A few months ago, I was prepping for a local speaking gig. I was asked to make the presentation interactive, which is perfect for me—they basically asked me to teach a workshop.
Of course the subject would be something about writing for business. As I narrowed in on my talking points, I had an epiphany. What I do now that brings me great joy is writing coupled with entrepreneurship, but what made me sit up and pay attention is that these two topics have been lifelong interests of mine.
A book called Pansy and entrepreneurial aspirations
When I was 7, I wrote a book called Pansy. It was about a black panther of that name. I had seen one at the Bronx Zoo and hated that he was held in a small cage that for all practical purposes was a prison cell. His flooring was concrete, the front held him in with vertical steel bars.
And he paced back and forth, which I now know showed how stressed he was. I must have known it intuitively then, too, because I came home and on newsprint my journalist father brought home from work, I wrote the “book,” and in it, I had Pansy escape from the zoo and live with a kind family in the Bronx.
I loved that I could call myself a writer like my dad the journalist, and my Mom who wrote short stories and poetry.
That summer, I sold lemonade and thought it pretty cool that I could make money from it. I also must have gone to some public garden event because I came home and with my neighborhood pals, raked the forest behind our house and gave my family a tour of the wooded paths we kids played on. Price of admission: 5 cents.
It looked so neat and pretty, but my parents told me that tours were not going to happen. That they would be the only people interested in seeing our raked forest paths.
I pursued many other interests, as we all do, but now I look back on my lifelong career as an entrepreneur, and see that I have kept writing high on my priority list. And today? I have combined the two by offering business writing coaching and consulting, teaching people how to write stories from blog posts to books.
Think back on what you loved earlier in life
Think about the activities you loved as a child that may or may not keep tapping you on the shoulder, asking you to come out and play.
Have your interests done that? And if so, how has it informed who you are? And I will ask it again—is what you do today as an entrepreneur something that you have loved for a long time? Is that lifelong interest told in your signature story?
Think about that and consider how to write your own, and then tell us what it is.