Here is another dynamic woman that was in close proximity to me for more than 5 minutes several years ago and we bonded over a shared passion – writing – when we met in a beginning fiction writing class. Since that time Shannon has written and published her book “Found in Black Texiana”, contemporary poetry, stories and notes for women with Texas and Louisiana roots (http://www.yourtexiana.com). Shannon has also started her own business so she is delivering a double whammy to this blog post – “creative coolness” and “doing her own thing”. Here is her information about her endeavors:
Please describe your creative art form.
I originally struggled with defining a genre for my book. My original love is poetry and I would describe my art form in this book as a poetry memoir. All of the recipes and stories in the book are based on my Louisiana heritage yet the poetry throughout addresses all facets of life and ties it all together.
How/when did you decide to embrace your artistic gift?
When I look back at my life, I enjoyed writing from the time I was a pre-teen, but I never realized what “it” was back then. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I realized how writing allowed me to find myself. A self that had always been there all along but was not awakened until I reached a valley in my life. The power of the written word can be a healer for the writer and writing truly healed me.
What are some of the positive, unexpected experiences you have encountered as a result of pursuing your artistic life?
Unimaginable inner joy and peace—priceless!
What is your favorite thing about your artistic life?
Meeting and talking to fellow writers and artists. The passion to create and be creative is a necessity when someone is an author, painter or musician. It’s so enjoyable being able to share ideas and learn from other creative people.
“Doing Her Own Thing”
Please describe your business.
College Nannies and Tutors (CNT) is the nation’s most complete resource for customized nanny, professional babysitting and tutoring services. We provide role models from cradle to college. We offer a complete set of customized tutoring solutions for college bound students including homework help, study skills, college prep, ACT and SAT test prep services. We also offer full-service childcare services including nanny placement (Summer, Full-Time, Part-Time and After School), on-call nannies and professional babysitting.
What motivated you to “do your own thing” and start your own business?
I had been in the Information Technology field for 20 years and I really enjoyed being an IT Project Manager. But I found myself wanting to do more to help others, wanting to write more and wanting to be more in touch with my community. My original thought was to be a full-time writer and provide free workshops to children in the community to encourage writing. It was a great thought but the only problem was we still needed to pay bills and it wasn’t the right time in our lives for me to sit on a grassy knoll and write/teach all day long. The other thing is I had always been a working mother for most of my career. I intimately understood the challenges of finding good childcare that gave a mother peace of mind and also understood the time it took to prepare your child for college.
Once I made the decision that I could no longer stay in the standard corporate world, I found a for-profit opportunity that allowed me to help working mothers, connect with children/students, give me the inspiration to continue to write and allow us to pay our bills! That was College Nannies & Tutors.
Is your business a result of a formal education or self-taught genius?
I’d say a bit of both. I had to learn on my own how to prepare my daughter for the SAT and ACT and how to find the best childcare. I learned a lot from the corporate world about marketing, human resources, project management, etc. I also had to go through formal training for months with the corporate franchise office to own this business.
What is the one thing you enjoy about your type of business?
Being able to make a family happy by helping them out when they have a need. I love being able to give a family some quality time back—whether it’s providing a sitter for a husband and wife to reconnect or providing a tutor to lessen the tension between parents and children.
What would you say encouraging to other women who may have a business idea but are reluctant to pursue it?
Plan, Pray, Prepare then Push through your fears. I still wake up in the middle of the night every now and then and think “what in the world am I doing—why did I leave my job?” But once I remember that I prayed on it, received support from my husband and family and prepared extensively, my fears are quieted and I lean on faith.
Here are the websites to give more information about Shannon’s endeavors: