with solopreneurship and I wanted to share the message.
Secondly, I was gravely concerned about the politics of the Trump administration and its impact on women. I knew that the best way for women to have a voice is to have economic power. I became committed to helping women grow their businesses and increase their power.
Do you continue to write?
Yes! I create weekly content for the Solopreneur Academy, including a blog. I also host a monthly Master Class, with guest experts who discuss topics of interest to women solopreneurs, a Monday Mindset discussion, and a Book Club.
Is there anything that makes you special?
Part of marketing is knowing what makes you different … so of course I will have to answer this!
First is that I am a unique blend of accountant and artist, so I am comfortable in both realms. I’ve found this combination of left-brain/right-brain balance to be very unusual. While it truly benefits my clients, it has been a personal challenge to feel fully comfortable in either world.
Secondly, I’m intuitive and a really good listener. I ask good questions and am very patient. I enjoy building communities and watching people take risks in their business and personal lives.
Finally, I am someone who loves learning. I love learning about my customers, about business in general, and about changes in online marketing. I know that saying I’m passionate about helping my members is a cliché, but I really am and my passion is infectious.
What types of businesses have you worked with?
During my 20 years as a professional writer, I’ve worked with a wide variety of businesses and non-profits. This has been by choice, as I truly enjoy learning about different businesses and industries. Most of my recent clients were professionals (including physicians and dentists) who used online marketing to attract and retain customers. Over the years I’ve worked with coaches, consultants, educational institutions, performing arts facilities, fresh fish importers, manufacturers and retailers. I’ve also interviewed hundreds of business leaders for magazine articles, written more than one thousand blog posts, and produced my own weekly newsletter for three years.
You also do speaking and business coaching?
I quickly found that many businesses had no idea how to create content and could not afford to hire a content writer. So I began conducting workshops and lectures where individuals could learn how to write blogs, newsletters and marketing emails. Participants leave these sessions feeling more confident about their writing and empowered to create great content.
I also provide private coaching to a select group of business owners. We speak semi-monthly, discuss their unique challenges, and work on everything from marketing to mindset. Although I have completed many coaching courses, I come to each session with the intention to help the business owner move ahead on their goals. I do not have a one-size-fits-all formula or secret sauce to guarantee success.
What role does meditation play in your life?
I’m a big proponent of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, which is an evidence-based, secular approach to meditation. During my daily meditation, I try to empty my mind and be present in the moment. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how meditation has impacted my life. I believe meditation has made me calmer, as well as more accepting of myself and life’s challenges.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I would love to say that I have the whole work-life balance figured out, but I don’t!
I’ve been married for 30+ years and have two adult children, as well as two mini dachshunds. In addition to spending time with family, my interests include reading, meditation, quilting, line dancing and watching reality TV shows.
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